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Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 3, 12 at 11:49

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:

All of the threads in the Birds and other mobile features in the garden series prior to 2012 are now stored in the New England Garden Forum Gallery. See the top of the main page to switch between Discussions and Gallery. For 2012, see Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #1 and Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #2.

I was waiting for some new turkey pictures to start off the new thread and this morning the birds obliged. I was sitting on the deck eating breakfast and I heard a clucking sound. Sure enough, a turkey hen was shepherding her clutch of six chicks through the yard.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This is the first I've seen in the yard here this year, although I've seen a few out in the neighborhood when I walked in the last few weeks. I was worried because last year I only saw one chick, one time, and I was afraid the predators had gotten them all. Fisher cats had been seen and heard around here. It looks we're back to normal.

Claire


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

This is my favorite thread. I've been watching your turkeys from afar for the past few years and sincerely hope the fisher cats leave well enough alone. Your yard would not be the same without these little guys. Very special.

No turkeys here for a number of years, but the leucistic cardinal stopped by again yesterday. I think it's a married female, not sure, didn't get a chance to ask her. I think she's pretty. Kind of looks like a small, fancy chicken.


Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 3, 12 at 16:38

She is indeed a very pretty little bird. It's good to know she survived the winter and I hope you are blessed with young cardinals that look like their mom. I wonder what the genetics of leucistic birds is. Probably recessive, but you never know.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 4, 12 at 16:31

It's a gray, damp day, temperatures in the very low 50's (15 to 20 degrees below normal, according to the weather forecast!). Guarding the feeder in these conditions can be more difficult for a little hummingbird, but this male took shelter within the big rugosa rose which is conveniently sited right next to the feeder. I just saw him take some hearty sips then fly back into the rose.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm also seeing at least one female at the feeder regularly now, after a while when only males were around. The male doesn't chase her away.

I'm not sure how significant this sighting of the female is - gray, damp days in the very low 50's mean that I'm at the computer window again (indoors), rather than out on the deck with my laptop. The deck feeder is less visited.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

What fun it must be to have a family of turkeys in your back yard, Claire! Sort of like keeping chickens without the work, albeit without the eggs as well! They're much more wary of people here, with so many hunting seasons open on them, although not this time of the year.

Your leucistic cardinal IS pretty, Jane. Not something you see everyday, that's for sure. She probably has enough color on her to keep her safe from predators. It would be cool if even one of her offspring had her color mutation.

This was not a good day for me. I lost my favorite pasture ornament today when our Shetland pony decided to pass on after 36 years. I'll miss her companionship while gardening. Here she was helping me paint my flu liner planter a few years ago, together with my old collie, also gone now.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Oh, Marci, I'm sorry. Those are such wonderful pictures of a happy, peaceful little family. Those of us who love pets and treat them as family members, fully understand. She was lucky to have you, and you her. So sorry.

Kindly,
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 4, 12 at 21:05

36 years is a big chunk of your life to share with any living thing - you must have so many memories tied to the pony (and to the collie). The pasture will have a big hole in it for a long time to come.

That's a very nice planter and perhaps looking at it will often remind you of that happy day and the friends that have passed.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Thank you Jane and Claire, for the kind words of condolence. Yes, the pasture does seem lifeless without its star attraction. Actually we had Ruby for only 33 of her 36 years, but you're right, it was a very long association, the longest of any of our animals (and we've had other horses, cats & dogs who lived into their 30s, 20s, and teens respectively). I'm glad the good hubby decided to take these photos from the window and capture a glimpse of my favorite activities with my dear old companions.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 7, 12 at 17:59

I don't understand why mallards every once in a while visit my yard. After all, I don't have a pond here, the nearest pond is down the hill, and the marsh is a bit farther away. But today I looked out and a mallard drake was serenely noshing at the feed usually eaten by crows and such.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

He knew I was watching but didn't seem to be particularly worried about it. The whole visit only lasted a minute or two, although he may have moved on to a part of the yard that I can't see from my window. I wonder if the ducks come more often but I just don't notice.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

While I was photographing the duck a chipmunk ran out onto the porch and seemed to be watching as well.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Claire, thanks for starting this thread! It's wonderful and I love your turkeys!
Jane, that 'married cardinal' is beautiful and you're right, she looks like a funky little chicken!
Marci, I'm so sorry about your beloved pony. Those pictures you posted are wonderful and hopefully you can go to them for comfort when you need to.

Here's a picture of a turtle who somehow managed to find his way into our back yard.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

One more
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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 9, 12 at 7:14

That's a beautiful turtle, littleredshed. An eastern box turtle, I guess? (I just did some quick googling, since the only turtles I've seen around here are snappers).

