Return to the New England Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 27, 12 at 10:01

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:

The list is getting unwieldy so I'll follow pixie_lou's lead (in the Show us Your Landscape thread) and refer back to the Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6 post for a list of all the threads prior to 2012. For 2012, see Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1.

I have to start off with turkeys (surprise!).

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most handsome turkey of all?
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

and my favorite photo from the GBBC (not in my garden, but down the street a bit in the marsh).

Green-winged Teal - maybe a family of two adults and two youngsters.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

They are beautiful ducks, Claire. Haven't seen any, so thanks for the picture. Hard to beat those turkeys though. Just curious, what is that emerald green cylindrical thing by the turkey's left foot?

No picture this time, but an opossum is back in the recycling pail in the garage. Almost let a glass gallon jug go when I saw that the bag was missing again. He was all curled up at the bottom of the pail and could have been killed by a flying Reunite Lambrusco. This guy is smaller and younger than the last one. There is definitely an opossum X on my door.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 1, 12 at 18:03

Jane: The green thing is a cover for the connection between the extension cord and the bird bath cord. I'm always uncomfortable about slopping water over a live electrical connection. I use them with Christmas light cords as well.

This isn't the same as the ones I bought somewhere (green as well as orange) but it's similar.

Maybe you need something possum-proof, like the trash cans I use to keep birdseed on the porch. This photo was taken when they were still clean and shiny and the web straps didn't have teeth marks on them. They're on rollers so I can scoot them around.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

I've been observing lots of bird activity in the yard lately. The robins are back in full force. I swear they were skinny robins last week. But these guys are looking quite plump.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Lots of birds I can't quite identity hanging out in the grass. (The pine needles are the back corner of the veggie garden - I use pine needles as mulch around the raised beds.)
Photobucket

And tons of what I think are red wing black birds in a tree out back. When I saw them flying up to the tree, I saw lots of flashes of red in the wings.
Photobucket


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 3, 12 at 9:51

That is one very plump robin in your second photo, pixie_lou. Looks like it's about to topple over.

The blackbirds in the tree scenario always reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock; just a tiny bit ominous even though they're not threatening.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 9, 12 at 13:56

As a change from the usual Cooper's Hawks I see regularly, today I got a visit from what I think is a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It appeared out of nowhere, then chased a small bird out of sight. The little bird must have escaped because the hawk came back a few minutes later and perched on the hook looking around. The only birds left in sight were turkeys, much too big for a small hawk.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Good shot, Claire! You may feel the way I do, that that's a bit too close to us for hawks to feel so comfortable. However, after a Cooper's lazed on the edge of the heated bird bath on the deck 2 years ago, I realized after watching for a muscle cramp producing amount of time, that despite size, raptor, or not, a bird is a bird is a bird. Good shot.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 9, 12 at 15:15

Sometimes the hawks do get their comeuppance. A few days ago I saw a Cooper's Hawk land on the ground near some feeders, probably hoping to find an easy dinner.

A turkey hen nearby chased the hawk into the brush. I couldn't see what was going on but there was some shaking of a shrub. A few minutes later the hawk flew out, closely followed by the turkey on foot. The hawk flew up to the winterberry then looked around presumably to see if the turkey was coming after it.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The turkey moved on. Here the hawk was looking in the direction of the turkey. To me, the hawk looked like a very indignant, disgruntled bird, not used to being treated with such disrespect.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Turkeys continue to amaze me. I've seen them chase woodcocks and starlings, and now hawks. I imagine a hawk could wreak havoc on a brood of turkey poults so this turkey may have had bad memories of hawk predation.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

I'm pretty sure this is a Turkey Vulture. I've noticed them flying about over the past week and wondering what they were. I was in the front yard weeding when I heard my dogs barking out back. Investigating I saw nothing in the back yard except this guy sitting in a tree directly above my compost pile. No carrion around for it to feed on. I think it was just resting. It stayed in place for about 15 minutes allowing me to get some shots.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Steve


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 19, 12 at 13:47

And a very fine Turkey Vulture indeed, Steve! Maybe hoping for some nice meat scraps in the compost pile.

They're very graceful soaring with their wings in that V shape, a little less (OK a lot less) graceful perched.

Nice shots.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 21, 12 at 18:24

Not my garden but the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a lovely webcam set up for a Red-tailed Hawk nest.

