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Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 13:50

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.

And for 2013:
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
...................................................................... ...................................................................... ..........

In the last thread (2013 #5) I described my Phlox Protection Zone and mentioned the roses on stilts running along the top but I didn't mention the hose running along the bottom raised up on little hose guides. This is mostly to avoid coiling up the hose after I use it (I hate coiling up hoses) but it still keeps the hose off the path so I don't trip on it.

This hose setup sort of reminds me of a little High Line, like the NYC park.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And apparently the ants think so too, because there are always ants running along the High Line going to wherever it is that ants go. I'll see them on the pavers and then they climb onto the hose and move on.

It's not that dramatic in photographs but I'm always seeing ants running back and forth. I haven't seen any swarms in that area so I don't know if the swarms would use the High Line.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Sun, Jul 28, 13 at 10:46


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 14:29

Looks like we have the same hose, Claire, and I hope yours lives up to the advert, "No Kink". On mine--they lied.

Anyway, this morning on the driveway was the biggest army of marching ants I've ever seen. They were the typical small size brown ants. I had the 'above' hose in hand and not a camera, so they were washed across the street to the woods and not photographed. I thought about getting a camera, but IMO, a glistening fat line of moving ants would rank right up there with pictures of sn*kes.

My conservative guess is about a 1/2 million ants. The solid brown line was 12" wide and that 12" mass stretched solidly across a 14' wide area of the drive. And, there were more in the ground at the edge of the driveway. So, however many brown ants can fit into a one foot square block, multiply that by 14' and that's how many there were. Hope there is no sink hole now. And I still had to coil up the hose that kinks, (she said smilingly).

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 14:57

A new kid at the feeder. No red on this Red-bellied Woodpecker yet, but he has learned well from Dad.
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 18:20

Jane: A 14 ft ribbon of ants is pretty impressive! Sounds more like a parade than a swarm. The ants here are black, not brown - I have no idea if there's any difference in behavior except that the swarms are much smaller and less organized.

The red-belly kid looks more like an insect than a bird.

Miserably hot today and a youngster, a Red-winged Blackbird fledgling I think, took a long bath in the hottest day of its life. It kept jumping in and out of the water.

juv. Red-winged Blackbird?3 6:24:13

Juv. Red-winged Blackbird?4 6:24:13

juv. Red-winged Blackbird?2 6:24:13

juv. Red-winged Blackbird?1 6:24:13

With the bill open it looked like it was panting.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 18:30

Jane: My hose kinks too.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Our hose doesn’t kink really. It’s a rubber hose and I wonder if that makes a difference? It does however leave black marks that won’t come off on any pot that I accidentally drag it along, so I have to be careful of that. I do use hose guides that help.

I have never seen an army of ants like that Jane. Never even a congo line of ants. I’m surprised you don’t have pics of that. I wonder what they were up to? That sounds so unusual.

Filled the birdbaths twice today. Went out about 2pm when the sun was off of them and filled it with nice cold water. The birds were having a party there all afternoon. Then I went back out to get another photo of an Oakleaf Hydrangea that has been just starting to bloom the last few days and as I came across the lawn with the camera, I looked up and there were two mourning doves that were very still on the birdbaths. Not a great photo but I hope you can see the pair of them….

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 21:45


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

And the dog was right behind me and as she got closer, off they flew and here's the dog wondering...'where did they go?'.....


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 24, 13 at 19:54

PM2: I've read that the rubber hoses are much better than the usual, the only problem being that they're heavier. That leaving marks is something I would worry about since I drag the hose along my bluestone path. There are ads now for a new polyurethane hose that's supposed to be lighter and drinking water safe, and comes in nifty colors. Has anyone tried these?

Noodles really has a hound look to her and she seems very serious about this investigation.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Claire, the rubber hose is heavier, and I would be concerned about the bluestone I think. Although I have a paver patio that it doesn't leave any marks on. It was a Sears hose and believe it or not it's the only hose I've bought in 25 yrs. I've gotten so used to it and using the guides, it's been a long time since I've left a mark on something.

Funny you should mention the 'hound look' to Noodles. She does a lot of sniffing with her nose to the ground and seems to know when an animal has been through the yard. She normally ignores the birds, but once in awhile I've seen her look up into a tree in the direction of a loud bird call. Animals are really fascinating.

We've had a downpour here with lots of thunder and lightning the past hour. No watering the garden for me tomorrow.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Jane - Just reading about that many ants gives me the heebie-jeebies and makes me itch! But from a distance it's also a bit amazing to think of that many individual critters acting in such unison.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 8:06

I know, the ants are a force of nature. However, there was no safety in numbers for them with me wielding the hose on JET. There were so many that the stream of water forced the solid ribbon of them to form clusters and they looked like miniature balls of tumbleweed floating down the drive to their next highway in life. We've had other high count ant explosions on the property before, but not so evident as these were in formation on a hard surface. And, yes, the itch factor is real! Glad it's over.

Personally, I'd rather watch birds in a bath any day!
Claire - is the rock in the bath for the bird to perch on or to hold the bath more firmly? I had a birdbath with a rock in the middle and the larger birds avoided it. Is this one your 'kiddie' pool?
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 9:24

Jane: The rock is for a perch and to make the water in the bath shallower so medium sized birds can use it. I also have shallower and deeper birdbaths so there's a size for most birds. I don't have a turkey-sized birdbath but they've never asked for one.

