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Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:44

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 2013 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 the links posted in Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2012 #7. These threads have been moved to the Gallery but there may be problems with some of the links. I've corrected those I can edit and I made an Index for threads from 2008 to 2011.

2014 threads to date:
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #1

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #3

And for 2013 (I'll move these to the Gallery at some point, but not just yet):
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #1
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #2
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #3
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #4
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #5
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #7
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #9
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #10
...................................................................... ...................................................................

Waiting for the storm to come tomorrow night (I hate the talk of Blizzard! Bombogenesis!). The latest forecast is for 6 to 8 inches of snow here so I thought I'd show what the day before looks like.

It looks sunny and very early spring-like and the turkeys are lurking in the yard - here one is lying in the sun and grooming itself.
Turkey at rest1 3:24:14

I looked at the pieris patch and at first thought that the buds looked really red,
Turkey in pieris6 3:24:14

but it was a turkey of course.
Turkey in pieris3 3:24:14

Turkey in pieris1 3:24:14

and there was a Northern Flicker on the suet feeder.
Northern Flicker2 3:24:14

Tomorrow morning should be sunny too but then conditions will deteriorate. It's hard to believe I'll need the snow shovels so soon again.

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 16:46


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 17:06

Peering out from the pieris is just too good.

There IS hope. This 'clad for Wednesday' little guy knew to stop at Starbuck's and what isn't seen are his golf clubs leaning against the tree. It's coming, it's coming, the pussy willows, they're a' tellin'. The forthcoming rain solidification event, I declare, is the last for this season.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 19:16

Love the indignant cardinal, Jane! How far did they move Spring indeed....excellent question!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 12:34

Moving along from the gray glum of winter's remnants, this little chap is beginning to sport his new SPRING jacket.

Separately, it appears that a Bambi or someone else broke one of my little kousa trees right in half. It has buds and I've straightened him up, but am off to OSJL for some magic garden tape. Last time I used duct tape on a Jap maple and it worked, but it's time I elevated my tape collection. Spring is coming - the Juncos are doing that crazy aerial chase.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

As usual, love your turkey photos. And happy to see some yellow on the gold finch!

Someone broke up the pond ice. I'd have to pull out my records, but I don't think we've ever had pond ice this late in the season. At this rate, we cooled possible still have pond ice in April!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Claire, that turkey with the pieris body is a hilarious photo! Loved it!

Jane, what tape do you get from OSJL? When I have tree damage I usually use some rubber strips (from those rubber mats that go in a sink.....I cut them up) and hose clamps. Works depending on where the break is. In NE we certainly need some way to help our Japanese maples recover from breakage! Would love more info on a tape and how big branches are that you've had luck with fixing.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 15:48

pixie_lou: That pond ice hole makes you wonder if something jumped into the pond or crawled out.... Nessie or an otter....

My goldfinches are also beginning to sport some yellow, although they've been off somewhere else. Today is the first time I've seen goldfinches in at least a week.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And this is where the turkey lurked in the pieris patch a few days ago. No turkeys around today - I hope they're tucked into a warm place in the woods.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A good mix of birds feeding in the snow today - that's a Fox Sparrow closest to the camera:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

and one of three robins:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It's the peak of the blackbird migration and a lot of them perched in a spruce today. I counted about 70 yesterday!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm finally finished shoveling and I'm willing this stuff to MELT!

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 12:15

Claire - glad you made in through okay. Keep Willing the warmth! Personally, I'm warming raised beds with storm windows and am getting ready to plant lettuce and spinach. I declare the end of snow storms for this season! (nothing will happen to me if I'm wrong, and this morning Ivy toured the gardens for the first time since November, so it must be over)

thyme2 - the Velcro tape is just a roll of plant ties, really - just 1/2" wide. For my little Jap maple stem which is maybe 1/2 to 3/4" dia., I still used duct tape because it's wider and I tied him to a bamboo stake. Frankly, whatever it takes to do the job and I own, that's what I use. Nothing clever or scientific about it - anything that holds the stem straight so the cells meet and grow again, will work. Your rubber strips and band clamp idea is great, especially for larger diameters. Your gardens always look lovely; I'd keep cutting up the kitchen sink mats! Happy Spring!

