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Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 28, 11 at 17:59

I was hoping to make it to February before starting a new thread, but cabin/snow fever has been high and lots of photos slowed down the 2011 #1 thread.

This thread is intended to give people a place to post photos and/or talk about birds, critters, wildlife, fish, whatever - topics you might not want to start a whole thread on, but are still garden-related. You can see the range of possible topics in the previous threads:

Birds and other mobile features in the garden

Birds and other mobile features in the garden #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2009

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #3

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #4

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #5

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #6

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #1

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This was the view from my kitchen window this morning: the usual turkeys and the not-so-usual snow.
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In the last thread Jane showed a cardinal and a house finch to cheer up the snowy view - I have a sort of colorful turkey.
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And Blue Jays eating peanuts in the nyjer canyon (I throw peanuts there to lure the jays away from the other feeders. The squirrels follow, of course)
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This sparrow (maybe the savannah) keeps showing up in the middle of the nyjer canyon pictures, managing to upstage the other birds.
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Claire


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Just regular shelled peanuts, Claire?
Never thought of that!
Susan


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 29, 11 at 13:55

I've used both shelled and unshelled peanuts, Susan, and both are well received. A local bird supply store carries shelled peanuts in a bag but in a pinch I've used unsalted peanuts in a jar on sale at the supermarket. Availability and cost are the determining factors; the jays could care less.

They keep an eye out - I won't see or hear a jay until I put out peanuts. By the time I'm back in the house they've descended.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

I really like the composition of the turkey photos: the crisp dark plumage of the turkeys against the snow-muted colors of the garden . . . lovely!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 31, 11 at 13:26

Thanks, nhbabs, the turkeys are becoming so dominant in the winter that I'm beginning to think of them as mobile shrubs.

While I see turkeys most of the year (except when they're busy with nesting), I only see Hermit Thrushes in the winter when they come into the yard for the water in the birdbaths.

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Showing off the fine profile:
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Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

The depth of snow in Cape Cod is currently enviable. Today, my house roof is finally clear and all 3 exits are available - until Wednesday. The depth of snow in central CT was a boon to this chap who sprang from the top of about 45-50" over the squirrel guard to victory.

That's pure adoration. Mine! It's all Mine! He had a little while alone with his lottery, then the shovel came.
Trade you 6 squirrels for one turkey. Very nice turkey shots.
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 31, 11 at 17:02

Got enough squirrels already, thank you very much, and I'm a little reluctant to try to catch a turkey, package it, and bring it to the post office.

The downside of not so much snow (I'm not really on Cape Cod, I'm just north of the Canal - it's a little like being on the wrong side of the tracks as seen by the Cape Codders, the right side of the tracks as seen by the Plymoutheans). Anyway, the downside is that the frequent snowmelt produces ice.

When I laid my bluestone path I carefully graded the path so it would drain well. And it does, if the path is cleared. Unfortunately, this time I only shoveled the path to the birdfeeders and back, and not the portion that goes down hill. I didn't realize that the snowmelt would be dammed up and turn to ice. Sort of an ice dam on the ground. Now the rest of the path is too icy to shovel so I can't clear the little channel. I walk a stomped path on either side of the bluestone/ice path to get to the birdfeeders. I hope the next storm either covers the ice or melts it. I learned another lesson.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Ah, be still my heart! A Hermit Thrush...how I would love to hear that song right now. That's one of about a half dozen bird songs that always stop me in my tracks...

Jane, my resident squirrels have been using the baffles as pedestals for weeks now. I've had to replace one feeder, that had plastic ports. The squirrels gnawed right through the plastic to get to the good stuff!

I also enjoyed the turkey photos--great color contrasts. I'm trying to remain positive about snow.

Emily (who had to un-freeze her back door this morning with a hair dryer....)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Watching the morning "feeder frenzy" as the latest storm dumps more snow....I am now feeling sorry for the squirrels, and, am no longer banging at the window to scare them off. Everyone seems to be sharing at the moment. Look at the snow on this guys' back. And, the junco has learned to perch, instead of being a ground feeder.
Photobucket

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"May I come inside, please?"
Photobucket

By the way, that lump in the foreground is my patio table...