I do have a rock in one saucer-type birdbath to hold it down because the turkeys kept putting one foot on the edge and turning it over.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Jane - your woody looks like a contortionist with his head turned around!

As for cats in the garden - I am not a fan. All I know is that a few years back I paid $5,000 for a new patio. And some cat walked across it while the cement was curing. So now I have stupid cat prints in my patio.
I do not know who this one belongs to. All I know is that if he touches one of my birds, I will not be responsible for my actions!
cat photo Catcrop_zpsb62f81ea.jpg

On a happier note, Mrs. Hummy has taken up residence at the feeder.
hummy 2 photo hummycrop2_zps5f4f3233.jpg

hummy 3 photo Hummycrop3_zpsd0c67644.jpg

hummy 1 photo Hummycrop1_zps5c38be7a.jpg


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 10:22

pixie_lou: That cat has more the look of a bench-dwelling spectator to me (maybe wishful thinking) than an avid crouching-down hunter. It's probably waiting for someone to bring the popcorn.

Mrs. Hummy, anyway, looks very relaxed and happy and not worried about cats.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

these 5 were so cute, I guess I don't mind that they are eating almost everything! They were completely still while I mowed all around the house. I think they thought they were invisible to me! A hawk or a fox will probably get them soon enough.

 photo IMG_2837_zps4d0e35f7.jpg

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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 14:51

Adorable little bunnies, FroofyCat! I haven't seen bunnies in years; too many predators here probably.

I hope yours survive (easy for me to say - they're not eating my plants).

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Really sweet little bunnies. For some reason I just find baby bunnies make me smile more than other little critters, why is that?

Good shot of the hummingbird, Pixie Lou. I hope you have a comfortable chair to watch them from. They must be fascinating. I had one flicker through the yard in about 15 seconds one summer and nothing since.

Lots of birds in the yard today. A flock of either grackles or starlings flew in to cool off in the birdbath. They were pushing the robins around all morning. I ended up having to refill them three times today because there were so many birds in and out of it, it was filthy and down to about a 1/2 inch of water twice. Happy they have some cool water on such a hot day, though.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 11:36

I finally moved the latest jam feeder (for orioles and catbirds) out from behind the wisteria so I can see it. It disappeared when I had to rebuild the wisteria after the rain collapsed it.

I decided the goldfinches didn't really need two feeders now since they barely use one so I put the jam feeder on that hook. Just in time - the oriole fledglings are being brought to the feeder.

At first they perched on top of the hook waiting for someone to feed them.
Oriole fledglings 6:27:13

Then mom and dad appeared. Here they're expecting great things from dad.
Oriole family 6:27:13

One fledgling followed dad to the feeder.
Oriole and fledgling 5:27:13

And has now mastered landing on a feeder. It just has to figure out how to eat by itself.
Oriole fledgling 6:27:13

Later, after the family had left, two males fought over the feeder.
Oriole fight1 6:27:13

The one on the right won.
Oriole fight2 6:27:13

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 6:56


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 12:13

Outstanding oriole captures, Claire! I've never seen one, so this series is great. Always makes me wonder how fledglings can summon the courage to fly out of a nest, know how to navigate after the folks, land on a perch - and all of that is new to them. Being fed is the oldest habit; guess the adage, "old habits die hard', rings true here. The study of intention is fascinating.
We have bunnies this year too. I have not seen any foxes, but have heard coyotes. I swear there's a 3-4 year cycle of abundance/depletion.
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

pixie lou, the cat is sure enjoying your pretty setup over there. Great pictures of Mrs. Hummy.

froofycat, oh, those bunnies are precious. I do hope they survive.

Claire, the coloring on the oriole is sure pretty. I love the captions you include with all the lovely pictures.

-Tina


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Great oriole photos, Claire. I sometimes spot them flying across the field, but I don't think I've ever seen a young one.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

We have 2 or 3 turkeys who have managed to successfully hatch out poults, one with a group of about 8 young and the other 1 or 2 mama(s) appear to have 3. It's difficult to count (or photograph) the poults because they are still small enough that they tend to disappear into the grass and only pop out occasionally. With all the rain, even the lawn grass can hide them, though they prefer the field areas. The larger flock and also one smaller group have been hanging out near the woodshop. The last few mornings one mama and her 3 poults have been coming up through the back field and into the veggie garden. Hopefully they are eating potato bugs.
From Turkey & poults June 29, 2013

From Turkey & poults June 29, 2013


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 29, 13 at 10:15

So nice to see the turkey with poults in an open field, nhbabs. It's a very peaceful woodsy scene. Interesting bark on that tree.

Still no poults here although there are a few adults around every day.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Done snacking in the veggie garden, they passed right by the kitchen window . . .
From Turkey & poults June 29, 2013

as they headed back toward the corn field.

From Turkey & poults June 29, 2013

I know that there are three poults, but I didn't manage to get more than two visible in any of the photos, though they were never more than 6 feet from mom. They are so well camouflaged that it is difficult to differentiate them from the clumps of mown grass. When they hunker down and freeze, it's even more difficult to see them. DH got within a few feet of some the other day when he came around the end of the big bed at the shop. Mom was running around to distract him, so he quickly changed direction so that she could settle down and collect the poults.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 29, 13 at 13:18

The poults are really well camouflaged when they hunker down, so long as it's in vegetation. A year or so ago I saw some poults hunker down and freeze in the middle of the asphalt road by the house. The hen had gotten across the road with a few poults but not all of them had crossed yet.