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 13:10

No picture, but Mr. Cardinal just fed Mrs. Cardinal in the birch tree. A hummer is in central North Carolina and, the 'beloved' Sparrows have begun splashing. That's good enough validation of spring's arrival for me.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Thanks for the info Jane.

Is that a heated birdbath? I think I have the same one. Put it out this year and we've been so happy watching the birds be able to get some water during this frigid winter. I put a slate in the middle of it and frequently a lone mourning dove would sit on the stone for hours. Smart cookie keeping her tootsies warm I guess!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 17:45

Jane: You have to admit that House Sparrows are clean birds - they probably take more baths than any other birds in my yard (except maybe the Song Sparrows).

Spring is definitely coming, but it's not showing its best face yet.

T2D: I've seen robins doing the same thing - sitting on the edge of the heated birdbath for a very long time.

I'm still seeing American Tree Sparrows - this one loves the seed bell. I just put out a new one after the old ones fell apart in the heavy rain. The chickadees are the other main consumer of the seed bells.
American Tree Sparrow 3:30:14

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 11:03

On March 27, 2014 at 12:15PM, Jane said: I declare the end of snow storms for this season! (nothing will happen to me if I'm wrong,...". Uh-huh. Well something did happen: I had to snow blow the driveway this morning. 4" of rain yesterday, 3.5 " of wet snow this morning. I imagine that if Mother Nature even had a 1-800 #, she still wouldn't give a tinker's dam and would let the phone thunder away. I'll be wrong again - soon probably. I'm sure winter is the sole reason for me not wanting a white garden.

Yes, Claire, I agree about Sparrows and water. Nobody throws a better pool party than Sparrows. Do you use the seed bells instead of a square of suet or does your buffet just include everything? I still use the cage for suet.

Jane ( no more prognostications this week)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 13:15

Ouch, Jane - 3.5 inches of wet snow! We've had flurries all day here but nothing is sticking.

I bought the first seed bell on a miserable day this winter when I was feeling sorry for the birds, figuring I'd add it to the buffet and see what happens. The chickadees mostly visited it at first and then the tree sparrows also discovered it as well as other birds. It's just a mixture of seeds so it doesn't replace a suet cage.

It's easier for birds that aren't accomplished tube feeder perchers - they have a sloped side to land on and they have something to eat when the ground is monopolized by bigger birds.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 15:52

The mixed blackbird flock (red-wings, grackles and cowbirds) is still around and flying back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. They land and feed and then all fly up at once, circle around, and either land again or head off for somewhere else.

I've been trying to get pictures that capture what its like to have about 70 birds in flight in my yard but I've been failing miserably. This is the best I was able to do today.

Blackbirds in flight2 3:31:14

Blackbirds in flight1 3:31:14

The grackles seem to enjoy feeding at the tube feeders and trying to scare away the other grackles.
Grackles on the feeders 3:31:14

I'm just hoping all these blackbirds stay around until the winter moth eggs hatch, and scarf up all those larvae.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 17:46

The group/flock that rises without warning and is airborne in a nansecond is tough to capture. I think it looks fine. Your area must have more food? Better nesting areas? I've seen one pair of RW bb's, no cowbirds yet, maybe 20 Grackles only once so far. There were 3 different hawks here this afternoon...maybe that's why I don't have any large groups.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 18:20

Someone who grew up in this area told me that the big blackbird flocks used to come for a day or two and then move on. They probably ate up whatever was available and then left. I don't know if it was timed to caterpillar hatching.

The red-wings and grackles probably nest in the nearby marsh areas (the cowbirds don't have nests). Once it warms up there should be insects there for the nestlings.

I've changed the routine of course by providing a smorgasbord for the birds. I think they still nest in the usual places, they just come here for a reliable food source.

I have hawks too, which is probably why the flocks are so nervous.

