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

 o
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 15:41

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
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #6
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #7
...................................................................... ...................................................................... ..........

I drove home today and saw turkeys in display in the road just beyond my turn into the driveway. I parked the car and ran for my camera and when I got back they were still there and had blocked a car (cars around here are usually patient with turkeys).

Two toms were displaying and one tom was with them but looking disheveled as he led the parade. There was a hen to the right. This is not your usual breeding season but maybe the hens are trying again since there have been no poults this season (probably due to predators).
Turkey Display1 8:22:13

Turkey Display2 8:22:13

Once I'd gotten my pictures I gently shooed the turkeys out of the road so the car could pass.

For the last few weeks I've been seeing one tom hanging around the yard alone, staying near the ground feeding area and looking unhappy, and I figured it was either old or sick, or maybe both. I'd been thinking about what I would have to do if it died in my yard. Dig a grave? Bury it in my compost pile? I couldn't eat it not knowing the cause of the death. Besides, it's too familiar - I'd make a lousy farmer.

If this is that tom maybe it's on the mend. In any case he seems to have earned Turkey Tom Emeritus stature.

Claire


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

I vote for burying him in the compost pile if he expires in your yard. He'll be repaying you for the food and shelter your garden has provided over the years.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

A terrible photo, but the best I could do. We periodically get spring peepers visiting our windows, perhaps to grab the bugs that are attracted to the light in the evening.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 9:35

nhbabs: I'm leaning towards the compost pile too. The only complication is that the turkeys have flattened it - that's their latest afternoon loitering spot - and I have to pile it up again.

Baltimore Orioles are very pretty birds but not very well socialized. They're always fighting over the jam feeder. I probably should try to get a video to show them jousting back and forth like fencers.

Here are a few still shots of the battles:

Three orioles momentarily together.
Orioles at feeder1 8:23:13

One of them gets knocked down.
Orioles at feeder2 8:23:13

Orioles at feeder3 8:23:13

The bottom oriole left, but another arrived at the top.
Orioles at feeder4 8:23:13

Jousting to the right, squawking to the left.
Orioles at feeder5 8:23:13

General squawking.
Orioles at feeder6 8:23:13

I think these are all this year's juveniles. The two left and right on the feeder stayed together - maybe they're brood mates.

When an adult male shows up they all get bumped off. The youngsters will fight back but they usually lose. No one seems to get hurt so it's probably all show.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 9:41

nhbabs: You posted while I was preparing my oriole saga.

How neat to have a spring peeper (fall peeper now?) on your window! Do they climb on the screen?

It would be lovely if they sang at your window in the springtime.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Claire -

Great sequence of oriole shots. I always enjoy when someone posts a series like that since it gives an excellent feel for bird behavior, even without a video.

The spring peepers only visit us at home in summer . . . in spring they are in the wetland a short walk down the road, and driving by in the evening, it's deafening - I always wonder how the decibels compare with a rock concert.

I've never seen one on a window with screens; they use their suction cup toes to climb the glass, the house wall, or the window frame.

This post was edited by nhbabs on Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 18:44


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Claire, how do you keep squirrels away from feeders? I saw in the other thread grapes in cages and like that idea. Would also like to try other options for the birds but the dang squirrels are such hogs. We have feeders hanging under the eave in the back of our house and when the screens are not in they can't jump to them. BUT they actually chewed and scratched and ripped apart some of our siding (while sitting on the water spigot) to get traction up the side of the house to get on the feeders. Only once in a while they do climb up the siding. We just haven't found a good way to coexist with the squirrels to let them dine but not interfere with the birds,

Help!! I'll take any ideas.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Thyme - my solution has been to feed food that the squirrels do not like. Also, my general seed feeder is one of those spring loaded ones - too much weight and the feeding areas close. I keep safflower seed in that feeder - the squirrels and grackles do not eat safflower. I get lots of cardinals, mourning doves, house finches, chickadees, titmice and nuthatches at that feeder.