Luckily a car stopped before squashing them. I heard turkey squawking and went out to see what was going on and I shooed them off the road. Turkeys are safer in corn fields.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

I don't know if there will be a July thread so I'm posting this photo taken just a day ago. Does anyone know what that thing is on this bird's (baby robin?) beak? Here are a few shots


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 10:53

molie: You might get an answer if you post on the Bird Watching Forum. I don't know what the growth is, maybe someone else here does.

Claire

P.S. I don't tie the threads to any particular month - I just set up a new one when the current thread gets too long (when I notice).


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 2, 13 at 10:54

Hi Molie, It does look like a beak deformity - an outgrowth of the soft tissue. Cornell excerpt about beak deformities:
"Many factors have been implicated in causing beaks to grow abnormally, including disease, parasites, nutritional deficiencies, genetic defects, exposure to extreme heat, exposure to environmental contaminants, and structural damage caused by a collision or other trauma.

A slight malformation may not affect a bird's survival, but an extreme deformity may make normal feeding difficult if not impossible. Sometimes it happens gradually enough that the bird learns to compensate, but if the excessive growth doesn't stop, eventually the bird is likely to starve."

Cute little guy, feathers seem to be growing in well, hope for the best.
Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell Q&A, Beak Deformities


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Thanks, Jane and Claire. I know there's nothing I can do to help this little guy/gal, but I was worried. I'll also post on the Bird Watching Forum.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

This bird looks like it has a growth on its cere (the tissue at the upper part of the beak, where the beak meets the bird's face). This article describes and illustrates hypertrophy of the cere. It is unfortunate that you can do nothing, but it seems a tricky condition to treat even in the case of a pet bird.
http://www3.sympatico.ca/davehansen/obstruct.html


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Thanks, Sped. I also posted on the Bird Watching Forum and will check that too.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

No photo, but I saw an indigo bunting on Monday. I used to see them in OH when I lived there, but this is the first one I've seen in my 30+ years in NH. Even though the camera was right next to me, I didn't even think to pick it up I was so excited.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 10:26

I've done that too, nhbabs, stood with the camera in my hand going "Wow, look at that!" and not photographing it. And then it flew off without its photo opp. Indigo buntings are gorgeous, at least the males are. The females are more demure.

This series of pictures is from June 29. I posted them on the Bird Watching forum but not here, but I can't resist.

Later the same day, I saw Dad feeding a fledgling at the feeder but I couldn't get the camera out in time before he flew away leaving the kid at the table.
Oriole feeding lesson1 6:27:13

The fledgling just stayed there without touching the jam and Dad flew back to check. He left without feeding it.
Oriole feeding lesson2 6:27:13

The fledgling still didn't get the idea and eventually flew away. Maybe next time.
Oriole feeding lesson3 6:27:13

Next day Mom was feeding a fledgling jam.
Orioles and cowbird2 6:29:13

Orioles and cowbird3 6:29:13

When a juvenile cowbird suddenly joined them, probably wondering what they were eating.
Orioles and cowbird5 6:29:13

Orioles and cowbird6 6:29:13

Mom oriole left, while the fledgling stayed, not looking very pleased about this.
Orioles and cowbird11 6:29:13

Orioles and cowbird13 6:29:13

Orioles and cowbird14 6:29:13

The fledgling soon left too, and the cowbird remained. It didn't even like the jam (it did try some).
Orioles and cowbird15 6:29:13

There wasn't any violence and I doubt that Mom oriole would have left if the fledgling was in danger. The orioles are tough and chase catbirds away. Maybe the cowbird was one of her brood so she didn't attack it.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 10:33

Also cross-posted on the Bird Watching Forum but no one there seems to want to talk about cowbirds AKA brood parasites:

I know people get testy about the nesting habits of cowbirds, but the idea has some fascinating aspects. I've wondered for a while how the isolated cowbird fledglings find the cowbird flock. Do the adults cruise around looking for young cowbirds? Do the hatchlings bond with their adoptive family but leave when it's time to breed? or are they kicked out when they can feed on their own?

This set of photos also brought up something else I hadn't thought about. The adoptive parents feed the hatchlings food that's appropriate for their species, but may not be appropriate for cowbirds. I suppose most birds feed caterpillars and insects to their young and that's probably universal food, but what happens when an oriole tries to feed a cowbird fruit? A couple of sources say cowbirds eat seeds and arthropods/insects. I'm watching some downy woodpeckers, adults and fledglings, feasting on a feeder containing peanuts and suet nuggets. Could a fledgling cowbird survive on that?

After all, the young cowbird didn't choose where its egg was laid and to be force fed fruit is an added trial.

...................................................................... ....................................

Still wondering about fledgling cowbirds - this morning (July 1) I saw two adult male orioles, one fledgling oriole and two fledgling cowbirds together at the feeder. One adult male stayed apart and soon left so it may not have been associated with the family.

Oriole and cowbirds1 7:1:13

The oriole fledgling joined dad at the jam while the cowbirds stayed on the top.

Orioles and cowbirds1 7:1:13

Oriole and cowbirds2 7:1:13

Several oriole fledglings are now eating jam by themselves.
Oriole fledglings 7:1:13

This one seems to be particularly brightly colored for a baby.
Oriole fledgling1 7:1:13

Oriole fledgling2 7:1:13

I don't know what happened to those two cowbirds shown above that didn't follow 'Dad' to the jam. I've never seen an oriole feeding on the ground so the challenge for the cowbirds would be to figure out that there's seed lying around on the ground without having a 'parent' show them.