Claire

PS: There seem to be worms available now. I'd been watching the robins forage in the leaf litter but I wasn't sure what they were catching. Today I saw that a few worms had crawled into the birdbath on the ground (probably crawled out of the soggy ground and then fell into the water)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 1, 14 at 17:04

There was an incessant racket of complaints yesterday afternoon because three hawks were here. A Red-shouldered, Red-tailed, and here we go again, I think a Sharp-shinned. The half dozen crows marshaling the airways and the quad of Blue Jays zooming like arrows made the hawks' lives a living, hungry misery. It reached the point where I felt sorry for the raptors - and this was with the windows closed. Why they put up with the tormenting for hours on end, I'll never understand. So at noon today when I spotted the pair of RS hawks soaring higher than all others can soar, I thought, 'Good for you. Peace at last'.

This Blue Jay tormented the Red-tailed

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Claire - Those photos of the flocks of blackbirds taking flight look a bit intimidating; they sort of make me want to duck.

Last Wednesday this squirrel was doing gymnastics to gather fruits from the kousa dogwood outside the kitchen window in 40 MPH gusty winds. I am glad that something wants to eat them, even if it is the last thing left at this time of year.

From squirrel

From squirrel

This post was edited by nhbabs on Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 7:54


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 10:14

Jane: That's a brave jay there, the jays in my yard seem to leave the hawk patrols to the crows. Often I'll be outside and I'll hear a cawcophony (sic) and look up and see the crows wheeling around chasing a redtail or a Cooper's hawk. The hawks don't really look scared, just annoyed.

nhbabs: The blackbirds disappear as soon as I come outside so there's not much of a Hitchcock moment. They do often perch in the nearby oaks and the sounds are wonderful - particularly when they watch me put out birdseed.

Love the pictures of the wind-blown squirrel in the dogwood. Yesterday I saw a squirrel trying to maneuver through a berberis (ouch, ouch, ouch).

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 14:06

From noshing squirrels, flocking blackbirds, and vole highways, this long, cold winter has sprung some heated, contentious talk but has also produced lovely crocuses. Does anything prove spring has sprung more so than the wooly caterpillar en route to his morphing station? He and Ontheteam's peepers convince me. Spotted moments ago trekking across the drive, heading north.

Jane

This post was edited by corunum on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 17:05


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Amazing, Jane, peepers?! We always hear the wood frogs (which sound like quiet ducks) a day or two before we hear the peepers. They will be talking when there is still a bit of ice around the pond.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Lucky you, Jane... peepers!... one of my favorite sounds.

Good news here .... we spotted the pair of osprey back at their nest! (But no cellphone photo because as we were driving by in the car, they were "busy"... if you know what I mean.) You may recall a post of mine from a few years ago about the pair that had a nest on top of a nearby electric transformer... and it caught fire in a storm .... and their babies died? Well, the electric company put up a pole and platform across the street from the original nest.

This is the second year that they've used the nest, and so I guess they'll be permanent neighborhood residents. Hopefully we'll see them fishing along our river... will keep my camera ready!

Molie


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 17:14

Ut-Oh. ERROR REPORT: In my previous post I omitted referencing that the peepers were from 'ontheteam's' post - NOT my observation. I had the wooly caterpillar only. Post has been edited. Not a big deal, but I know Claire records these things, so I need to be clear. No peepers at my house. Only a wooly caterpillar, one carpenter bee, a happy chipmunk and a hose that still kinks.

Jane

This post was edited by corunum on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 18:11


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

HA, Jane! I told my DH about your hearing peepers and he said, "Nah! She has no water nearby.... maybe her ears are just ringing."

Molie


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 20:25

Jane: I'm amazed at the woolly bear - I've never seen one so early. At least it has a good warm coat on.

Molie: I remember the sad story of the ospreys - I'm delighted that there's a new nest.

I went across the street tonight as it was getting dark to listen for peepers singing near the pond down the hill. No peepers, but I looked out at the squirrel nests in the oaks and I realized that they weren't nests. They were turkeys roosting.