In the second photo it looks like it decided it was safe to come out again - the photographer wasn't going to eat it.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

It's turtle egg laying season, so this is the time of year they venture out of the ponds onto land to lay their eggs. (Infact I was out behind the pond laying mulch yesterday afternoon while a snapper politely waited at the edge of the pond for me to move. As soon as I left, she climbed out).

Since I'm seeing red spots on the edge of the shell, I would guess that littleredshed has a painted turtle there.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 9, 12 at 11:38

eastern painted turtle looks good to me. Is there a pond nearby?

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

I love your turtle pictures, LittleRedShed. I always thought painted turtles were the prettiest of turtles. (We had snappers and box turtles too growing up west of Boston, but the painted turtles were most prevalent.)

This red winged blackbird was picking bugs or grubs out of the grass while I was out by the veggie patch. I love the sort of electronic whirring noise these birds make.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Sigh..thanks for the memories Claire. I lived on the South Shore most of my life; I saw and had in my yard all the wonderful animals pictured here. I now live in a "city" although we have lots of tree's and the beach. But the birds..sparrows, starlings, pigeons, a pair of mourning doves, an occasional robin, maybe female purple finches and today I saw my first grackle! Oh and I did have a few junco's in early spring, a male and female cardinal a few times. Of course the occasional sea gull on it's way to Burger King lol.

I watched live videos of great blue herons recently and as they were in their nest and rather quiet, I could hear the symphony of birds at dusk that were in the woods surrounding them. It warmed my heart..it moved me and surprised me how much I miss them. I left it on just to hear the other bird lol.

As I sit now, I hear the starlings..fighting over territory I think, or maybe garbage someone left out, the sparrows twittering as they take their daily dust bath in the firehouse yard next to me and fight over the feeder.

Even though the pickin's are slim, I am thankful for these birds, for now lol..need to attract some others. Thought I heard a Baltimore Oriole once......


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

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

Red-wings have mostly vacated the premises now, although I think I saw a female yesterday on a feeder. Grackles abound and I'm hoping to see the new broods come hopping in soon. The trouble is that one set of feeders is now obscured by vegetation so I don't know who feeds there. I still fill those feeders because the birds are hungry (and I'm a sucker for hungry birds). In past years the crows announced the fledging of grackle babies - crows seem to really like grackles. Little cousins?

Elijahs.mimi: I also lived on the South Shore growing up, then I took off to see the world. I ended up spending a number of years in the East Village (pigeons and rats and people in outlandish plumage), with a short sojourn in Germany (hedgehogs outside my window!). You learn to appreciate what you have.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

In addition to the turtles laying eggs, it seems like last years eggs are finally hatching. I read somewhere that it is not unusual for snapping turtle eggs to over winter and hatch the following spring.

On my morning walk, I saw what I thought was shells in the pond. Turns out they are egg shells.

Eggs

Further investigation showed lots of little holes in the ground nearby.

Holes

No pictures of baby turtles. I took numerous walks down to the pond today looking for additional babies. But no luck.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Claire/Pixie Lou,
Thanks for the ID on the turtle! I agree, it looks like an Eastern Painted Turtle. Claire, there's a lake across the street from our house, so I'm guessing that explains it!
Pixie Lou, those egg shells are cool, amazing!
Spedigrees, we have the red winged blackbirds too. I didn't know what they were until recently, when I looked it up.

I saw a bizarre sight today at the feeder. (At least it's bizarre to me) There were four unidentified birds at the feeder and two were taking seed from the feeder and feeding it to the other two birds (maybe juveniles?. I'll try to take a picture of the unidentified birds and post this week. Surely, someone here might know what they are.

I saw a Baltimore Oriole this weekend too! First time I've seen one in our yard! It was very exciting!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 11, 12 at 12:54

pixie_lou: I hate to say this, but those egg shell pictures look suspicious in the pond. When the eggs hatch, the shells should be left behind as the hatchlings burrow out of the ground. The baby turtles should then start walking towards the water. I don't see how they would bring the egg shells with them. I suspect the eggs started hatching and some predator saw them and grabbed the babies, then dug up the rest of the eggs, maybe bringing them to the water to wash them before eating them (crows and gulls do that - my birdbaths often get sand in them).

I hope I'm wrong.

littleredshed: That definitely sounds like two parents feeding the young. What do the birds look like? (photos are best)

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Claire - I was wondering about the shells in the pond. To be honest, I don't know much about turtle hatching. And since I already have at least 4 large snappers in the pond, I won't be disappointed if the number does not increase. The heron was here this morning spending a lot of time in that area.