There are two eggs now and the hawks are alternating incubating the eggs. The full screen view is great.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Things are quickly coming to life in our pond. the 2nd year tadpoles have emerged, i've seen 4 of my koi, and I had my first snapping turtle siting yesterday. I need to start keeping my camera in my pocket when I'm doing yard work!


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 12, 12 at 11:47

I don't have a pond like pixie_lou, so I was very surprised this morning to see a pair of mallards walking into the yard and settling in for a nosh. This is the area where I spread some wild critter food, hoping to keep the bigger critters occupied and away from the little bird food.

Maybe they followed the turkey trail figuring the turkeys know where food is? They walked up the driveway just like turkeys do. They stayed and ate for a few minutes and then flew off. I did see a pair last year a few times.

I'd forgotten how red their legs are, since I usually see them floating on water with the legs submerged.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Duck
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Drake
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Oh, by George, you are a lucky duck, Claire! They are just beautiful. In my next life, I'd like to live near water - I'll take a pond, a brook, just water with fowl about it. Nice pictures with that Canon, BTW.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

The ducks have been back in full force this year. Normally we have just had a pair of mallards, but this year I have 1 mama mallard and 3 papa mallards. Personally I am of the opinion that these are 3 bachelors fighting for the pretty girls attention. I can't bring myself to think that she may be a triple timing duck. But I guess I won't know until the ducklings are born - hopefully they will all look alike!

All 4 swimming peacefully in the pond
Ducks 1

The 3 bachelors
Ducks 2

The boys chasing the girl
ducks 3

Mama chasing the boys
ducks 4


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

I was making dinner a while ago and looked out my kitchen window to see a raccoon walking across the yard.
Raccoon 1

He went to go hide behind the compost pile.
Raccoon 2

When he saw me coming with the camera, he decided to climb the nearest tree.
Raccoon 3

Raccoon 4

They are kinda cute. But I still don't want to get too close to one.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 23, 12 at 17:01

All "Birds and other mobile features in the garden" threads from 2008 to 2011 are now in the New England Gardening Forum Gallery (switch from Discussions to the Gallery at the top of the main forum page).

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

I noticed a solitary turkey out by the pond yesterday.

Turkey

Then there was the red cardinal, walking in the green grass, amongst the purple violets.

Cardinal


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 25, 12 at 17:59

Ah, turkeys make fine lawn ornaments - and purple violets and red cardinals enhance the lawn too.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 26, 12 at 17:04

My lawn dragon has returned to the garden and is nesting in a new location, next to some Hawera daffodils. It seems to have laid a lovely red egg, which it is guarding ferociously.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

What a day outside my office window! I've reported my sighting to the Audubon Society because the top range for a Blue Grosbeak is New Jersey and West-according to Audubon,New England Edition, iPad format, 2012. In my backyard, today, along with 3 adult breeding Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and I saw a female, but didn't get her. I'm am SO excited! Here they are:

Rose Breasted Male Grosbeaks

And the next thing, there was a male Blue Grosbeak!

How great is this guy?

What a bird day - then two male Hairy Woodpeckers mirrored each other on the feeder and in the birches - a territorial dance - so it appeared.

Maybe others have seen a Blue Grosbeak in New England, but I have not. Sooo happy.

Kindly,
Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

One more thing - here's another reason why I don't care about dandelions in the lawn:

American Goldfinch standing on dandelion stem eating seeds. He has plenty to eat here, lol.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Jane, what stunning bird photos!! When I saw the first few pictures, I thought "Indigo Bunting..." how on earth do you tell the difference between them and a Blue Grosbeak?

I don't care about my dandelions either, much to the dismay of my manicured-lawned neighbors...but, I've never seen my goldfinches feeding on the seeds. How cool.

Emily
Western MA


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Well, your first thought was correct, Emily. I was wrong. Lucky for me, both CT Audubon and Cornell verified that he is an Indigo Bunting. It is my first time seeing one and from what I now understand, it is the size and beak shape that act as the first identifying traits, despite their near identical color and 'markings'. The indigo bunting is smaller and fortunately, he came back this afternoon. (still lucky to see one, I think)Beautiful bird.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, May 2, 12 at 18:32

Very nice photos of all the birds, and an Indigo Bunting is a beautiful bird to see even if you thought it was something rarer.