Roosting Turkeys1 4:3:14

Roosting Turkeys3 4:3:14

Roosting Turkeys2 4:3:14

Roosting Turkeys5 4:3:14

And all under the Turkey Moon.
Turkey Moon2 4:3:14

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 20:52

Wow, that's neat!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

goldfinches in their bright yellow coats, wooly bear caterpillars, nesting osprey, squirrel gymnastics. A gal sue misses a lot when she doesn't check in for a couple days!

Red Belly came by for a few minutes the other day. As soon as I snapped the camera, he flew off and I've yet to see him again.
 photo IMG_0106_zps5663b1a5.jpg

This has been the week of ducks in the pond. The ice finally melted. Mr. Mallard was here over the weekend, but declined to stay for photos. Tuesday Mr. Wood duck came to visit.
 photo duck1_zps92fe02b9.jpg

And this morning, it was Mr. and Mrs. Hooded Merganser.
 photo duck2_zps96125c36.jpg
(actaully I have no idea if I've correctly ID'd these ducks. I sent the photos to a friend of mine who is good with the duck ID's)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 4, 14 at 10:31

You have some wonderful ducks in your pond, pixie_lou! The ripples and reflections are lovely.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 4, 14 at 10:45

Ah, and thus begins yet another season of Pond Envy. Pixie, you are one lucky duck. Three beauties in your backyard. Excellent!

Jane (which, in Algonquin means, 'No Pond')


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

The pruning team going home this morning after the night shift. It was a young herd of 5. Some neighbors have counted 25.
Jane

This post was edited by corunum on Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 8:34


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 9:42

Hmmm... Maybe it's time for a deer fence? Or a pet bear?

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 17:15

Just a cardinal being a cardinal on a feeder in the sun, but it made me smile.
Northern Cardinal 4:6:14

And a juvenile Cooper's Hawk being a hawk (not at the same time as the cardinal or I wouldn't have been smiling).
Cooper's Hawk6 4:4:14

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 17:28

We'd be lost without the usual customers. Good close-ups.

I took your advice about the bear and stopped at the end of our street to have a chat with a local little fella. As soon as he's down, he'll come 'round.

Good tip - thanks. Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 7, 14 at 10:51

That may help, but he might be better suited to chasing these deer.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 7, 14 at 14:53

A leucistic Common Grackle appeared today in the mixed blackbird flock! It seems healthy - I'm not sure if it's a male or female although I'm guessing female because the body feathers aren't as black as the typical male.

Leucistic Grackle1R 4:7:14

Closeup of head
Leucistic Grackle1RR 4:7:14

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 7, 14 at 15:44

Neat! Good thing you were there at the right time. Forwarding to PFW?


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 7, 14 at 16:15

I sent the photos to ProjectFeeder Watch using their Unusual Birds Report link on the Data Entry page. This seems to be the latest method - better than just emailing them.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 12:28

I looked out yesterday and noticed two tom turkeys frozen in position mirroring each other. At first I thought they were about to fight, but then they moved in parallel and strolled off like conjoined twins.

Two tom turkeys1 4:7:14

Two tom turkeys2 4:7:14

Two tom turkeys3 4:7:14

These two toms are cooperating - a third is an outlier and stays off to the side of the flock.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 10:35

A bit up-thread, nhbabs posted pictures of a squirrel doing gymnastics to eat dogwood fruits, an activity no one would object to (or almost no one).

Squirrels in my yard, however, have a habit of noshing on the pussy willow buds. They seem to be both eating the buds and just biting off small branches. They do this every year and the poor pussy willow loses a lot of its foliage. Little sprigs of catkins litter the ground under the tree (this old pussy willow is a small tree).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It's hard to get good photos because the rodents keep an eye on my window and scamper off as soon as they see the camera lens or me watching.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 19:40

And one more sign of spring - bugs were flying today in the sun, zooming around happily! When I couldn't get a picture of those little flying creatures (the camera refused to focus on them), I decided to try for a video.