But as far as my daughters concerned, she counted egg shells and she thinks we have 19 baby turtles in the pond. And I will not tell her otherwise.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 12, 12 at 11:38

Pixie_lou: The heron sounds like a likely suspect to disappear baby turtles, but this is all conjecture. Without concrete evidence, it's quite reasonable for your daughter to assume there are 19 baby turtles in the pond. Nineteen baby turtles plus at least four adults! Turtle gridlock!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

The heron theory sounds correct and yes, 4 snappers in one pond seems ample to me! A snapper from the brook down the hill an acre away, about once a year stops traffic by sunning in the middle of the road. He's big enough and lucky enough so far that drivers have stopped to scoot him back into the woods or the guy across the street picks him up by the tail and puts him a bucket for his trip back to the brook. One of these days...

In the mean time, during the last rain, the returned hummer sat in the chokeberry zapping 'no see ums'.


You can see just the tip of his (her? Claire?) tongue sticking out. Sometimes I think I see a female (sans red neck) on the feeder, then with a turn of the head, the light changes and the red becomes apparent, thus, me then thinking it's a male. As long as they know.
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 12, 12 at 16:06

Yes, I see the tongue in the second photo! Nice shot!

Probably a female, but could be a juvenile male. I just found a nice website with all sorts of information and pictures of adult and young ruby-throats.

There's a nice statement:
"All hummingbirds are fully grown and capable of flight when they leave the nest; there are no "baby hummingbirds" at feeders. In other words, baby hummingbirds can't fly. Any tiny hummingbird that is hovering at a flower or feeder is undoubtedly a Hummingbird Moth."

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

That website is excellent! Answered many of my questions. Danke.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

This is a very poor quality picture, but I love how the wild bunny looks like just another statue in my gnome garden. I'd hoped to get a better shot of him, but he always waits for partial darkness to come out to forage. He and his compadres seem to prefer the clover to my garden plants thankfully.

Photobucket


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 18, 12 at 17:27

That bunny does indeed look like it belongs with the gnome. I couldn't resist doing a bit of googling (I have a suppressed need for a garden gnome) and I found this Snoozing Gnome + Bunny Friends Garden Statue. I guess there's a long history of gnome-bunny association.

Claire


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RE: Gnomes

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 18, 12 at 18:12

Well, I just spent about a half hour going through Amazon's Gnome collection. Ninja gnomes, sumo gnomes, support our troop gnomes, squatting and mooning gnomes, various NFL and MLB gnomes, and even a Boston Red Sox Garden Gnome and, on top of that, a Boston Red Sox PATRIOTIC Garden Gnome just in time for the Fourth of July.

I'm stunned (and tempted).

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Oh Claire that is too funny! Boston Red Sox gnomes, who would think it!? You should go for it! Let out your inner gnome! LOL

They hide unobtrusively in small shady corners, so your gardens need not take on a red neck trailer park yard look due to an obvious gnome presence if you don't wish it. They can have a tendency to multiply though, so I'm told. My own population stopped with two. The fishing gnome with his string of trout (or minnows?) was so perfect coming up over the bank of our brook that I had to buy him, but then he seemed to need a buddy, hence the second gnome riding the turtle.


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Gnomes and Bunnies

I have to admit I'm sorely tempted by the Snoozing Gnome + Bunny link you posted, but I'm resisting the temptation! After all I have the enough gnomes and living bunnies.

In another area of my land I have a couple thick slabs of white marble lying in the grass, that were there when we bought the property. Initially I thought it would be a perfect spot for a flower pot or garden statue, but it has been a favorite perch for my own cats over the years, as well as the neighbor's cats, so it has more interest as a base for these living garden statues, ever changing and reappearing in different fur colors.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Well, pixie, Claire, Sped, - I'll trade you 3 chipmunks for a turtle, mallard and a rabbit. AND, I'll throw in a bag of peanuts. They grocery shop under the bird feeder and in my veggie boxes and strawberries (all gone). But is it simply for sport that they tunnel under newly planted hydrangeas? This guy shops methodically:

Millet, peanuts, cashews, sunflower...check

Got everything on his list

And heads for home

So, do we have a deal, ladies?

Jane


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RE: critter trade

I'll happily trade you a rabbit; we have plenty to spare. That little guy is seriously cute! We have chipmunks but they seldom venture down out of the woods. They like the stone walls and I think they harvest quite a bounty from the nut trees up there.