There are a lot of cowbird fledglings feeding on the ground with a few grackles and red-wings and a house sparrow (sorry for the blurry pic, wet window), so maybe the assorted cowbird fledglings eventually join them.

Cowbirds 7:1:13

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Great shots of the orioles, gold finches and cardinal. What a rainbow of colors! And the color of the jelly feeder is perfect. I was surprised this morning to see a single oriole in the birdbath. I usually see orioles at least once a season and often a pair, but never in the birdbath. They usually just quickly and stealthily whiz through the yard. No photos, I'm having some mobility issues, having strained a hip muscle.

Lots of starlings or grackles, which ever they are. Purple head on the adults? And a lot of juveniles. The birdbath has been very communal lately. Three or four birds at once and as soon as they hop out, another three or four jump in.

Love those turkey photos. I saw a single turkey, the other day, trying to cross a busy rotary just off the highway. I wonder why there seem to be so many around lately? I never remember ever seeing even one growing up.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 15:21

Hi Claire - you questioned,"so maybe the assorted cowbird fledglings eventually join them."
By now you too may have found Carl Strang's June, 2009 cowbird fledgling observation on Nature Inquiries:
"Over the years I have seen cowbird fledglings being fed by yellow warblers, song sparrows, scarlet tanagers, blue-gray gnatcatchers and cardinals. Cardinals are common at Willowbrook Forest Preserve, but for several years the only time I saw cardinal fledglings was late in the season, after the cowbirds were done. All early products of cardinal nests were cowbirds. This kind of selective pressure is what has led many birds to evolve the capacity to recognize and reject cowbird eggs. Obviously such an ability remains to emerge in many others. Incidentally, once the cowbird becomes independent, it instinctively seeks out other young cowbirds and behaves as a cowbird from then on." (italics mine)
--------------
For me, this question of current instinctual behavior falls into that 'chicken or egg' category; which came first? The parasitic behavior or the need to adapt to that behavior?

If anyone is interested, Stanford has a good article on cowbird behavior -
"http://www.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Cowbirds.html"

As far as the fledglings being fed fruit, there must be enough protein intake to get them to the independent stage or, is their DNA that adaptable that their fledgling physiology changes based solely on caloric intake? Many questions, out of my field, but fun to ponder. The pictures are good conversation starters for sure.

Jane (who pasted all of this in the Birdwatching Forum)

Here is a link that might be useful: Nature Inquiries


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 18:06

Thanks, Jane, for the references. I found the sites:
Carl Strang's June 2009 entry and
Stanford group essay on Cowbirds.

I'm a little skeptical about Strang's statement on instinctual behavior - it may be true but it sounds more like a belief not based on any science. (Just a quibble on my part - if he'd said the juvenile cowbirds 'appear' to seek out other cowbirds, based on his observations, I wouldn't have been annoyed - but ascribing the behavior to 'instinct' is a jump too far).

A very interesting fact in the Stanford essay is that only about 3 percent of cowbird eggs actually result in adults! That's major mortality. The cowbird female just keeps laying eggs and eggs and eggs ...

"An average female lays about 80 eggs, 40 per year for two years. About 3 percent of those 80 eggs end up as adults -- an average of 2.4 adults per female. Clearly, such numbers more than compensate for the excessive loss of eggs and young in the nests of inappropriate hosts."

I wonder how the current situation differs from the earlier situation when the cowbirds evolved to follow the bison herds and couldn't hang around to set up a proper nest without dropping behind and struggling to find food for themselves and the young. That behavior probably was dependent on the migration patterns of the bison, but nowadays the cowbirds have the luxury of being able to stay in the same area as their young, even if they don't get involved in the raising of them.

As far as which came first, the parasitic behavior or the adaptation to it, I would think that the ability to lay so many eggs and the rapid maturation of the young would come early.

There's an interesting entry in the Birds of North America Online site (subscription only) saying that "Most fledgling losses occurred 1 or 2 d after leaving nest".

There are a lot of unknowns here, but it's an interesting topic for study. I'm glad I don't have to do the research myself, it would drive me crazy trying to pull together all of the variables.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 18:20

PM2: Sorry about the strained hip muscle - it's really hard to get around without using your hips - ouch!

Sounds like you have grackles with the purple head. They love birdbaths, but so do the starlings.

I never saw turkeys either growing up. It turns out they were wiped out in the east by the early 20th century, but then there was a serious effort to reintroduce the Wild Turkeys starting in the 1940's and this effort was VERY, VERY successful. Although judging by my local experience where the natural predators are also reintroducing themselves, the turkey population may stabilize or even go down.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 18:29

I just heard a lot of turkey noise and looked out to see a turkey poult in the yard! The activity went across the street so I don't know how many there are. I hope it/they will be back.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

They reintroduced the turkeys in my state in 1972, the same year that we moved to Vermont (from Boston). There was a lot of speculation about whether they would survive, and some hunters expressed concern that the turkeys might have a negative effect on deer populations by eating the same foods and using up the resources.

A few years later the turkeys were well enough established and their numbers on the rise, and a short turkey (hunting) season was created. Since that time the season has been extended and other turkey seasons (using other weapons) added. I'm not sure if the turkey numbers ever affected the deer population, but the turkeys are certainly thriving.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Claire - that is an amazing group of oriole photos. I occasionally see an oriole down by the stream. I've put up oriole feeders the past 2 years, but can't seem to attract them into the yard.