Flying bugs video

I have no idea what the little fliers are.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 12, 14 at 18:30

Claire, maybe we should have bought lottery tickets this weekend. You got newly hatched insects and I got Mr. and Mrs. Cowbird. We're on a roll. hehehe


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 12, 14 at 19:50

Ah, you have the cowbird pair in the dating stage. I have the next stage: female cowbirds hanging out with the female red-wings preparing for the nesting stage.

Well, the red-wing makes the nest and incubates the eggs and cares for the babies - the cowbird just adds a few eggs and fades away (like the usual brood parasite).

Female cowbirds and redwings1 4:12:14

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

I jut got home from driving the little girl to the bus stop and noticed the driveway was covered with worms. I almost felt bad for the little critters. But not bad enough to do anything to help them.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 9:57

Yesterday, through rain-soaked windows, the Am. Goldfinch males looked like lemons on the birch tree. This morning, the Mourning Doves are searching through the snow for seeds.

Pixie - not easy to save a driveway full of flood victims.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 17:55

pixie_lou: It's good the little girl didn't see the worms or you might have been out in the rain moving them.

Jane: Rain-soaked windows do diminish a picture but the idea of lemons on a birch is good.

I had to deal with a dirty window in the sun when I looked out and saw the heated birdbath with scillas in bloom. I waited a few minutes and a male red-wing stopped to sip water. Pretty colors even if through a light fog.
Red-winged Blackbird at bath 4:16:14

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 12:40

A fox came visiting today and stopped at the birdseed area. I think it was eating the suet nuggets I put out this morning.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It saw me watching through the window with my big camera eye, but didn't seem to be afraid (I caught it in mid-nibble). It stayed for a little while eating then ran off.

Claire
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 14:17

In a word- - - wow. That's a great tail. Looks very healthy.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 17:12

Am I the only one having difficulty linking pictures from Flickr? They do not import - as they used to - and in the preview mode under this thread, I see a small white box with a broken diagonal line instead of my picture. Used to be able to choose the size in Flickr - 640 x 420, I think. Now there is no size selection. Just me?
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 17:26

Flickr has made some changes and it's a little harder to select the size.

This is the first Brown Thrasher of the season, I first saw it yesterday so I think of it as the Easter Thrasher.
First Brown Thrasher1 4:20:14

Once you get to the picture sharing link it just says Medium 500 X 375 v, but if you click on the v you get a drop down list of more sizes. You also have to check the HTML box as usual, and then they've already selected the tag for you, but you still have to copy it. Don't try to select it yourself, if it's blue just copy it.

First Brown Thrasher2 4:20:14

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 19:27

Thank you. Must be me, failed again. Will try again another day.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 20:54

He looked down as if he were thinking, 'even my feet are yellow'.
IMG_4739

Yup, it changed -got it, thanks.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 21:13

Brown thrasher vs. hermit thrush, visually, seem so closely related. Will have to read more about their differences. The hermit thrush hasn't been here since winter. The Brown thrasher is a lovely bird. Has he been one of your visitors before?


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 22, 14 at 9:55

I guess it's a little like the old Easter tradition of the new outfit to wear on Easter Sunday, except that the birds get to wear their new clothes all day and all night. If I woke up and suddenly was all yellow they'd probably call it jaundice, but it looks great on a goldfinch.

I get the thrashers every year in the spring and they breed here so I sometimes see the fledglings. That yellow eye is a good identification mark.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 14:11

I think this is a Winter Wren vs. a House Wren. He's been here for the past few days, a newcomer. When on the ground, his tail is held vertically so that he resembles a chubby check mark.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 15:13

Cute little fella - I'm not good at wren identification but Winter Wren looks good to me. I've never seen a House Wren, though, and a possible winter wren only once.