I'm sorry about your veggies and strawberries. :-( I can't guarantee that a bunny I send wouldn't also have a taste for the same. I hope your hydrangeas stay safe.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 20, 12 at 6:43

I haven't seen the mallard for a while, so I can't guarantee he's available for a trade. However, I have a really cute, healthy and hungry woodchuck that would probably really enjoy living in your garden. A few more chipmunks here won't make that much difference (except in my peanut budget).

I would be delighted to trade the woodchuck for a few cute chipmunks. Deal?

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Claire - NO! No deal by the pound.

J


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Jane - chippy is adorable. Why would you want to get rid of him? I'm happy to keep my turtles, but I'd be willing to trade you 500 bull frog tadpoles for a chipmunk. Deal?
Tadpoles
It takes 2-3 years for a bull frog tadpole to develop into a bullfrog. As you can see, we have both 1 year old and 2 year old tadpoles. You can take your pick in the trade.

Our "pet" squirrel, Henry, was lounging around the deck railing today. He was totally sprawled out on the banister. He was scooting on his belly - and for a minute I was worried that his hind legs were broken or something. But I think the heat was just getting to him. He was also probably mad at me for not leaving pretzels out for him. (the photos are a bit blurry since i tood them thru the window).
Henry 1

Henry 2

Henry 3


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

hahahahaha, you two are waaay too generous. I really couldn't. Really. I'm using I Must Garden deer repellant where 'Chippy' likes to unearth plants,and it appears to be working so far. He'll find other areas to tunnel through. I brought tadpoles home when I was kid and put them in a small fish bowl. In a few weeks there were mini frogs jumping out onto a Chippendale mahogany pie crust tilt top table. I learned about my mother's sense of humor (which was excellent)and it took me all of one August afternoon to catch them and bring them back to the brook. That was better than losing the ten cent turtle under the Bendix washing machine. Guess I'll keep Chip n' Dale.

Jane :)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 21, 12 at 9:58

pixie_lou: I'm amazed that those tadpoles coexist with the snapping turtles. They must be fast! or have invisibility cloaks.

After yesterday I think I understand how Henry felt - if my railing was wider (much wider) I might have spread out on it myself.

Jane: At your recommendation I just ordered the I Must Garden All Natural Groundhog repellent to repel my woodchuck (hopefully it knows that a woodchuck is also known as a groundhog and will be repulsed). Even if it doesn't work, the phlox stems will smell good (botanical oils).

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 23, 12 at 12:44

Time for a turkey baby update. I can't get them to stand next to the door frame to be measured, but they're definitely much bigger. The other day I looked at them, thinking "oh, look at the cute little turkeys". Well, next to the mother hen, they looked little, but one of them walked by a mourning dove and the dove was dwarfed (and very respectful of the huge baby turkey).

Here they're gobbling up nyjer seed I put out for whatever. Feeding turkeys ain't cheap.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

I see but three of the original flock of 6 babies. Are the others just out of camera range, or did they fall victim to something? They certainly have grown. (Maybe it would be cheaper for you to buy chicken feed for them. It must take a lot of nijer seed to fill all their collective bellies!)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 23, 12 at 13:18

There seems to still be six, but they spread out more. I've read that as they get older the males and females split up (even when little) and I've noticed that one bunch will hang around mom while the others will go off exploring. I saw this last year as well. But when she gives out the "cluck cluck" sound they all come together.

They also eat the mixed seed I put out in other areas. I just put nyjer in the view of my computer window all year round to lure birds within easy sitting down sight (me sitting down). I mostly started this for the various sparrows and juncos but the turkeys found out pretty quickly. Now that the sparrows, etc. are off eating wild stuff, I put out a token amount for the turkeys.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 25, 12 at 18:11

On a smaller scale, the grackles are bringing their fledglings into the yard with great fanfare (lots of creaking sounds and dramatic feeding/gaping shows). Usually the fledglings land on the ground, this is the first time I've seen one settle on a birdbath waiting to be fed.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Here the adult is forced to continue feeding the fledgling since the baby can't reach any food. When the fledgling is on the ground there seems to be a point where the adult flies off, leaving the kid to look around until the light bulb comes on. There's food lying around here! I don't have to wait for someone to bring it to me! I can find food all by myself! You can almost feel the relief of the exhausted parent. Now there's just showing the kid where the different kinds of food are, and get them to be stronger flyers, and then suddenly the main flock will leave. Until next spring.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 28, 12 at 17:08

Finally got a shot with all six turkey chicks together with the hen.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Two of the chicks at an improvised bird bath. I had to put the stone in the saucer because the chicks kept tilting it and spilling the water out.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This must be one tough, or smart, hen. Of the five or six hens that were here during the breeding season, she's the only one with chicks. The other hens have begun to come back to the yard. One of them had one chick, but that one chick was caught by a cat and likely dragged into a house, rescued, and brought to a wildlife center.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Sitting on the deck having our morning coffee, we saw our resident osprey trolling along the Oyster River. Sure enough, in a few minutes she had caught a fish. We watched her perch on a tree across the river --- the silvery, bloody fish glistened as the sun caught it. But instead of eating, the osprey was hiding from a smaller bird that had been dive-bombing and harassing her on the hunt! We watched as this angry little bird (probably a mother protecting her nest) went in and out of the tree. The larger osprey flinched and twisted but couldn't swipe without dropping her catch.