Since I have a pond, my bird bath gets very little use. Until last week.
Henry photo IMG_9224_zps627f809b.jpg

Does anybody have any idea what this bug is? I *think* this is my anise hyssop (the tag faded).
Bug? photo IMG_9272_zps5a675b89.jpg

Saw this baby squirrel last week. I went so far as to google how to care for a baby squirrel and decided it was too much work. He was gone the next morning, so obviously his momma came to get him.
Baby Squirrel photo IMG_9255_zps0eb2e9b9.jpg

I got a decent set of binoculars for Christmas, which has really enhanced my wildlife viewing. I saw a real commotion going on out on the backside of the pond. But the binoculars were not strong enough for me to figure out what was going on. I tiptoed out - found one of the snappers going to town on a huge fish - what was left of the fish was easily 12-15" long, and seemed to be a good 4" diameter. No wonder I no longer have any comet or koi left in the pond. And I thought it was just the heron to blame.

Turtle and Fish photo IMG_9248_zpsbde6d985.jpg

Over the course of the day, I kept taking walks down to the pond to check on both the baby squirrel and the turtle. It took the turtle most of the day to eat the fish.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

PixieLou - I think your snapper scares me a bit! You've had quite a bit of natural drama going on in your yard recently.

Your bug is a dragonfly larva just preparing to become an adult. They start in the water, and when they are ready to become adults, they crawl out onto a plant, hitch themselves down firmly, split open down the middle of the back, and then emerge through the split, sort of like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. I sometimes find just the shell left on plants along the river.

PM2, hope that the hip is feeling better.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 6, 13 at 17:46

pixie_lou: I hope you haven't been tempted to take a dip in the pond in this hot weather. Toes and fingers look too much like minnows, at least to a snapper. Your daughter is getting a good introduction to nature.

I didn't know about dragonfly larvae (thanks, nhbabs). Is the shell still there and do you think the larva was inside and busting out when you took the photo?

It's nice of you to keep a squirrel bath in your yard.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Thanks, Claire & Babs, I did it in the garden, rushing to get some plants in the ground before it rained. I just twisted and reached a little too far and that was all it took. I’ve given in and I'm starting PT this week so I am sure that will help. Thankfully, it didn’t happen until I was just about done with getting the garden ready for the summer.

PixieLou, that bug in photo #2 is sure an ugly one, isn’t it? I would never have guessed it was a dragonfly larva, Babs.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 7, 13 at 10:39

Well, I hope the turkeys return. Maybe the new crowd is unaware of the 5 star rating.

Pix - is that Myrtle the Turtle dining on the pond whale? Holy cow. Your pond is a microcosm of the whole world to my way of thinking. Neat.

Trying to see if I can post after experiencing some trouble and including a picture which I was unable to do for a few days.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

I've had a lot of butterflies in the garden this summer, though I don't know what any of them are other than the tiger swallowtail, which has also left caterpillars on the parsley.
From Butterflies, 2013

From Butterflies, 2013

From Butterflies, 2013

This afternoon I was watching a redtailed hawk trying to gain altitude after taking off from one of the pines along the river, when a broadwing hawk took exception to him being there and started dive-bombing him. Both species nest here, and the redtails stay year-round, but I don't usually see them together. Sorry about the lack of photo quality - I really need to get a telephoto.

From July 7, 2013

From July 7, 2013

Pretty gutsy of the broadwing to take on a bird 1 1/2 to 2 times its weight! I've also seen them harassing an eagle, so they don't lack for courage.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

A pair of bucks in velvet stopped by across from the house this evening.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 7:04

Jane: I've had turkeys here all along, just fewer during breeding season and no poults except that one fleeting sighting. Probably the predators are getting the young before they can fly.

Bunnies are undeniably cute even if they're a nuisance. I don't see bunnies any more either, although that could partly be due to the fact that I eliminated a lot of lawn.

nhbabs: Lovely butterflies, I'll let someone else identify them (too early to find my butterfly guide).

The hawk altercation is amazing - I guess no hawks are lacking self-confidence or they wouldn't survive very long.

I don't know much about deer but I thought the bucks don't stay together. Are they still too young or is it just that the antlers aren't developed yet so they're not challenging each other?

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Claire - DH said he has seen bucks together before, just not in the fall during rutting season. I'd guess it may not be too much longer before they stop hanging out together.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

pixie lou, nice bird bath. The dragon fly larva looks similar to the creatures in some of my favorite Sci-Fi movies. I hope the momma did come to get the baby squirrel.

Jane, the rabbit is just adorable. I know there may be some veggie growers who may not agree.

nhbabs, the butterflies are pretty.

Here's a male Cabbage White Butterfly.

"Males and females can be told apart by their wing spots. Males only have one spot on each wing, while females have two." Referenced from http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/cabbage_white.htm
 photo cabbagewhitebutterfly_zpsf779d3ed.jpg

-Tina


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 10:14

Nice pic of the Cabbage White Butterfly, Tina. I didn't know that male and female butterflies look different (to our eyes, anyway - obviously the butterflies can tell the difference).

I did see an interesting butterfly yesterday but I was far from my camera.

Otherwise, I have the usual suspects here - turkeys and woodchucks. I feel as if I've already posted every possible picture of turkeys, but these are a little different, sort of.