Suet really draws in birds that you usually wouldn't see.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 17:14

No ID needed here. sigh.Two pairs of Cowbirds here with House Sparrows making more nests. Somehow if the sparrows raised the cowbirds there would seem to be an evil but balanced twist to nature's way. Too big a subject. At least there is a pair of Chipping Sparrows nesting nearby along with four Blue Birds, a pair of C. Wrens, and three individual BC Chickadees....best not to ask. Maybe one is the MIL. NO RW Blackbirds though.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 18:45

Like most neighborhoods, you seem to have a mixture of conventional families and unusual pairings with a deadbeat dad (or mom) or two - combined with a few non-natives that will never be accepted by some, no matter how hard they work.

Now, if only there were some hummingbirds to add some buzz....

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Jane - Here's a page from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help with telling apart thrushes, though I think I would need to be looking at the page for it to help me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thrush ID


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 9:47

Thank you, nhbabs. I had seen this page on allaboutbirds and like you, I'm sure I'd need the page in hand to tell the difference between the thrushes. Just when I think I'm getting a small handle on bird identification, along comes a new bird, out come the books, and the realization that, for me, five lifetimes would be insufficient to learn all there is to learn. Life is good. :) Thanks.
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 17:01

It is a very windy afternoon for landing, I admit. However,

This was his backyard landing on March 31st, the belly flop approach

And this afternoon, nearly a month later, there seems to be little luck going his way

Considering I can only fly if I pay or dream well, I guess he'll come around.

Jane
P.S. I did not know that chipmunks raid bird nests much less consume baby birds. There's a tainted image.

This post was edited by corunum on Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 17:38


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 17:44

Very windy here, too. One of the regular crows in my yard seems to have a slightly deformed wing, only it flies OK. Maybe yours has leg problems that affect landing? Flying can be a hazardous endeavor.

It seems like almost anything that can reach baby birds would eat them if it has a chance. After all, our species considers squab a delicacy.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Fascinating photos. We've left the sunflower feeder up and are throwing more seed on the ground for the wild turkeys and other ground feeders. Usually the feeders are down by now so we don't attract a bear. Raccoons started raiding the feeders, even opening a suet feeder my husband had wired closed.

Red winged blackbirds are using the feeder which we never saw before. We thought we had a new bird but finally identified it as a female RW blackbird. I had to look thru internet images to find one with the very yellow throat that ours had.

My husband has spotted what he thinks is a Louisianna warbler but I haven't seen it. Finally my husband helped our young granddaughters to make bluebird houses which I hope will go up soon. It may be a little late but at least they'll finally go up. Although young (almost 8 and almost 10) the girls were allowed to use the cordless drill to drill the ventilation holes. I know the bluebirds are probably nesting out back in the woods.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 15:04

Good on you, defrost49, to let the granddaughters use the cordless drill, although I'll bet you didn't breathe during the process. If the bluebirds don't nest in them this year, then there's another year on the way, and you have two proud granddaughters now.

It's three weeks later than Jane's sighting, but a woolly bear caterpillar sauntered across my path yesterday, pushing aside the vegetation in its way.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In the fall, people say the width of the bands may forecast the severity of the winter. What does a spring woolly bear forecast? Hurricane season?

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 15:14


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 16:42

defrost - My reaction is the same as Claire's - so glad to read that your granddaughters were allowed to use the drill. A true aside, my 35 yr. old Canada Goose weather vane lost a wing in a storm and I couldn't find another goose that pleased me as much as that old one. So I cut my own this afternoon and it will be sanded and painted soon. Maybe someday your girls will teach their daughters. Birding involves the whole spirit! Echoing - 'Good on you'! and your husband.

Poor wooly caterpillars. I remember reading that the width of the band tells about the past season. So your wooly bear is in good shape, Claire, no hurricanes did him in, lol.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 17:31

It must be big bird day at my house. Pileated Woodpecker flew in and went directly to the squirrel residence in a maple. Not sure any of this popularity bodes well for my aging maple. There are branches in front of him, I had shoot through the birch. But look at those feet. He's a good 16"+ tall.
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 19:44

That's a magnificent woodpecker, Jane - he'd make a good weather vane too, or a whirligig.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Love the whirligig. The photo of the woodpecker doesn't show. Did you take it down?