Our mounted scope and binoculars gave us a good view of the osprey trying to 'lay low' but with no telephoto lens for the camera, there was no way to record this event. This osprey's nest has been on top of an electrical pole on the corner of a busy street since early spring. Since there's no place to stop and view the nest, it's really secure. You get a terrific, but brief, view of the nest as you go through the light and drive down the hill. I've included a link to a local paper and a photo taken by one of the photographers.

I LOVE sitting on the deck looking at the river --- at the wildlife, plants, how the sun travels across the sky and all the activities of Mother Nature. This thread is wonderful! So many people are too 'busy' to notice all the great things around them. Better than TV!

Molie

Here is a link that might be useful: New Haven Register


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 30, 12 at 17:38

Oh, Molie, observing nature is MUCH better than watching TV - not only can you watch it unfold, but it does it without a published schedule, and you can't just flip channels with a remote.

Your osprey story reminds me of a photo in the Denver Post of a small western kingbird attacking a red-tailed hawk. Gives me hope that I may succeed the next time I run into a Goliath.

A little while ago, (I'm out on my deck with my laptop and camera (and a glass of ice water), the turkey hen and chicks came by and were suddenly chased by the neighbor's dog. They all erupted up to the trees and hung around for a while enjoying the view and acting rather proud of themselves.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

One of these seemed to be saying "Do I HAVE to come down, Mom?"

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

After a while she flew down and called the chicks to join her. All six of them obediently dropped down. I'm sure they all roost in the trees every night but probably across the street not by the bay.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 4, 12 at 12:02

OK, what just happened here? I was on the way to the kitchen and glanced out the window and saw a woodchuck climbing up the steps to the porch.

Trick or Treat? Extortion? ...or, heaven forbid, have I gotten a new pet?

Maybe it saw me feeding peanuts to the chipmunk? I noticed lately that the woodchuck has been eating the wild critter food I put out for crows and whatever (whole corn, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc.) That's fine with me, so long as it doesn't eat the phlox.

"This is where she comes from when she chases me..."
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

"I can see her through the window..."
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

"I guess she's not coming out with food, maybe I'll try later..."
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I don't know yet whether the Groundhog Repellent works. Right after I got it the heavy rain started, and the plants didn't get dry long enough for the spray to dry on the remaining stems and leaves. I sprayed again on the first dry day so I'm waiting to see.

Happy Fourth of July!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Excellent photo catch! How can you spray now that you've met him? Just spray the phlox and not the porch. My fault you bought the spray in the first place so now that you and Chuck are buds, I'll send you $10 for more peanuts. He is cute (and we're suckers). That second shot says it all.

Jane :)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

New swimming trunks? If he shows up in jammies, I'll let you know.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 4, 12 at 18:24

Chipmunks are such dapper little rodents - I like the striped life preserver vest he's wearing with the swimming trunks (or maybe it's a tankini she's wearing....)

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Claire --- what a cute, but cheeky, little woodchuck you've befriended. Just don't leave your door open or he'll come right inside looking for the kitchen!

Pixie Lou --- Henry is adorable and he obviously believes that the deck is his.

Jane --- great shot of the chipmunk sportin' those trunks.

The more I see of all your great photos, the more I wish I had a better camera. Sad Mole, here.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

After 6 of them played in the water and tipped it, one stayed on for a siesta in dry gulch.

Looks hung over to me.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 5, 12 at 17:49

Oh, that's wonderful, Jane! That must have been some party, and he/she sure does look hung over. Maybe needs a sprinkler to run through; "hair of the dog" (or squirrel) for a remedy.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 7, 12 at 12:57

Woodchuck update: A burrow has been found in the middle of my peony/rose bed. I'm wondering where the escape hole is - maybe it hasn't been dug yet.

Turkey update: Last week I walked out onto the road and found the hen clucking frantically with the chicks sitting in the road in front of a stopped car. I guess their reaction to danger is to hunker down and try to look invisible - works in the woods, but not so well in traffic. Luckily, we don't have much traffic here and what there is slow and usually amused by turkeys. I shooed them off the road while the driver was laughing. I didn't have my camera with me, unfortunately.