Two turkeys taking it easy on a hot and humid day, with meadow phlox. There's a turkey lounging on the bottom right in the shade.
Turkeys 7:7:13

The grass isn't really that tall, the turkey is on a slope.
Turkey1 7:8:13

Turkeys do fly, occasionally. These two suddenly took off up to the tree after making a lot of noise. There was no obvious reason but that doesn't seem to matter to turkeys.
Turkeys in tree 7:10:13

I planted two new little asters last week to add to some already in that area. Something nibbled on them, which I don't understand because the old ones were never touched. I put a cage around them to give them a chance to recover before deciding what to do with them.

Yesterday one of the baby woodchucks appeared there - this is next to a birdfeeding area. At first it just browsed on the ground but then started prowling around the cage.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

and apparently noticed me watching.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It ran across the path and checked again - yes, I was still watching.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The NOAA Weather Alert radio is shouting "Thunderstorm coming!" This time may be for real. I hope so.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

That woodchuck looks like he's in heaven!

I recall discovering turkeys fly about 12 years ago when I owned an Australian Shepherd, and a gaggle of turkeys showed up in the back yard (must have flown over the fence). I ran out and threw birdseed at them and they were so happy and all came running for the bird seed, and THEN the dog discovered she could get the screen door open and had a little herding session with the turkeys! They flew back over the fence - phew!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 11, 13 at 18:33

FroofyCat: I do seem to have happy woodchucks here. I'd be happier myself if they ate something like meadow phlox (I'd never notice) or poison ivy (I've been finding a lot of seedlings this year).

I love the image of an Australian Shepherd herding turkeys. Once in Germany I saw a man and some dogs herding a large flock of sheep. The dogs were really professional about it and the sheep took them very seriously. Probably would have happy to be able to fly away from the dogs.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

My woodchuck, Charles, is making himself quite at home here. He ate every sunflower down to the ground. I don't know if my pattypan squash, zucchini, eggplant or strawberries will recover. I told DH that we need to consider fencing the vegetable garden.

He wandered around the pond to the apple tree.
charles1 photo IMG_9288_zpsfef86a79.jpg

Spent some time watching the frogs.
charles2 photo IMG_9291_zps76b99588.jpg

Decided to have a snack in the hollyhock (and weed) box.
charles3 photo IMG_9326_zpse2867025.jpg

Spotted me and jumped right out, pretending he wasn't eating the hollyhocks!
charles4 photo IMG_9328_zps43453f1d.jpg

Then stopped the contemplate the coreopsis and anise hyssop.
charles5 photo IMG_9332_zps3a099bc9.jpg


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

The neighbors cat continues to make himself at home. I'm guessing that the cement bench is cool, hence a comfortable place in the heat we've been having. Unfortunately his presence has created a huge decrease in my bird sightings. I still have no idea who the cat belongs to. I've almost been tempted to post a "found cat" listing on my neighborhood web site!
cat photo IMG_9299_zps1e507986.jpg

But I'm still getting visitors to the birdfeeder. Squippy. He's a little red squirrel - who figured out how to jump up onto the bird feeder. And he's light enough that the feeder doesn't close on him.
squippy photo squippy_zps03ba0672.jpg

And here's chippy peeking out at me from a hollow in the tree.
chippy photo IMG_6559_zps10add9f4.jpg


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 13, 13 at 7:23

pixie_lou: Charles almost seems to be wearing a dark mask, like the bandit he is. Vegetable gardens and fences go well together when bandits are around.

I like the way the cat's tail wraps over the edge of the bench (I just saw a woodchuck amble by the window). I remember one cat would wrap his tail around my arm when I held him.

I've only seen red squirrels twice here, the gray are dominant.

That's a good reminder that chipmunks can climb - apparently woodchucks can climb trees too. Yesterday one of the baby woodchucks came onto the porch and tried to climb the railing, maybe wanting to check out the houseplants on shelves next to the railing. I chased it away before it got too far.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

claire - please don't tell me that woodchucks can climb. Though I think Charles is a bit too chubby to climb anything too tough!

nhbabs - thanks for the previous ID of the dragonfly larvae. Kinda like the ugly duckling story - from an ugly bug comes a beautiful dragonfly!

I had a painted lady butterfly on my echinacea white swan.
painted lady echinacea photo IMG_9304_zps57e007a7.jpg

Then the butterfly stopped on my easter lily.
painted lady lily photo IMG_9310_zps349d40be.jpg

Not sure what type of butterfly this one is.
butterfly photo IMG_6572_zps111a4334.jpg

Then an interesting dragonfly. I have tons of dragon flies. At dusk I see swarms of them in the sky.
dragonfly photo IMG_6568_zpsda35fe3b.jpg

And lastly a bee feasting on the anise hyssop.
bee photo IMG_6569_zps13d8b99f.jpg


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 14, 13 at 6:50

Beautiful pictures, pixie_lou! The painted lady on the gold and white echinacea and on the lilies with gold anthers(?) are just gorgeous combinations.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Those woodchucks are so cute. I don't have any. I do get skunks often. And, of course, my dog finds it. He didn't touch the skunk but the skunk sprayed him good. Six days and four baths later, I can finally tolerate being in the same room with him. For the last bath, I used a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn dish detergent. This worked the best to get the stink off him.

pixie lou, the red squirrel is cute. I don't see them here in the Naugatuck Valley area. But, I do see them in northern CT when I go hiking or camping. And, your neighborhood has a website? That's a good idea.