Our 2 yo grandson is fascinated seeing the birds especially the wild turkeys. He helps bumpa put seed out for them. I think the girls are very lucky to have a talented grandfather with lots of tools. He used to teach 4-H woodworking when our son was in 4-H.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 9:05

defrost - no, woodpecker picture is still there. Perhaps if you reload the page - any webpage to refresh it - the photos will come in. And, the goose is actually a static weather vane, not a whirlygig. Unfortunately, I'm not that talented in woodworking, just self-taught.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 13:00

Male Eastern Towhee foraging under the pieris tree. To me it's a dwarf pieris patch, but to the little birds there's a forest over there.
Towhee1 4:26:14

I'm not sure, but I think I saw a squirrel chase a Cooper's hawk away this morning. At least there was a flurry in the winterberry and the hawk flew off while a squirrel charged in that direction.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

We have broadwing hawks that nest on our land every summer, but usually they are either soaring relatively high or in the woods. This week both of them have been hanging out near the house, on the laundry line pole, in the big red maples, and on the phone wire. It's hard to get a good photo since they aren't too big and the light hasn't been good, but here's the best photo I have. We've also had up to 6 deer and 15 turkeys at a time grazing in the corn & alfalfa field, but too far to get good photos.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 14 at 16:56

nhbabs: Do you think the hawks are hunting something, like voles, near your house? Or maybe considering a nesting site close by?

I saw the first Baltimore Orioles of the season today! and it's before the hummingbirds show up - usually the orioles come a little after the hummers.

The grackles had gobbled up most of the suet outside and the orioles were picking at the scraps. I raced out and put new suet in all of the cages and added some apricot preserves in a dish. This one came back but didn't seem too impressed with the new suet.
First Baltimore Oriole1 5:2:14

He did seem to be looking down at the preserves in the dish in the middle of the feeder.
First Baltimore Oriole3 5:2:14

When they start showing interest in the fruit I'll phase out the suet in those cages to discourage the grackles. I have another suet feeder up in another area.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

I can see the magnificent woodpecker!
The bluebird houses are up and today a pair of tree swallows were checking one out. I think the hole is too small for them so I might relent and have my husband make one bigger. There are 3 houses. We think we also saw a purple martin.

While I was away, my husband took down the last feeder, a tube feeder because a squirrel had gotten inside. Sheesh.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Would that the hawk removes a few voles!! In the other garden down by the shop, as I was stomping holes and tunnels flat, they were literally jumping out of the far end of tunnels and diving down another. I don't know if I actually stomped one or more, but I sure felt better about getting rid of tunnels. I will be setting traps where they reopen tunnels.

Nice to see the oriole, Claire. I always think of them as a summer bird.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, May 4, 14 at 18:40

Today is the first time I've seen a Baltimore Oriole here - and there were 3; 2 female, 1 male. Also saw the first hummer today, AND, a Scarlet Tanager - first time to see one anywhere. Big birding day here.
Male Scarlet Tanager that was interested in maple tree blossoms
Scarlet Tanager Male
IMG_4956

Female Baltimore Oriole in Japanese Toyo quince. Not sure what she was taking out of the blossoms, but she seemed happy.
IMG_9250
And suet - for she and the male
IMG_9364
female breeding
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, May 4, 14 at 19:00

I had just walked away from the computer and put the cameras away when it started to hail/sleet/rain in the gray sky out back while the sun was shining out front and this is the result:

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

Jane, you hit the jackpot for photography today! I don't think I've seen a tanager here. I'll need to look up and see if this is part of their range.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 4, 14 at 20:04

Definitely a big day, Jane, with a lot of firsts. A Scarlet Tanager! I've never seen one. I love the picture of the female oriole in the quince. Maybe she was eating insects? or nectar?

And then a rainbow to put a finishing touch on the day.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2014 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 5, 14 at 14:01

This thread is getting long and probably slow to load for some people so I'm starting a new thread (not quite there yet).

Claire


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