Today the turkeys just looked scenic, safe in the yard.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Kinda funny, I was just dusting my keyboard with my finger while looking at your pictures and a little screen popped up and said, 'screenshot saved' then it disappeared. So, Claire, your turkeys are in my computer somewhere, hahaha. That makes me lucky. Those turkeys in that setting should be on a calendar. Just wonderful.

My brown birds are bit smaller and dirtier. Four sparrow fledglings were born here and every day they play in the dirt. A dirt bath in 100� works for them.

Molie - I just read what you wrote above, "The more I see of all your great photos, the more I wish I had a better camera. Sad Mole, here." I doubt that you need a better camera. Your pictures look just fine and your property and flowers are lovely. It's about sharing gardening here and the things that happen in the garden - it's not the photo forum. If the computer didn't spew out the info about my pictures and how to make them clearer, I'd be clueless, and obviously, clearness didn't happen in the above shot. Just keep showing your river shots, please because I suffer from 'water' envy. pixie has a pond, Claire has a bay, your have a river and I have a squirrel drunk on a dry plastic bird bath. We all got sumthin'!

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Just saw this and thought...


never discuss politics over dinner.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 7, 12 at 18:04

Hey, Jane, your squirrels do the charging bull act too! I've seen them charge straight at a bunch of crows to scare them away from seed. The crows just hop out of the way and look amused. I've never gotten a good photo though. Yours expresses the action very well.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 9, 12 at 12:09

Oriole fledglings are being brought to the jam feeder by their parents - mostly the dad that I've seen. The jam feeder itself is out of view from this window, but two fledglings were parked on the nyjer feeder and the dad brought them jam.

First fledgling on site,
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

moved to the top and joined by a second.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

One left, maybe to go to the feeder, and dad joined the other, probably encouraging it to feed itself (jam is over there, Sweetie).
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Molie, the photo at the link you posted of the osprey returning to its nest is really a spectacular sight. Nesting platforms sound like the best solution for keeping these birds from building on the power poles.

Claire, your pictures of the young turkeys roosting in the tree are great! It always amazes me that these large birds are such good flyers.

On my porch, two broods of house finches have hatched, grown, and fledged, and now the pair (or maybe a different pair) are sitting on a third set of eggs in the old swallow nest! It's as if they are planning world domination! They certainly are prolific! Meanwhile the hummingbirds continue to sip at the feeder and sample the nasturtiums in the hanging pot, while the barn swallow babies have left their (new) nest. This was taken just before they fledged. Two heads and a tail, but I think there were more in the nest.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Boy, you're right, Claire, babies are being parked everywhere. Great Oriole shots. Orioles don't come here, never seen one. But, after going through about 30 lbs. of seed in two weeks, all the babies who live here know where to find seed and watching them practice is very entertaining.
The kids: Downy on left, red bellied woodpecker on right

Got it!

Sometimes the innocence of youth shines clearly. Shot this through the kitchen window of one of the 3 blue jay fledglings who raise a raucous.

Now maybe this is a young bee, maybe not.
Arriving at the Bee Balm Airport

Bad landing

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Sped - we posted at the same time. I know they make a mess, but I couldn't shoo them away either. Great little faces.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Those photos are funny, Jane! Youthful flyers definitely take some time to figure out how to manage those wing muscles! That's a great shot of the young blue jay.

It takes me under 15 minutes with a bucket of hot water and bleach to clean bird droppings off the handrails and stairs once a year after the swallows have flown. I leave the nest in the eaves as a porch ornament and let the swallows refurbish it in the spring. Trouble is, this year the various birds just won't stop nesting!

Also I need to have the porches and house trim re-painted, but when that happens the nests will have to go, so I must schedule it for late summer I guess. Hopefully by then the birds will have moved on!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 9, 12 at 16:58

spedigrees: So nice to know that the bird housing crisis was resolved with lots of new broods introduced to the world (via your porch). The barn swallows are really special (not to slight the house finches). I bet next spring they'll lay a huge guilt trip on you when they go looking for the nest homestead and find clean new trim instead. Oh no, what happened to the ancestral neighborhood - cursed urban renewal!

Jane: Love the quizzical blue jay. Lots of BJ fledglings here too - I hear them mostly rather than seeing them. Such a strange querulous sound they make.

Still lots of grackle fledglings and the crow babies are being given the tour of the neighborhood with much cawing and parading of the flock.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

No worries, Claire! I'm sure the urban renewal/new paint won't deter the swallows. They built a new nest this year in record time when the finches commandeered their previous nest. They're master builders!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 9, 12 at 17:41

Of course, you could always include a few Artificial Barn Swallow nest cups in your porch project...