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

rabbit, rabbit, Happy February 1st! We have made it this far! March 1st is only 28 days away!

Here on my part of Cape Cod, the feeders are full, the water is clear, the suet is yummy and the snow is drifting down like soft sugar. The birds are happy. Not sure what the rest of the day will bring, but for now, all is well.

I am seeing more and more Cardinals and Butter Buns at my feeders and suet. The American Crows have also made my yard one of their favroite alfresco experiences as well as a beautiful Coopers Hawk. Oh my, s/he is a beauty. Yesterday the CH was so bold as to swoop down onto the deck as I was heading out to fill the tubes...a surprise for both of us.

So, for me, February 1st will be spent watching the birds and drinking warm tea. Ok...it might not be as perfect as all that, but a girl can dream... I hope your 2/1/11 is a good one.

sooey


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 1, 11 at 12:05

Emily: That squirrel really does look like it's pleading to come inside! You certainly have a lot of snow there (as I'm sure you've already noticed).

Sooey: That sounds idyllic, there on the other side of the bay, but is probably about to change. Snowing here now but I hate weather forecasts that include:

snow
freezing fog
freezing drizzle
sleet
ice
freezing rain
and rain,

all in one two day period, not necessarily in that order, and some recurring. At least I now have lots of snow shovels. I think I'll go out again with my broom to uncover buried birdseed.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Well, the beauty of the falling snow that was this morning lasted until just after noon. It then turned to wet, gray, yuckie rain which turned all that was on the ground to slush. It is now above freezing and I have shoveled the drive so I should be able to get out if needed.

The birds have had a grand time at the feeders since the sun came up. Lots and lots of birds, great numbers. I just wish it had been a count day for me. They are now full, sleepy and off to roost. Tomorrow is another day in bird land.

Emily...you have some SNOW! Do you have any idea how much you have in total? Pictures like that remind me how lucky we are here on the Cape.

I hope everyone is home, safe and warm.

sooey


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RE: Birds and snow features in the garden 2011 #2

Hello All,
After part 1 (6 inches) has passed by of this week's storm, we are at 81" for this season in NE CT. Even getting tired of measuring the snowfall...
I switched to a different mix of bird seed that had berries and nuts in it and now I have a cardinal pair... maybe coincidence, maybe not. Those of you more experienced with birds would know. I seem to have a lot more birds than normally, like you sooey. They are always waiting in the nearby trees for their turn at the feeder.
Wow - it is so delightful to see that bright red cardinal in an otherwise black and white woodland scene.
Emily, that poor squirrel looks a little like its talking to you in that last picture. I think its a young one.
Susan


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

I've never seen anything like it: more than a dozen juncos at the feeder, which like others is inches from the the top of the snow. I only saw one squirel at it and it was almost black. Really too beautiful to complain about....yet.

The feeders are being emptied at record rates. Dare I risk the roads to get more food because I am running out?

Love the pictures. That one of the squirrel tunneling out near the feeder is a classic.

Marie


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Sooey, yes, I have noticed there is a bit of snow out there! ;) According to forecasters, we are at about 60 inches for the season so far--not the record yet, but, January snowfall is a new record. Not up to poor Susan's amount in NE CT, but, enough to be pretty darn sick of it. As I type this, the sleet is pounding against the windows.

The birds are flocking to the feeders again this morning. It's always so interesting to watch...why do the chickadees always fly off with their seed, while the finches will sit and eat for a bit....I feed sunflower kernels, so the chickadee doesn't have to break the shell, so it's not that. Just the habit of the different species I guess!

As frustrated as I get with my squirrels at times, I really feel badly for them now! Anything that is out there, surviving in this surreal winter has my admiration and sympathies!

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Well,now that we've reached about 7 feet of snow in a month, the icing (literally) has been put on the cake this morning. I am very familiar with the de-icing of an aircraft's wings, but now wonder about the birds. This is real icing on their tail feathers.