I also have a hummingbird feeder, a thistle tube and a suet bag for feeders. Since I use straight suet, not those seed and suet mixed blocks, I pretty much only get woodpeckers at the suet bag, with the occasional chickadee or nuthatch.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

You could also set up a large, squirrel-friendly, feeding station far away from your house and keep it filled. I would think that squirrels would head straight for it and you could enjoy watching their antics though binoculars while the birds dine at the feeders close to your house on seeds that lack squirrel appeal. If some birds also visited the squirrel feeder, well it would be no harm done.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 25, 13 at 14:14

I thought I posted this morning but I lost it - probably got to the preview and went away without submitting it. I'll try to restate it since I couldn't find the history.

T2D: pixie_lou's approach is valid - I take a different path. My approach is basically capitulation - I feed the squirrels so they have no need to climb up to the bird feeder, unless they're curious (what's in there?) or challenged (can I do it?).

I do have a number of squirrel baffles which often, but not always, work. That's probably not useful for you with your feeders hanging from the eaves and close to the side of the house.

I put squirrel/woodchuck/chipmunk food on the ground near the hanging feeders. Maybe you could put a window box with squirrel food on the window near the hanging feeders. Squirrels are fun to watch too when you're not mad at them.

I have a major squirrel problem with the peanut/suet nugget feeder I have mounted to the rail on my deck. Baffles don't work, and I even tried to thread a slinky around the rail to keep the squirrels off. They just jump over to the feeder.

I know I could fabricate a barrier that would keep the squirrels away but then I couldn't see the birds.

What I do now is put peanuts and a wildlife critter food block on the deck and the squirrels have learned that I won't bother them if they feed on the deck but I'll chase them furiously if they touch the feeder. It's working more or less - I only occasionally have to do the loud voice and waving the arms terror campaign.

spedigree's approach is also valid and could work.

Good luck,
Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Thanks for all the squirrel advice. I've often thought about putting out a feeding station for them. We really do like squirrels, just not when they're ripping cedar siding off the house!

But here's my dilemma.......if I put out food for them, will they tell all their friends? I have about 2 or 3 squirrels that frequent the yard now, and that's a good number for me. But, I don't want to have a huge squirrel party where the guests never leave!! LOL! I was afraid of attracting even more if I started feeding.

What does everyone think or see from experience? Thanks again.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 9:42

T2D: In my experience, squirrels don't really have many friends. They're territorial and will chase most other squirrels away from the food. Sometimes two will feed together.

In past years I have seen as many as thirteen squirrels at one time in the yard in the winter time coming from different directions, in particular, from the woods across the street.

When the leaves are down I can see many squirrel nests high in the trees.

That number didn't last very long, probably due to the coyotes and foxes. The increased number could have been due to a new generation of inexperienced and unwary youngsters born in late winter. See Ohio.gov

I have food on the ground all the time and not all that many squirrels now. Five or six maybe in the yard and not in a group. No more than three on the deck and usually one will chase the other two away.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 11:47

T2D, Personally, I'd be more concerned about my siding and move the bird feeder farther from the house so it isn't attractive to destructive squirrels. But I'm not there and don't know your situation.
My situation is quite similar to Claire's. We've watched 15 kits at a time being led by their mother through the trees. There (unfortunately) is a hollow in one of my old maples that has been a squirrel home for years and still is.
This is when they had plumbing problems:

But, the number on the ground around my bird feeders is usually no more than 3 at a time: One Eye, White Ear, and Johnny BigTail, the bully. Every spring a new kit tries to climb the pole to get to the feeder. They run around the pole under the Audubon baffle and try out their best swinging rhythm method to jump to the food. Sometimes, one will make it and hang upside down stuffing himself against gravity. The pole has a spiral, springy wire on which to grow string beans wrapped around the pole and the motion of the big spring when touched is usually enough to thwart their effort. The single largest factor in squirrels getting to the feeder that has changed, is me. My attitude is now, 'Go ahead. Knock yourself out. Let's see how long you can eat upside down before it all falls out', and I walk away. A little seed here or there, so what's the prob? I put some on the ground for the mourning doves anyway. It's food; they want it, I give it. Just hang up the feeder you want with a baffle on the pole and enjoy it all. Excess squirrel populations mean happier, healthier foxes, as Claire mentioned. Life is easier when we try to control less. Nature wasn't my design to begin with, I'm just part of it.

If it helps, here's as close a shot as I have of my main feeder and it works.