(I just saw this link on the Bird Watching Forum)

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

The blue jay kids

sure can ruffle some feathers
They flew too close to this cardinal and he just ruffled all over. As soon as the BJ kids left, his feathers all calmed down.

Jane (I might put that cardinal on a Christmas card, lol)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 11, 12 at 11:49

That is definitely a disgruntled cardinal there! The cardinals here sort of put up with the BJ's but they're really put off by the hordes of grackles that are still around. Particularly now when there are all of the new broods of fledglings coming in, eating all the seed and making lots of noise.

A few years ago I saw a pair of cardinals (normally the most genteel birds around) suddenly buzz a grackle fledgling that had just landed in the yard and was looking around totally confused. What was that red flying menace I just saw?

I've been buzzed myself by chickadees when I sat on the deck, but at least they were nowhere near my size, so the gracklet must have gotten a good scare. I bet those cardinals were giggling, just as I had the sense the chickadees were giggling.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Can't help it. All these antics are right in front of me. The bird bath is attached to the deck railing, so I see this action from my kitchen.

Parched, need a drink

...trots back down the railing and stops. Water trickling out of mouth...minor hacking in throat...
Blekkk! A bug!

He spat and carried on back down to a pile of seeds. The joys of summer.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 12, 12 at 11:20

Very funny!

Probably got a shell caught in his throat, I know that feeling, gotta get a drink of water fast! Aaccchh! I eat shelled sunflower seeds myself, that's a good reminder to stay with them. Too expensive to feed to the critters, though.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Hummingbirds.....where are they? Ok so I put up a hummingbird feeder last week. Did they not get the memo? What does it take to attract them?

I have a birdbath that attracts robins (two pairs nesting), sparrows of course, cardinals, purple martins, mockingbirds and jays. There are rabbits, squirrels, opossums, skunks and snakes. Lots of red tailed hawks circling high. Butterflies of all kinds. But where are the hummingbirds?

Photobucket


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 13, 12 at 17:48

What kind of feeder did you put up, and where? I've had much fewer hummingbirds this year than I usually get, even though I have the same two feeders up with the same sugar solution in them.

I don't know if they're just preferentially visiting the nectar plants (lots of their favorites blooming now) or if there really are fewer. I'm mostly seeing a male now and I've wondered if maybe the females lost the first brood with the weird weather we've had and are off raising another. Even so, I'd expect to see territorial battles with the males and I haven't.

Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences this year.

Claire, puzzled


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Claire,
It's a typical feeder.........glass reservoir and 6 red tube "flowers". I filled it with sugar solution and hung it in an open area. Maybe they just haven't discovered it yet. When one finds it, I'm sure they'll pass the word around, probably on Twitter. (Did I really just say that?) I really must need more sleep this morning! LOL!

Maybe I just have be more patient. I'll post again if they show up.

Photobucket


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Bill, I think it takes awhile sometimes for hummingbirds to discover a new feeder. It's been sometime since I started feeding them, but I seem to remember there was a lag time before they arrived. At my old house when I was working long hours and had no time for gardening, I bought some very realistic looking silk fuschias and hung them in baskets on my front porch. When I saw hummingbirds trying to feed from my artificial flowers I felt bad, and bought a hummingbird feeder - that's how I began feeding the tiny nectar suckers!

I agree that your little chipmunk is charming, Jane! I remember years ago when my little brown sheltie was bitten on her muzzle by a spider, and how she looked for all the world like a chipmunk, with the little white stripe down her nose and her cheek all puffed out! Poor Tippi, RIP. (No the spider venom didn't kill her - she went on to live many years!) But now I always think of her now when I see a chipmunk!

I went out to the barn (which I guess is now just a garden shed) and found this critter in amongst my gardening tools!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 15, 12 at 17:57

Ah, a snake is another essential gardening tool, and it really looks great slithering through the other tools (keeping its head out of the shears). Lovely shot!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

What a great series of photos since I last checked in. Loved the chipmunk saga, especially in the last scene where he/she spat out the seed (cutest little tongue) --- the contrast of the snake among the garden tools --- and the usually calm and reserved cardinal looking so flustered there on the ground!

Claire, we never seen Orioles at our bird feeders. How beautiful!

Spedigrees, I actually laughed out loud at those barn swallow babies in the nest. It brought back memories. When we moved in here nine years ago, there was a pair of birds that considered our deck "home". Not only did they mate on the ceiling beams (my dh would say, "The kids are at 'it' again!"), but they also wanted to build their nest underneath the deck roof --- not a good idea because the covered part of our deck is small. So instead we put up birdhouses along part of the deck that's not covered, and birds have been using these ever since. We love watching the generations of birds come and go, and any bird residue is easy enough to rinse off with the deck hose.