I once thought I'd seen a Cerulean Warbler in my yard, which would also be rare, but the experts I emailed the photos to said it was an Indigo Bunting molting into his winter plumage.

Sneaky birds those Indigo Buntings.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

It IS a beautiful bird, and, I would be thrilled to have one come to my feeders. After your original post, I "googled" Indigo Bunting vs. Blue Grosbeak, and, you would really have to know your birds to tell the difference. They are amazingly similar. Regardless, that's a gorgeous blue.

Emily
Western MA


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 12 at 10:24

I just followed Emily's lead and googled Indigo Bunting vs. Blue Grosbeak. There's a great photo showing a bunting beside a grosbeak.

Go to TheEarlyBirder.com and look at the first photo. The last few showing a mixed flock are great also.

Now if we could only convince the birds to always flock together we could fairly easily tell them apart...

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 12 at 12:29

First Baltimore Oriole at my new oriole feeder! He went to the orange slice (that's been sitting there for a while but still looks OK), but apparently didn't notice the jelly in the dish inside the covered portion. I just went out and added more jelly and a fresh orange slice.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

When I opened the door onto the porch this morning, there was an explosion of squirrel jumping onto the rail and then off the porch. Turns out I'd left an open bag of black-oil sunflower seed beside the armored birdseed containers, and the squirrel had been happily excavating the seed and leaving hulls on the porch. They usually check to see if I've forgotten to close the containers - I did once and heard loud banging as the squirrel shook the can around. I expect much closer surveillance by the squirrel for the next few days.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Wow. I've never seen an oriole - beautiful bird and the matching feeder is perfect staging. Very good shot, Claire.

Concerning the indigo buntings vs. blue grosbeaks, I'll have to defer to the pros for confirmation and just use sizing and beak shape as a guide. Plus, it's unlikely to see a blue grosbeak this far north, I guess.

But tonight, there were two male indigo buntings!

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 12 at 12:03

Jane: Have you seen any females around? They fit into that amorphous small brown jobs category, nothing like the blue guys. From my field guide, it looks like the female grosbeaks might be easier to distinguish from the female buntings. Heavier beak, distinct rufous wing bars.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Claire, I did see a female bunting two days ago when the first male appeared, but she flew before I could photograph her. I actually noticed her first in my kwanzan cherry because to me she does not look like just another brown bird, but is far less remarkable. It was her smoothness that caught my attention. She appeared more sleek than sparrows, finches, wrens, and smaller than Mrs. Cowbird, but that same type of feather smoothness. My initial impression was that she appeared to be quite refined in her all brown coat. I instantly knew that this was someone new.

You and I may be the only two here who snap crows doing their antics. This chap starting coming by himself last year as a baby with that young squawky voice and with a tentativeness that only larger birds seem to have while approaching a feeder. He's here lately with a mate or friend and no matter what, this is not an easy maneuver coming from directly under the feeder.


Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 12 at 17:43

What is this? A crow that thinks it can hover? This crow has been watching hummingbirds too long. I love the way the wings and tail feathers are all spread out.

Crows do have a sense of humor too, so it might just have playing.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Yesterday I had hundreds of Red Admiral Butterflies hovering around my patio. Literally I was dodging butterflies as I was trying to take care of seedlings. One finally sat still so I could go get my camera and take a photo.

Red Admiral Butterfly

I'm really new to "butterfly gardening". So I have no idea if this is the most common butterfly in the world or if this is something unique. I'm just happy he is here!


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 12, 12 at 10:46

Such a beauty! I'm not knowledgeable but some people here raise butterflies and would know.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 13, 12 at 10:37

My wisteria is getting around to blooming at its own pace - and the bumblebees are watching even more intensely than I am.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This morning this bumble was happily flitting around to all of the open florets.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Beautiful shot of the green winged teals, Claire, and the Mallards too. I've had flocks of very fat looking robins too, Pixie. It must be a good year for them. That's a great photo of the turkey vulture, Steve. I've only seen them once, from a boat on the bank of a narrow part of Lake Champlain.

Well this little newt isn't much, but he is a critter, climbing up the dogs' ramp to the back porch. He's in the red phase. I think they turn green when they head back to the water.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, May 15, 12 at 9:04

What a striking little lizard! He looks like a plastic kid's toy, or maybe a Gummi? The green sets him off beautifully.