Jane


Buy a big bag of bird food and have a good time.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 12:27

I think Buddy left. When he was doing yoga and hanging around for longer than usual periods of time and supping up sugar water like it was liquor, I sensed that he was 'packing'. Glad I shot 100 pictures of him before he left. The female hasn't shown up in last the day either. My friend who lives in the meadow has gone from 12 hummers to one this morning. Anybody else read/see that BBC nature piece about the red deer in the Scottish Highlands now mating 2-3 weeks earlier? and because of climate change, their grassland feeding areas are productive for a longer time and now the red deer are growing larger antlers. (link below, if interested)

Anyway, Buddy left about 2 weeks earlier than usual this year but before he winged it, he supped up sugar water for minutes at a time and ended up looking like - "Seriously. Somebody call me cab".

Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: BBC Red Deer Grow Heavier Antlers


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 14:37

Interesting story about the red deer in Scotland, Jane. Climate change affects us all.

I still have hummers here but I'm not sure if they're the usual residents. There was a territorial skirmish this morning between two males, one of which flew up to my kitchen window and looked in. This is not customary - I don't know if he was just looking at his reflection or looking in at me. Could have been a migrant passing through and checking out the yard. Or maybe not, the little buzz birds refuse to carry identity cards.

A Carolina Wren just stopped by the deck hunting moths. It peered up at the underside of the roof and a chair, stopped for a few peanut pieces, and moved on. There's a new family of about three fledgling wrens that often visit with an adult trying to get them to eat by themselves. It's harder to get photos when I'm outside with them rather than lurking by the windows, but I should try harder.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 8:49

Correction to Aug. 28 post - I was wrong. Buddy is still here as of this morning. Same routine, same patterns.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 9:31

But he's doing his stretches getting ready for the flight south.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

I love that picture, Jane. I imagine he's just flexing his wings, but his pose suggests joyful abandon.

I haven't seen a single hummingbird since my regular crowd left and the Canadian oiseaux showed up briefly, but I suppose I shall make one last batch of nectar (which lasts for three re-fillings of the feeder). By then they will certainly all be gone.

My little hummers will be coming your way soon!


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Love the turkey photos Claire. I had a mom and 1 poult walk thru the yard earlier this week. But no camera in hand.

Darwin has been hanging out under the apple tree eating the windfalls. We picked every apple that we could read from a 10' ladder, but there are still hundreds to feed a hungry groundhog.
Darwin photo Darwin_zpsbce265c6.jpg

We're still getting visitors at the hummy feeder.
Hummy photo Hummy_zps3e4f0128.jpg


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 9:28

pixie_lou: Do the woodchucks seem to get drunk when the windfall apples ferment? I'm trying to picture a drunken woodchuck staggering around.

I've always thrown my apple cores over towards the coastal bank figuring something would eat them, or they'd compost in place. Now I know that the woodchucks have probably been eating them.

I've still got hummers too, although at least some of them act like strangers.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Our woodchucks must be mutants. They don't go for apples! I've always heard it was the best food to catch them with, but my husband (who wants a pet woodchuck ever since he saw the Peepo video on youtube) put one out for him and he took one little bite and left it. We've tried to bait have-a-heart traps with apples to no avail.

Thanks for the squirrel info. I think we may look into feeding them and then we can try to put out more types of seed, fruits, etc. We had suet cakes hanging from the eaves with the feeders but oh boy, what a mess with the cedar siding. Grease all over the place. We now use a woodpecker mix and luckily all the birds come to it. Enough falls on the ground for the ground feeders to be fairly happy too.

I'd like to put feeders out in the gardens as opposed to right by the house. So if a squirrel feeding station has a chance of keeping them away, that might work.

I'm still seeing our hummingbirds here. No NatGeo pics though like others on the thread!!


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 12:15

Since we're discussing squirrels, there's an interesting article in the NY Times today called Squirrel Power (you may need to be a subscriber to access it). It's about power outages caused by squirrels, "P.O.C.B.S.", and related human attitudes. Fun to read.