I guess they just have to keep moving, but I wonder if that rudder ever gets impaired?
Today's batch of freezing rain/sleet has formed a crust that little feet slide across. I, however, still sink into drifts 4 feet high and no longer can roof rake standing in snow up over my lucky green underpants. There comes a time in every gal's life...so I took out my pocket knife (doesn't every gardener carry one?) and deiced the bird feeder. Looks like they already have enough icing problems.

Jane, the roof raker


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Jane, my fellow roof raker, I happen to have a white throat sparrow that visits my feeders that has lost it's tail completely. That leaves me wondering if it will grow back...

It can fly, although it looks like more of a struggle than the other birds.

I am so totaled from shoveling and raking and spreading de-icer. And another storm looms for Saturday...and Tuesday... :(

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 3, 11 at 12:13

In the backyard this morning I saw these tracks - the main ones maybe turkeys. At least these are paths I don't need to shovel. Turkeys are very good at scratching up snow if need be; come to think of it, maybe I should just lay out paths with birdseed and let the turkeys handle snow removal.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Oh My Goodness, seeing the snow that so many of you have right now is yet another reason for me to be happy that I live on the Cape. We have a good dusting of snow right now and not much more. I could sweep it away if need be.

Today is a count day for me and I have been rewarded with lots and lots of birds. I had six cardinals at one time this morning which is a record for me. They were there at the same time as several house finch, very much in keeping with the theme of valentines day. So nice to see so much red on an otherwise gray day. I also have way too many squirrls out there! Where do they come from...silly question, I know.

Emily, I am sorry to hear of you white throat sparrow, sans tail. Good that he can fly but I would also worry about drafts.

Claire, good catch on that hermit thrush. Not sure if I would have been able to spot that one. I guess the size would have gotten my attention but at first glance, they could be missed. I have been told that we have them here on the Cape but I have never seen or heard them. I still miss all of the thrush that we had in CT. I loved sitting out on my deck after dinner and hearing them. Such a beautiful sound. I miss the wood thrush as as well as the veery. Sweet sounds of the CT woods.

sooey


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RE:RE;RE; Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Gosh Claire, great shots of those tracks. Are they all turkey? And what fluffy snow you have! So different from what I have here on the other side of the bay.

sooey


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 3, 11 at 16:35

Some of them are probably turkey, others could be squirrel or dog or whatever. I didn't go out to look closely (and probably couldn't identify them anyway). That shot was taken from my bedroom window - I opened the casement window for a minute. It really felt good to open a window again! A dollop of fresh air and then I closed it fast to keep the heat in.

The snow was light and fluffy yesterday and whenever the tracks were made - now there's a hard crust over it.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Mr.and Mrs. Bluebird awaiting their turns at the nearly depleted suet. Watch what happened:

Look at her face!

Mr. Bluebird is not a patient chap. Time and again he will successfully force the downy off. There are 4 bluebirds nearby - they come when it's sunny.

Despite throwing seeds on the ground each and every time, that squirrel had to get down. I now have a tube feeder sans saucer and will use till the snow melts or July 4th - whichever comes first. (that's not funny)

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

I am so endlessly entertained by the comments and photos on this thread--that expression on the female bluebird's face made me laugh out loud!! What a great capture, Jane!

And Claire, your turkey print series could be set to Jurassic Park music...as, with each photo, they get bigger and bigger...stomping towards the house..."there better be seed out there, or else!"

And Sooey, I feel the same way about the thrush and veery's songs. I could listen to them all day--it's one of the things that makes summers special. Around here, the thrush starts singing around the beginning of May, and it's always a welcome sound. It will be especially welcomed this year!

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 3, 11 at 20:47

Jane: I also love the look on her face, and the way you captured the male diving. I love to watch birds take off like a diver off a springboard - up and then a graceful swoop down.

I don't have saucers on my tube feeders so the squirrels just hold onto the top with their hind feet and stretch down. Squirrels stretch very well.