It's too dry here (and too far away from a pond) to see newts and salamanders and all sorts of great lizards. You're lucky to have them.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

I figured I should continue the saga of the birds on my porch begun at http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/neweng/msg0313311511376.html?117
here on this more appropriate thread.

The finch babies in the old swallow nest have adult feathers now and I expect they will fledge soon.

The pair of swallows, who I assume are waiting to re-claim their nest, are still roosting on the ledge beside the nest at night. They are frequent visitors to the porch during the day too.

Now, at the opposite (north) end of the porch, a second pair of house finches is building a nest in the old house I built for them years ago. The last time it was occupied was in 2007. Mama finch is perched on the windchime here. She and her hubby have been going into the house with twigs in their beaks.

Here she is again, blending in with the decal image of her cousin, the gold finch.

And meanwhile the hummers have been zipping about drinking nectar from the feeder next to the swallow nest. It's a bird fest! The finches have a really melodious song, so there are sound effects that go with it.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, May 16, 12 at 16:46

You should call your porch the Peaceable Kingdom! All this amicable coexistence is exhilarating; I hope the barn swallows get to take their turn at the old nest.

Do you ever see a female house finch feeding the babies about to fledge, or is it always the male? I read one note in the Birds of North America Online site that said that sometimes the female will go off and build a second nest and lay eggs while the male stays and feeds the first brood. Presumably he'd join her after the first fledging.

This is a fascinating saga. Thanks for continuing it.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Hi Claire, that is fascinating info about the female moving on to build a new nest and leaving her hubby to babysit the first brood! I think that may be exactly what happened, because, come to think of it, the male is the only finch I've seen feeding the babies for some time now. I have seen two male house finches in my tree at one time, but it could be that only one of these males is calling my porch home.

The little finches in the old swallow nest have been flying today, returning to the nest, and then taking off again. I expect soon the swallows will have their old nest back. They have been showing some signs of impatience, flying at papa finch when he went to feed the babies, but he's a plucky little bird and persisted despite the swallows' objections.

There seem to be more hummingbirds this year at the feeder, all ruby-throated hummers. They were darting about and squeaking in annoyance when I went out to exchange their feeder for another with fresh nectar.

I call it more a bird soap opera out there than a peaceable kingdom!


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

This little video is too good not to share. (click on the arrow in the lower left corner of the web page to start the video)

Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: 4 Robins, 4 Weeks


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

I saw a pair of baltimore orioles in the garden today. Too bad I didn't have my camera with me. They were so beautiful. Last year they stayed around the garden a lot longer than usual. Have no idea why.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 26, 12 at 16:02

Very nice video, Jane. The ending was touching with the adult robin bringing food to an empty nest after the last fledgling had left.

Made me think of Fiddler on the Roof and Sunrise, Sunset

Claire (anthropomorphizing outrageously)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

That is a fabulous video of robins nest! I agree the ending is bittersweet, although mostly happy since the little ones successfully flew. I wonder if baby robins return to the nest to spend a night or two, as "my" barn swallows do.

I never had an idea that blue grosbeaks existed! Probably the few very bright blue birds I've seen were all indigo buntings, since I'm pretty far north.

Back to the birds on my porch, the house finches all fledged out of the old swallow nest, but the swallows apparently decided they could not wait for the lease on their old nest to be up and they have built a new nest on the outer ledge of the porch (although they still spend nights perched on the inner ledge beside their old nest). I think they are either sitting on eggs or feeding young swallows now. One of the parents is on the nest in this picture.

And meanwhile the pair of house finches are caring for little ones in the nest box (just visible in the corner of the porch in the photo above). Here's Mr. Finch perched on the windchime near the door of his house.

They've all made a heck of a mess on the porch, but the trim needs scrubbing and painting soon anyways!


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 27, 12 at 9:46

That's quite a bird apartment complex you have there, spedigrees1 It must be a great place to sit (watching your head, of course). The wind chimes really provide nice options for perching. There must be a lovely chorus of chimes when the wind blows.

It'll be fascinating next year to see which nests get occupied and by whom. Or maybe there will be another round of nesting this summer (it's still only May!)