Concerning woodchucks as pets: I've noticed that all those videos show people hugging and patting woodchucks that are stuffing their faces with fruit. I haven't seen any videos showing woodchucks sitting in a lap or being cuddly when they're not eating. Makes me wonder whether the woodchucks are really friendly or just putting up with people who feed them.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

I haven't pulled out my bird guide yet to help me identify this guy. I'm not very good with my brown birds. But he sure if cute sitting on top of the clothesline. (Gosh my clothesline could use a coat of paint!)

birdy photo birdycropwhoami_zps8600968d.jpg


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

I saw a bit of commotion down in the pond this morning. Thru the binoculars I could tell it was an otter. So I trudge outside in the rain, and was pleasantly surprised. What can be better than an otter in the pond. Why 2 otters.

otter4 photo otter063_zps2b322e26.jpg

But, as I watched a bit more, turns out there were 4 of them. To get close enough to take photos I kinda scared them away, and they decided to climb up over the gate to head out to the stream.
otter2 photo otter058_zps2efe337f.jpg

otter1 photo otter057_zps0b4a02d5.jpg

otter3 photo otter059_zps41a5dfff.jpg

otter5 photo otter069_zps1b019dc1.jpg


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 18:31

OTTERS?!?! Omg...pond envy wasn't enough. Now you've really done it, pixie. So glad you caught this action. You must be in a healthy stream/river/pond environment. Wonderful. Otters are the most fun. It's a real treat to see them. Thanks.

Claire, yes, the article was fun...and free. Thanks.
Jane (glowing envy green)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 19:58

Four (4) otters? I've never even seen one otter much less four! I love the shot of the one climbing over the gate. Is that a weir that can be raised to control the level of water in the pond? Is the pond spring-fed or is it connected to the stream?

One thing worse than identifying little brown birds is identifying juvenile little brown birds. I think that might be a juvenile House Finch but I wouldn't stake much on it.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

How exciting to have a pair of otters arrive at your pond, Pixie! I have never seen one in the wild before. What a magical arrival that must have been!

Pixielou's bird looks like a juvenile house finch to me also, Claire. Having seen many fledge on my porch, he has the look of familiarity to me. He has the thick finch beak, and a touch of the red feathering on his chest.

As to woodchucks and other wild critters, they can become domesticated if raised from babies, but I'm not sure how well they would tame down as adults. My grandfather had two raccoons (in succession) that he found as orphaned babies. When they reached adulthood they disappeared, either returned to the wild to find mates, or met some bad end.

A girlfriend of mine had done the same with a baby woodchuck. He had wandered off into the wild as adulthood arrived, probably the call to find a mate.

In many states, including my own, it is now illegal to keep a wild animal in captivity unless you are a licensed wildlife rehabber. A vet would be prohibited from treating such an animal, if he became ill or needed attention.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 10:57

spedigrees: In Massachusetts, too, it's illegal to keep wild animals as pets although there are a few exceptions. I just checked the Mass.gov page on Keeping Captive & Exotic Wildlife.

"The only exempt wild animals which may be taken from the wild in Massachusetts are certain reptiles and amphibians (321 CMR 3.05). Such animals may be kept as personal pets, but may not be sold, bartered, or exchanged. The possession limit is 2 on each of these reptiles and amphibians. Allowable species include the American Bullfrog, American Toad, DeKay's Brownsnake, Eastern Gartersnake, Eastern Musk Turtle, Eastern Newt, Eastern Racer, Eastern Red-backed Salamander, Eastern Ribbonsnake, Fowler's Toad, Gray Treefrog, Green Frog, Milksnake, Mudpuppy, Northern Dusky Salamander, Northern Two-lined Salamander, Northern Watersnake, Painted Turtle, Pickerel Frog, Red-bellied Snake, Smooth Greensnake, Snapping Turtle, Spring Peeper, and Wood Frog."

Not that I'd ever considered keeping a snapping turtle or a garter snake as a pet.

There are a lot of complicated rules on types of domestic animals; I can keep a Dromedary Camel but not " migratory birds found in the United States and Canada, and any other bird native to the United States or Canada."

It's much easier to live next door to interesting wildlife than to try to keep them captive. It's a lot cheaper too when you're not their only food source.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

We probably have the same reptilian/amphibian exemptions too, Claire. I suspect many native fishes can also be kept as aquarium pets. Also any species that are non-native or feral are not restricted. My (rock) pigeon would be legal even if she had not been bred in captivity, but I could not trap and keep a mourning dove.