I DON'T like that comment "till the snow melts or July 4th - whichever comes first." Shush!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 5, 11 at 13:21

A while back Jane mentioned how important it is to have trees or shrubs nearby with small twiggy branches that birds can get their little feet around. While I whole-heartedly agree with this, it's also true that sometimes a more sturdy perch is called for.

Turkeys celebrating sunrise this morning.
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Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Your turkeys have the best sanctuary in the country. Mighty oak perches, good,free food 24/7, a zillion Euro view, and someone to watch out for their safety all-the-while being free! They are lucky and special! The best my larger birds can get here are bluebird bookends:

The sentinels stayed for quite a few minutes. We'll never know what truly transpired up there this morning. There were 4 bluebirds--here are three- earlier checking out the mourning doves:

It was a busy morning and thankfully, a count day! High numbers today.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 5, 11 at 17:46

With that blue and orange/red color, I'm visualizing bluebirds wearing capes - SuperBlueBirds protecting the yard! Or maybe they're shepherds? Bluebirds herding doves....

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Shepherds, I'd say. There were 6 of them here today and farther from the feeder, a robin. First one I've seen this winter. What a PFW count this weekend! Wow.
Don't often get two males this close.

He was a good 75' away, so it's grainy and the windows need washing and I probably wasn't 100% steady, but it's a robin!

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 6, 11 at 17:47

Ah, the robins! Usually about now the robins start a daily check to see if the winterberry fruits are ripe yet. When they're en pointe, a flock of robins will descend, and maybe some Cedar Waxwings, and scarf up all the berries.

But this is the year of no berries (sob), and thus no robins either. I miss them.

On the other hand, I've never seen a bluebird at all. Thanks for the pictures.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

I have not seen them in 30 years,but today,cedar waxwings came. The robins appeared to be the scouts and I noticed them first in the ornamental pear. En masse, they cleaned the pear, crabapple and all chokeberries. So glad I was home. Have to wait another year for The Day the Berries Are Ripe!

This one looks like a painting to me

There is something about the smooth-feathered cedar waxwing that doesn't look real. They are the slickest looking birds around.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 8, 11 at 20:58

You were really lucky to be home! That last picture is a gem.

I know the few times I've seen Cedar Waxwings it's like the Lone Ranger just blasted into town, cleared out the bad guys, and rode off into the sunset - all in a few hours, leaving the townsfolk to mutter "Who were those masked birds?"

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Not birds, but I was in the middle of pouring my morning coffee this morning when I saw 2 coyotes parading across my back yard. They were way out down beyond the pond when I finally got my camera out. But with the help of the zoom lens and some cropping, I got a couple photos.

Coyote 1

Coyote 2


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 13, 11 at 11:07

Definitely mobile features.

Good reason to keep your camera nearby - you got the photos in time! Interesting that you saw two of them, I think this is the start of the breeding season for coyotes.

You live in a nicely wooded area.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 14, 11 at 15:47

Re waxwings: There are some amazing photos of Bohemian Waxwings on the Bird Watching Forum. The poster was at work and his wife took the photos. I've never seen a Bohemian Waxwing and don't really expect to, but they're gorgeous! I'm just imagining the scene when he got home and she said, oh, by the way, there were some interesting birds here today...

Waxwing Invasion...Snow Bath!

A Carolina Wren starting singing on my deck this morning, head up and belting it out. Another C. Wren bustled around listening. A sign of spring?

(I tried to photograph them but my camera kept focusing on the dirty glass.)

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Good shots, pixie, and gosh, the start of coyote breeding season...now there's an upper after Groundhog Day, lol. I came face to face with a coyote, about 15' away in my backyard two years ago September. Opened the back door to the garage and there he was moving in that familiar determined gait and looking like he just came from the poodle parlor - perfectly groomed and healthy. He did not change course despite my presence. I froze in place till he past me then I ran to the front of the garage and grabbed my cat who was sitting in the drive. Once you see that face of the wild, you don't forget the look. The chain is obvious when you garden almost daily: rabbits, then come the foxes and fishers, then the coyotes. If the black bears chip in for a canoe to cross the Connecticut River, we're up the creek. I'll stick to the birds and critters who run away.
Not everyone was cleared for landing.