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 27, 12 at 12:02

PM2: I haven't been seeing orioles for a while, although somebody's been eating the apricot jam, which is an oriole magnet. Catbirds prefer the blackberry/blueberry mix which I also put out, so I figured orioles were around.

This morning I noticed a second bearded iris was in bloom and wanted a photo to document the date and ID. While I got my camera (I was shooting from the kitchen window), an orange spot appeared on the iris stalk. It was an oriole, who seemed to be nibbling on something on the stalk and flower, maybe a bug. It even rode one iris down to the ground.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So they're around here, just not in sight. With the nice weather I haven't been staring out the windows as much, and all the new leaves are obscuring the view. I know birds are out there because all of the seed gets eaten, and I hear all sorts of calls.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Beautiful! It doesn't get much better, Claire! Lovely.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

What great pictures, Claire! We have orioles, but I've never got into feeding them. Perhaps they eat bugs on my iris stalks too.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

This afternoon I was not alone in the garden (we never are).
he really looked as though he was praying

because below was his nemesis, Ivy

the chipmunk has reason to 'pray' inasmuch as Ivy thinks of his kin as presents to leave in the garage.
Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Enjoying all the photos here. Everyone takes such great photos! I don't have the patience to take photos of moving targets. (g) It's also that time of year that the window air conditioner is in two windows I normally look out and that leaves just the kitchen window. I am out in the yard more but the birds usually wait for me to go in the house to enjoy the garden. We filled a large feeder on Sunday and it was empty by Sunday night, so I know they are out there. And the birdbath water has to be changed every day.

How nice to have swallows nesting where you can watch them, spedigrees! I don't think I've ever seen a swallow near me. I don't think we have enough open space nearby.

Quite the gardening companion Jane. Is your cat an entirely outdoor cat that wanders off or does she stay in the garden with you? I've been in a skirmish with a chipmunk who insists on using a tunnel that he made in a place I don't want it, so I filled it up w small rocks, but he dug them out. Then I put a large rock on top of the opening and he dug around it. I had some hardware cloth somewhere that I was going to cover it with, but I didn't find it before cover crop seed surrounding the hole sprouted and now I can't put the hardware cloth down without wrecking it. So I guess he won. (g) So I wish I had a cat in the garden. Yours is gorgeous.

Love your oriole photos Claire! They eat a lot of bugs, right? Now if they would just eat winter moth caterpillars wouldn't that be great.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Hi PM2 - Ivy is mostly indoors, but she does follow me around the yard and fortunately, she has never left our yard. She's nearing 11 years old, so her stoic paths are set. Every Seal Point Siamese I've had has been more like a small dog than a roaming cat. One I had for 18 years, Heather, use to ride in my garden cart and followed me up the ladder when I cleaned gutters. I'd be lost without her.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Jane, you are very lucky to be able to take the cat out with you and trust her not to run off. The best of both worlds. The only experience I've had with Siamese cats was when I was about 8yrs old and a friend had one who would sit on the top of the refrigerator and swipe at anyone who came in the door. lol Your cat looks very pleasant tempered. I wonder if the 'Seal Point' has a better temperament? You must have taken very good care of Heather that she lived to such a ripe old age. And a cat that does gutters?! lol

My son has 3 cats, he had 5. (g) A friend asked him to take her adult cat and he had a dog at the time and had never had a cat, so he took her. Neither of them realized the cat was pregnant. *sigh* One day he came home from work to 4 little newborn kittens. He fell in love with them and kept them all. He was lucky his landlord allowed him to, but when he moved, could not find an apartment that would take that many animals. Naturally. So we ended up taking 2 of his cats despite my husband having an allergy. We kept them almost 9 months. They had never been out of the house since birth and I always wanted to bring them out in the garden, but I didn't dare. We were very happy someone my husband knew at work took the two siblings together. They were SO sweet and good natured. I do miss them. But they are much better off in their new home. There are 4 kids all different ages, that love the cats and a Golden Lab that is friendly toward cats and they chase each other all over the house all day.

I wonder, does your cat take interest in the birds? Nice to have a cat to keep the population of chipmunks manageable.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

I love your garden kitty, Jane, and I don't doubt she's a fearsome predator of chipmunks. My childhood companion was a seal point Siamese cat who lived to be 17, and he was definitely more dog-like than cat-like.