I had an ever changing zoo exhibit in a terrarium as a kid. My childhood was spent catching critters at the nearby frog pond.

Probably no restrictions existed in the early 50s when this photo was taken. Me at a young age with Bandit 1 (or maybe Bandit 2) at my grandparents' place. When he got older he would chase me across the yard and then grab my leg with his little hands! I recall sitting at the kitchen table with my Grandpa and Bandit and the three of us sharing bread dipped in milk. I think it was sort of like feeding two pets, a bite to the raccoon, then a bite to the kid! LOL fun times!

This post was edited by spedigrees on Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 13:34


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 14:13

What a great picture, Marci! You had good folks to let you do that. Speaking of pigeon, we haven't seen him (her) lately. Does he still sit next to your keyboard?

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 14:30

That is one cute raccoon! (The kid looks cute too). That's the way childhood should be handled, in my opinion, with kids raised to respect and enjoy animals.

A few nights ago there was thumping on the deck and I turned on the lights to discover several raccoons messing with the peanut/suet feeder. Rather than chase them off I of course ran for the camera but couldn't get it ready in time and they left without the feeder.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Haven't been here for a while so there was a lot of catching up to do. Add me to the list of those with otter envy. What a wonderful treat, Pixie! I hope they become regulars at your pond.

Funny shots, Jane, of your squirrel situation. I think I'll consider one of those baffles for next season. We're kind of live-and-let-live as far as the squirrels go. They have to eat, too. Besides, in the winter we throw peanuts off the deck for them and for the blue jays.

That's a great shot of you with the pet raccoon, Sped. What wonderful memories that gave you as well as the beginning of your love for all wildlife?

Because we are along the river, we get more than our share of birds, especially Canada geese. Our neighbor's dog thinks he owns the river and gets mighty testy whenever birds or squirrels are nearby. Here are some shots of Jack, on patrol, before he made a lunge at the blue heron.The bird squawked and flew across the river --- landing right next to an egret. Luckily my camera was nearby.

Jack -- about to chase

The Heron and Egret together


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 17:37

Lucky capture, Molie! I wonder if the heron was getting a better view of dinner in the water from the boat. Or maybe it was just keeping an eye on Jack.

Egrets in trees are not what you expect to see.

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 17:39


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 14:45

Good timing, Molie. That SX50 is doing a nice job on the detail of that heron on the boat. Keep the Canon close by. Oy. All you lucky ducks with water nearby - and otters!
Jane (trying not to be jealous...but it's hard)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 14:53

The water lovers aren't as close as I'd like, but singing alpacas are. Is this little girl great? There are 3 on a farm nearby.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 15:23

What a delightful pic, Jane - I didn't know alpacas sing. What do they sound like?

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Jane, some time you'll have to introduce me to that lovely chanteuse!

Molie


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 15:57

Claire, it was soft, melodic, not a long or loud sound expression. Somewhere between a contented goat humming and a baby camel. (boy, I bet that nailed it for you!)
Try the link below for a sample - best I can find at the moment.

I will, Molie. They're not far from the town green.

Here is one of the three coming for some attention. I think they're highly expressive.

Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: Alpaca sounds


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 19:57

I guess that's another reason why more people keep pet alpacas than keep pet woodchucks.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 22:24

The shrills are okay, but as in most species,when anger or fear is voiced, it's ugly to the ear. Guthrie, Esq. is still cute.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 10:03

I think there are still orioles around, but what I saw this morning is bees on the jam feeder. Apparently bees like peach preserves too.

I'm not sure if the orioles will stay away from the feeder because of the bees. There are other fruits for them to eat - pokeberries and black cherries, etc.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And I still see hummingbirds in the yard, although they're probably all migrants. Not so many territorial battles so the adult males may be moving farther south. I'm seeing mostly females or juveniles.