Cedar Waxwing poppin' back a berry

The C. Wrens must have flown over to you, Claire. Haven't seen or heard them for several weeks.

Jane
Claire:Those Bohemian Waxwing pictures in your post are incredible.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

These were taken earlier this month. The suet feeder is just close enough to the window that I can get pretty good shots--birdfeeder, not so much.
I throw out whole peanuts to try to lure the squirrels away from the feeder, too. (Available at the supermarket and at Agway) The high snow piles make it easier for one acrobat to jump onto the edge, unfortunately.

Bluebirds in winter?! I thought they migrated! I'll have to set up a feeder with their special food. I don't think I have ever seen an Eastern Bluebird--just a Mountain Bluebird out in Idaho.

In order: the resident Carolina wren; snowy squirrel; red-bellied woodpecker (new Life Bird, yay!), and tufted titmouse. I also see lots of juncos, and the occasional cardinal or bluejay.

snowysquirrel
redbelliedwoodpecker
TuftedTitmouse


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 18, 11 at 13:19

sequoia54: that's a nice spot for the suet feeder. I've wondered about the cage in a cage feeders that supposedly allow little birds to get in but keep out big birds and squirrels. I see the wren gets inside OK, can the red-belly reach the suet from the outside when the suet is half eaten? I don't want to exclude woodpeckers.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 18, 11 at 16:55

A while back SCPearson said:

"Curious if anyone else had tree frogs move into their birdhouses this year. 4 frogs and 1 mouse took over half of my birdhouses mid to late summer this year. I never noticed that before. They were very brazen, frequently hanging out the doorways, watching the goings on and didn't move when I approached. I have photos, but still haven't taken the time to figure out posting on this site... will do it when I have more time.
Susan in NE Connecticut"

She emailed me her wonderful photos of very content tree frogs, plus a photo of a dragonfly on elephant ears. These are hers:

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thanks, Susan!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Frogs are truly posing - amazing shots, Susan. Never seen that happen before. Maybe I should make a few frog houses!

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Just love those frog shots! They look so smug in "their" houses.

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Claire, the red-belly has a long enough beak to reach into the suet feeder. The other regulars, besides the wren, are little guys--Downy woodpeckers and nuthatches.

I've had to move the regular birdfeeder out from the house, because the snow piles were so high the squirrels were jumping up to the tray and pigging out. I hoped to locate the ground bracket that holds the clothes hanger in summer--HA!--but settled for sticking the feeder pole firmly into the thigh high snow. So far it's staying upright!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Susan, I've heard of toad houses (usually something terracotta you snuggle into some damp shady soil) but frog houses? Perhaps the wood soaked up enough moisture this past warm and rainy summer, to make the bird houses pleasant frog habitats. The damper and moldier the better, LOL!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 22, 11 at 11:09

I've been waiting all winter for a Fox Sparrow to show up - I rarely see them here but yesterday one was happily noshing away with the other sparrows. Just in time for both the GBBC and the PFW counts.

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Here is the Fox Sparrow with (I think) a Savannah Sparrow on the bottom.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

An American Tree Sparrow on the top joined the others.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Carolina Wrens are still singing, although not today in the cold. I heard a chickadee fee-by a few days ago. Signs of spring.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Well, I'm glad they are stopping by to see you. So that's a fox sparrow? Hmm. Wonder how many sparrows I have not correctly identified? I really need to go to Sparrow ID School. Want to come with me, Emily?

Jane

Claire: about how far away from the camera were those sparrows?


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 22, 11 at 17:31

Jane: The first closeup photo was taken with my old Canon S5 IS camera, the other two with the new SX30 IS. The sparrows weren't far away, maybe twenty feet (guessing) from my kitchen window.