Jane, thank you for your encouraging words about my camera skills and wildlife photography. Today I had a great day with the camera. I went out into the yard to photograph some plants along the river garden. There, directly across on the other bank, was the 'baby' Black-crowned Night Heron we have been watching for a while. I tell you, I almost fell over! Not only did I have my camera, but it was a hazy, pre-storm afternoon so I knew sunlight would not get my way. I took about 10 shots of him before I even thought about getting my dh. We'd seen the baby Heron with his mother along the river banks. Today was the first day he was alone. The mother is mostly brown as is the baby, but the father has a distinctive long white and black feather coming off the top of his head. Then later today the darn Heron baby was actually sitting on our fence, practically posing for me.

I was checking out the Sedums at the end of the garden

I just glanced across the river, and there he was

I was so amazed that my camera was shaking and had to steady it on my arm as he slowly walked along the mud

He blends in with the grasses and mud --- Nature's protection

He turned around and walked into the grasses

Later, during a thunderstorm, I went out onto the deck. On our fence ---

He was posing for me

Molie


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 11:05

Great photos, Molie, of a very jaunty young heron out for a stroll! And posing on your fence post looking like a feathered finial is the icing on the cake. It's very lucky that you had your camera with you - one should never be too far from a camera.

I'm going to start a new 'Birds and other mobile features' thread today, since this one is getting long, but people are welcome to continue the discussion here if they want.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Those are wonderful pictures, Molie, of your baby heron! He looks like a statuary topper on your fencepost! What a great photo-op that was!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Those are wonderful pictures, Molie, of your baby heron! He looks like a statuary topper on your fencepost! What a great photo-op that was!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

There he was yesterday. Seemed totally at ease as the photographer walked up to him.

Still no sign of hummingbirds..........patience I guess!

Photobucket


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 11:47

Very nice bunny pic, Bill. Not too many predators where you are, I guess, or that bunny would show a little more discretion.

My hummers are not visiting the feeders (at least not when I'm watching) but I'm seeing them occasionally at the phlox and monarda. I'm wondering if maybe these are youngsters that haven't learned to use a feeder yet and the older ones are no longer around to show them.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Bill, great photo! That bunny seems very comfortable there in the yard ---- listening and looking. We used to have rabbits but, sadly, our cat caught so many of them that I think the word had spread. I dreaded going to the door and finding a baby bunny on the mat.

A few weeks ago our cat actually caught a baby duck. Luckily my dh was able to grab it from her and bring it to the river where it toddled off. Sorry to all cat lovers out there, but we'd much rather have wildlife in our yard, so no more cats when Baby Girl (misnomer) is gone.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

hi all
i have 3 of these guys in my back yard. i kinda wanted to attract hummingbirds, but ended up getting 'hummers' instead. i dont mind them at all as they are gorgeous to watch. im just not sure what they are. any suggestions. my next door neighbour says they are ospreys.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

I have been watching a number of female ruby throat hummingbirds, it's been raining for a couple days now, and a lone female ruby throat has started setting on one of the flower petal on the feeder for long lengths, last time for almost 7 minutes in the pouring rain. She has feed about six times during that time, I've never seen this kind of action, of course this is my first year with feeders for both hummingbirds and regular birds. Is this normal behavior, there is no shelter there?
she has added hovering in front of the window that's in front of the feeders, it has a reflective coating on the windows to stop heat loss or to prevent heat coming in in the summer. she is testing the window with her beak not really pecking, at first I thought she was lick the water off the window. Looks like she wants in.

This post was edited by plantnut65 on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 23:44


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

I was wondering how some of you guys manage to get several pictures on each post you make, please explain. would be helpful, Thanks Much


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Plantnut65, this is an old thread and you may get more response to questions about hummingbirds in the hummingbird forum.

To get more than one photo, you can either reply multiple times to a thread with one photo in each, or many of us upload to an online photo hosting website, such as Photobucket or Picasa Web Albums. Once the photos are uploaded, you set the size of the photo you want (I use medium large), copy the tag for embedding the image, and then paste the tag(s) for embedding the image(s) for as many photos as you want to post into the message box along with whatever you want to say about the photos. When you click on the preview message button, you will see the photos embedded in your message if you did it correctly.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #3

Thanks,
I just copied the answer to posting several photos, I thank you for taking the time to answer, and thanks also for the tip on hummingbirds.


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