On another note, I finally got a hummingbird visitor yesterday! How awesome is that? I didn't get pictures since I don't have a high speed camera. I saw it fly to the monarda, then, it visited several of the hosta flowers, and flew around the side of the house. I'm not sure what kind it was. It was mostly green with some light areas. It didn't have a red throat.

Time to consider a hummingbird feeder. But, I wonder how processed sugar water compares to what they can get from the flowers.

-Tina


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 17:54

I had to stop down the road the other day to let a woodchuck cross and I immediately thought, "Guthrie, Charles". Maybe it was Elaine, but another woody was spared. Delighted to see Guthrie and Charles are doing so well.

An hour ago I spotted this Eastern Swallowtail supping up nectar on the butterfly bush. That proboscis is right down in there. So glad I barely trimmed that bush, it's about 15 years old and is a solid 8 ft. tall.



Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 18:12

Congratulations on the hummingbird, Tina! It's probably a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, almost all of the hummers in New England are ruby-throats. The females and juveniles don't have the red throat.

Real nectar from flowers is certainly better than sugar water but your feeder would be a reliable food source. Flowers come and go, and get emptied of nectar, but sugar water provided by a loving birdwatcher can be a lifesaver. Or at least keep the hummers in your yard even when in between flower bloom.

Those are astonishing pictures of the Eastern Swallowtail, Jane! That looks like fur on the neck and back in the second pic. We're really having a run of excellent butterfly sightings.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

I saw one of those Swallowtail's in the garden today too. Too hot to take a photo. Every time I take the camera outside in the heat, after being in the a/c, it fogs up all the photos. I'm also not good at all, catching action shots. Your photos are amazingly clear, Jane. Great camera!

Pixie Lou, that is one lucky woodchuck to have such a buffet in your vegetable garden. We only had one woodchuck one year and that was enough for me. I would have to give up vegetable gardening, if we had one every year.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

My bee balm is alive with pollinators. There were two fritillary butterflies making the rounds (although I only managed to capture one with the camera) and many furry bumblebees.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Beautiful photos of butterflies.

Thanks, Claire, on hummingbird info.

I also read the hummingbird thread.

I went to a couple of the large chain stores to look at hummingbird feeders yesterday after reading up on what to look for in a feeder. So, far the ones I looked at lack something or another e.g. too large, too plastic, no perch

-Tina


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 19, 13 at 9:24

spedigrees: Pretty pics of the bee balm forest and its denizens. Bee balm is definitely a boon to insects and birds, as well as being fun to say out loud. Bee balm ... bee balm.... said in a singsong voice.

Tina: Amazon.com has a lot of hummingbird feeders at good prices, and many of them have free shipping if you buy $25 worth of eligible items (I can always find a small add-on).

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 12:06

Claire has been generous with me posting 'off my yard' photos on her thread, so here's another one. (still okay, Claire?)

July 18th evening we cruised around Selden Island which is in the Connecticut River below Lyme. If anyone is interested in seeing some river birds, click the link below. It was hotter than blazes and hazy which is shown in the pictures. To omit the haze by magic photoshop methods, I feel would distort the reality of the night, so the pictures are, hazy! But the birds are wonderful.

Jane
P.S. if you just place (not clicking) your mouse on a picture a title may come up. I'm not great at this Flickr slideshow business and I think the pictures show better at the size on the page, not full screen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Selden Island, Connecticut River


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 16:27

No problem, Jane. It's like posting photos of a visit to a public garden or flower show - the eyes (and camera) belong to a New England gardener.

Nice pictures! The osprey family is great, and I like that they live in the penthouse of a highrise with cormorants on the lower floors.

It's fun to watch the goose skidding in for a landing, and you end with what looks like a tornado approaching!

Some of those pictures look like they're taken in a bayou on the Gulf Coast, not the Connecticut River.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Nice photos, Jane, and it looks like the river must be fairly healthy with all the birds, especially the predators that are high up the food chain.

PixieLou - We have seen woodchucks climbing trees, so I am afraid that Claire is absolutely right about that, though I am not sure that it is their preference. Usually they dive into their holes when threatened, but trees are a second choice.

Nice to see beneficial insects visiting flowers in so many gardens!

It's been too hot recently for me to be spending time outside, and the river is too high to be safe for swimming or paddling, so no photos here.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 12:36

Thanks, and yes, the CT River is finally healthy again, thank goodness.

I was out taking pictures in the yard and found this little fellow in a Jap.willow. I don't know if he came from the bird house in the willow, but I think maybe so because he's so young. Anyone have any idea about his development and whether or not there is a problem? He's young (soft beak tissue) but poor little chap looks like he may have a disease, hence, the Mohawk head.
This is where I found him:

I didn't want to get any closer for fear of scaring him. Maybe a Carolina Wren with no tail? (will also post this on the Bird Forum)
Thanks, Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 14:57

My wild guess is a Northern Cardinal nestling/fledgling with molting issues, but I'll defer to the Bird Watching Forum (or anyone here who knows better).