My current kitty (below) is 19 now so her outdoor time is mostly spent sleeping on the front porch and only in the summer months. But she was a mighty hunter in her younger days. When they get too old to keep down the rodent population, they make very attractive garden ornaments!

Yes, prairiemoon, it is our open land that attracts the swallows. I love to watch them skimming over the top of the meadow catching insects. When their young ones fledge, the whole family is out there flitting through the air and perching on the high wires that cross our land.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Oh, Sped, what a beautiful picture! She is special! You never know, we had Sara, a gray cat (with a red personality), for 22.5 years, so your pretty gal may have a few summers to go. Like us, you must run a good cat house, lol.

PM2 - I WISH I lived near a conserved area. 'Fraid the closest we come is living near a right-wing Lutheran organist, but there are horses across and up the street. Fortunately, Ivy pretty much ignores the birds and has not killed one yet. She favors 4 legged things and the random slithering thing...yuck.

Claire? Today I noticed a Blue Jay mimicking a Broad Winged Hawk. Darn thing got me to dash into the house for my camera thinking 'Oh, boy, BW hawk in flight" only to find this B Jay clearing out the bird feeder area with his mimicking. It is effective! Have you had a mimicking Blue Jay?
The Broad Winged hawks fly overhead around noon time and shortly thereafter, this Blue Jay mimicks them.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 31, 12 at 17:40

I'm enjoying the cat photos and remembering my own cats, Siamese, domestic and somewhere in between, most of which lived to between 17 and 20 years, and are sorely missed.

Indoor cats primarily, with occasional excursions to yards or to snooze on the deck.

Jane: I've never seen a Blue Jay mimic a Broad-winged Hawk, but it must have been having a wonderful time. That photo is a hawk though, isn't it? Doesn't look like BJ to me.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

The picture is BWHawk that flies overhead daily.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, May 31, 12 at 18:01

Shucks, I was hoping that this was a really really good BJ mimic.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Spedigrees, what a cute kitty cat, she doesn't look 19 years old! She looks like she could be around for a LOT longer, she is in such good shape. Good job taking care of her.

Sounds like fun watching a family of swallows all summer and having a meadow nearby. Meadows are one of my favorite landscape elements. Growing up we used to drive by meadows in our travels in our area, but they have all but disappeared. Glad to know they are still around in other areas.

Jane, you do have quite the wit. :-)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

Mr Blue Jay has been hanging out on the patio ever since I started bringing out the gladioula pots

Mr BlueJay


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 1, 12 at 9:05

Nosy birds, Blue Jays are - nice of you to amuse them, pixie_lou.

Jane: I had a eureka moment last night! When I saw your question about blue jays mimicking hawks and a photo of the hawk, my mind said "oh, the BJ was imitating the FLIGHT of the hawk!" It only took me about four hours to realize you were talking about mimicking the SOUND of the hawk. My mind sometimes goes off in odd directions.

Anyway, I've never heard a BJ imitating a hawk, but I did hear one imitating a flute. About a month ago I was listening to a Vivaldi piece with flutes and cellos and whatnot. It was warm out and the slider to the deck was open. I kept hearing a bird call in the middle of the piece, and when it was over I saw a couple of BJ's, one of which kept making lovely flute-like sounds I've never heard before. It was obviously the bird which was nodding its head with each sound.

I like Blue Jays.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

"The Blue Jay frequently mimics the calls of hawks, especially the Red-shouldered Hawk. These calls may provide information to other jays that a hawk is around, or may be used to deceive other species into believing a hawk is present." - all about birds.org

However, those that mimic Vivaldi fall into a specific classification known as the Colonial Classicists. Those Blue Jays who imitate Sousa, usually fall off their perch.

Imitators in the garden are bountiful right now. This Cat Bird, that does mimic almost everything, must have gotten a belly ache from green serviceberries. The young trees have been in for 3 years, and I have yet to see the berries turn blue (they're supposed to) nor have I gotten one myself.

Catbird popping back a serviceberry:

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell Univ., allaboutbirds.org


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 3, 12 at 11:53

Well, anything that delights in eating caterpillars (shudder) should have no problem with green berries. My stomach is crawling at the thought of eating caterpillars .... I really must do something about this imagination...

Anyway, I just started a new thread, 2012 #3, to ease the loading time.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the New England Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here