Because I don't quite trust the new camera yet (issues with closeups through dirty windows) I usually grab the old camera when I really want a closeup for identification and I have to move fast because the bird won't hold still. Once I've gotten a clear photo I switch to the new camera, unless I left it by another window. I was trying here to get other sparrows in the photo along with the Fox Sparrow. The multi-sparrow photos aren't that good but I decided to post them just to show the variety of sparrows you can get in the scrum of little brown birds.

This is a closeup shot of the Fox Sparrow using the new SX30 IS so you can compare the detail, just without the tail, but with the same dirty window.
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Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Sparrow ID school? You mean there's more than one type? ;)

Speaking of bird song, in the mornings I now often hear the cardinal singing, along with the occasional chickadee and titmouse. And, there are some blades of grass peeking out from the edges of the 2-foot tall snowbanks.

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 25, 11 at 16:11

Rain with strong winds today and most of the snow has gone, at least as seen from my computer window.

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I glanced out during a strong gust of wind and saw a chickadee blown out of control and up against the wall.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I've seen them momentarily cling to that wall but not long enough to see how. It looks as if (at least this time) the bird has wedged its feet under the shingle overlap. It took a few more blasts of wind and then left.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Poor little guy! If this corner is a 'bird catcher' during gales, will you be helping them out by installing a branch on which to perch?

The mourning doves here needed hip waders just to eat today. 2.5" of rain on frozen ground is a real knee-knocker for ground feeders. The whole feeder area is a lake with no possible drain, but it has begun to snow now; gee, that ought to help. Twenty-three days till spring!

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

This wasn't exactly in the garden, but I found it in the barn one night last week. The barn is next to one of my gardens and the other room acts in part as a garden shed, so it wasn't too far removed from the garden. Mr (or maybe Ms) Possum climbed partway up the wall when it saw me, and the next morning it was gone.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 26, 11 at 20:26

The possum probably thought it had found a wonderful safe shelter for the winter. Then this monster with a camera showed up - I''m out of here! At least it had one night. Hay/straw is really warm to burrow into.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Hope he comes back to get warm, Sped. We had one for a winter living in a pile of leaves in a corner of the garage. There is a forever-open cat hole which makes it easy for critters to trot right in for a night at the 'inn'. Opossums are such benign creatures - males can be a musky smelling - but have to admit when Oscar left in the spring, I missed his glassy eyes checking me out. They suffer greatly from frostbite and only live 2-4 years. If he comes back, are you gonna let him stay?

Kindly,
Jane (Oscar's landlady)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Oh he was welcome to stay if he'd wanted to. The barn has an open doorway and my old pony wouldn't have bothered him. It has an infrared heat lamp suspended from the ceiling, a water bucket at ground level that's kept de-iced, probably barn mice to eat as well as leftovers from the pony's dinner, and hay to burrow in - all the comforts of home. Could be the camera flash made him decide to move on, as Claire suggested.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Well, something happened to Mrs. Cardinal's tail feathers. She's down to 1 feather and that one is listing to the right.

Compared to Mr. Cardinal whose tail is, well, you get the idea..

And I think spring is in the air, the antics are starting:
John, please! The neighbors are watching!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 28, 11 at 16:44

Is that yellow I see on the goldfinch's wings? They're beginning to develop breeding color! A very good sign of spring.

Today the temperature went into the mid-fifties and I actually heard the red-wing songs (some people say "O-ca-ree", I hear "Skreeee"). A few red-wing males have been here for about a month but without a peep until today. Two grackles also appeared today and I heard their soft chit-chit calls; no creaking sounds yet. I'm sure they will all shut up as soon as it gets cold again, as it will, but the trend is definitely toward spring. Halleluja!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Not to beat a thin subject thinner, but I just found (I think) the answer to Mrs. Cardinal's 1 feather tail. Cat or hawk pulled it out. The tail feathers will grow back, I read.

Yes, that's yellow. I've noticed their color is increasing.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 28, 11 at 20:12

Oh, she looks really battered. I hope she makes it to spring.

Your photos are very good; I suspect you've become obsessed - cameras will do that to you.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 4, 11 at 12:07

I'm starting a new thread, 2011 #3, this one is getting very slow to load.

Claire


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