That bill is too hefty for a wren.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 17:33

Hmm...you're right about the bill. There were CWrens nearby squeeking, but that could have my presence. If no answer on the Bird Forum, maybe I'll send him to PFW and ask. Molting so young? So much to learn. Thanks.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 17:46

I see someone on the Bird Watching Forum identified it as a cardinal fledgling. I thought it looked familiar and after looking at the ID pic, I remembered a recent post on that forum called Fledge Time which shows a cardinal fledgling and its dad.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 17:54

Glad you recalled that post. Thanks very much, Claire. This may be a baby from the resident love couple.
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Mr Hummy was sitting on the clothesline preening for the longest time the other day.

hummy 1 photo IMG_9373_zps60926a32.jpg

hummy 2 photo IMG_9374_zps653c5f2b.jpg

hummy 3 photo IMG_9379_zps47852370.jpg

hummy 3 photo IMG_9380_zps213fe724.jpg

Found a fuzzy yellow caterpillar on a lily leaf.

caterpillar photo IMG_9392_zps3b7ad500.jpg

And a double dragonfly photo!
 photo doubledragonflycrop_zps4d18b427.jpg

Now, I'm not sure if this is Charles. Either Charles built himself a new house on the other side of the pond. Or else he wanders far beyond the typical 100 foot range of a woodchuck. Or else this is Charles buddy Darwin. I seem to have 2 burrows, on opposite sides of the pond. Though I have only seen 1 wood chuck at a time.

Here he is, thinking Hey, if I crouch down, maybe she can't see me?
charles 1 photo IMG_9347_zps83c93720.jpg

Oh, she saw me, I guess I'll head on home to the burrow.
charles 2 photo IMG_9352_zps7f30981e.jpg

Oops. My ear is itchy.
charles 3 photo IMG_9354_zpsf01fd6df.jpg

Ha ha ha missus. You can't follow me in here. By the way, thanks for the lunch.
charles4 photo IMG_9357_zps04db8323.jpg


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 9:47

pixie_lou: Maybe Charles tunneled under the pond? I'm reminded of the roadway tunnels in NYC, without the lighting, of course (and tolls).

Your hummer looks like it was preparing for its photo op - or maybe it thought it was camouflaging itself as a clothespin.

That's a very pretty caterpillar - maybe a Yellow woolly bear caterpillar soon to become a Virginia tiger moth. I didn't know wooly bears came in pale yellow.

And a very nice picture of dragonflies on a stake, looking like a decorative antenna.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

I like that - camouflaging as a clothespin!

Another butterfly on the White Swan.
butterfly on white swan photo IMG_6663_zps2f75312f.jpg

And another dragonfly. But this one landed on a flower that I spraypainted orange to keep on my patio table. I don't know if dragonflies sip nectar at all - but the dragonflies sue like to land on the flowers.
dragonfly photo IMG_6718_zpsd06d7baa.jpg


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 27, 13 at 10:06

pixie_lou: Nice pic of the butterfly on the White Swan! That's my favorite coneflower.

Not knowing much about dragonfiies, I turned to google and found this Dragonfly Site.

They have a page on What Do Dragonflies Eat? which gets pretty gory, but the gist is:

" Adult dragonflies eat just about anything that is edible and can be caught. They are a treasure for humanity because they keep mosquito populations under strict control by feasting on them when they are in abundance. Similarly, they also feed on ants, termites, butterflies, gnats, bees and other insects and tend to hunt in groups when large colonies of ants or termites are spotted.

They are considered a pest by apiaries because they can polish off a good chunk of the bee population before one can realize the threat looming large.

Writing about what dragonflies eat makes one wonder what would be the case if some of the older dragonfly species that have been found as fossils existed today. These fossil species belonging to the Meganeura genus were carnivorous insects with wings spreading to spans in the range of two and a half feet and made their food out of other insects and even small amphibians. If they were still alive today, we’d have to constantly watch our small pets to be sure they didn’t end up a dragonfly’s lunch!".

Nectar is apparently not on the menu.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

Claire - I can vouch for the fact that dragonflies eat mosquitoes. I have swarms of dragonflies down by the pond. And very few Mosquitos.

Gosh - if the prehistoric dragonflies were still around, maybe I wouldn't have a groundhog problem!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 27, 13 at 11:31

Double dragonflies are great, Pixie, and Charles is a trip.

The fledglings are here daily (all of them) and this morning a Blue Jay baby created a scene I think may not even need captions:






And they both flew away. Nobody went to find the dropped food.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 27, 13 at 15:40

Great series, Jane, on the Blue Jay fledgling feeding frenzy. I'm sure there was a lot of noise involved, too.

It's Blue Jay fledgling time here, too, and the racket is considerable as they consider peanuts on the deck. The adults and the babies all make a great show of bravado as they dare to grab a peanut with me sitting here. Land on the railing and squawk, then down to the deck behind the rail and glare at me, then pounce on the poor peanut and fly off. Even better if the peanut comes in a shelf pack (intact shell).

The cardinals are beginning to come for peanuts too while I'm sitting out here. They make a very high pitched beep as they approach - sort of like a sonar beacon.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

I just wanted to thank all of you for always making this such an enjoyable thread. Your photos and commentary are always so entertaining. I can never seem to get those great pics of wildlife. So many of the photos on these threads are magazine quality, just stunning.

I've had goldfinches perching on top of my purple tuteurs but never have a camera on hand. Wish I could share the vivid color combo.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 28, 13 at 10:39

Thanks, T2D, on behalf of all of the posters who contribute to this thread. It's a very enjoyable thread for me too, and I''m reminded that part of the maintenance chores is starting a new thread when the current one gets too long (80 posts today not counting mine) so I'll set up a new one today.

Yellow goldfinches on your purple tuteurs sounds fantastic!

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Sun, Jul 28, 13 at 10:40


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