I think this hummer is a juvenile male because of the light spotted feathers on the throat.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird juv. male 9:5:13

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 15:49

Beautiful hummer shot, Claire - nice tail spread. Jam jar looks like bumble drunk tank. They must be deliriously happy. No hummers here for the past couple of days.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

The other day, I saw a fox at the end of my driveway as I got home from work ... of course I couldn't get a picture. But a little later, this doe and fawn showed up. Much as I hate the damage the deer do ... the hydrangea bush behind the doe was decimated a couple of days later :( ... you have to love seeing a sight like this!


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 10:20

It's a very appealing picture, PankajT - part of the public relations campaign that deer put on to keep us charmed by them and forgetful of the damage they do.

Bambi is a powerful icon.

Claire (who likes deer too)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Quite right, Claire, sometimes we get sucked in by advertising even against our better judgement! (sigh)

What I always say to myself though is: they were here before us, we are really interlopers who have seized their land. And then we go about spreading (deer) candy all over it. So I can't get too angry when they take what they need (doesn't stop me from trying to keep them away though).

spedigrees, great pic of you with Bandit. My daughter would have killed to have had a pet raccoon.

pixie_lou, those otters must have been a treat. Thanks for sharing those pics.

PT


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 15:44

I saw a pair of Eastern Towhees today, a male and a female, scratching at the groundfeeding area under some feeders. They're usually around here but I rarely see them and almost never together. They lurk in the brush.

That's the male in front with the black head and back. The female has brown rather than black.
Towhee pair4 9:8:13

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

I LOVE that alpaca! What a sweet face. I want one. But of course, no room or time for one. I wonder do they eat crabgrass? (g) Really sweet.

No bird photos here. I did see a pretty good size hawk glide past my kitchen window the other night about dusk. Wow, it was up close and personal. She was almost going in slow motion in a glide position right across the yard at eye level to me at the window. I can't remember ever seeing one do that before.

Other than that, this year has been notable by an absence of critters. I saw one rabbit back in March, and that's it. No chipmunks, even the squirrels are in short supply. I think it must be having Noodles the dog here. So I do check out this thread every once in awhile to make up for it.

Claire, what kind of bees are those? I don't think I get any that look like that.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 9, 13 at 8:58

PM2: I think they're bumblebees. There's a lot of variation in their looks - there is something like 250 species of Bombus worldwide.

I moved the bee jam feeder away from the nyjer feeder to give the goldfinches a little more security. The spill over bees were checking out the nyjer feeder too. I moved the jam feeder (slowly and carefully) about ten feet to another hook and it took a while for the flying bees to find it - they kept buzzing around me and the empty hook. The bees in the feeder didn't even budge.

I've given up on jam for the orioles and catbirds although I may continue feeding the bees. I'd like to see what insects come - last year there were yellow jackets and bald-faced hornets eating jam. They weren't the slightest bit interested in attacking me, although I wouldn't smear jam on my arms to tempt fate.

Bee jam feeder this morning:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Yes, your bumble bees are a little different looking then mine. I like to have a lot of Bumbles because they are so gentle and easy going. Right now I have a late blooming Clethra 'Sherry Sue' that is just starting to bloom and that is covered with Bumble Bees.

What made you give up on feeding the orioles and catbirds jam?


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 9, 13 at 12:03

PM2: I'll keep putting jam out but I expect that the orioles and catbirds will avoid it if it's covered with bees. A sting would probably be devastating to a smallish bird. I was hoping to be able to tell when the orioles and catbirds migrated south but I may not be able to if they're not clearly visible on the feeder.

This only seems to be a problem in late summer - I guess the bees are running short of food, although they're all over the sedums and white wood asters.

I'll continue feeding jam in spring and summer.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Oh....right, I wasn't connecting the dots. Well, you are probably doing the bees a big favor and may help them survive the winter and come back next year. They are lucky bees in your yard. :-)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 11, 13 at 16:48

They look like bumbles to me but I can't tell if they have a shiny bottom or a fuzzy bottom. Shiny bottom is the carpenter bee (not wanted here but we have them).

Report: 9/11/13 -Just saw a migrant hummer - either female or male juvi.

And, sorry to report, this is the only monarch I've seen this year, which was on 9/8, so she (no wing dots) should be heading to Mexico. Safe journey, little one.

Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: Carpenter vs. Bumble


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 11, 13 at 18:00

Lovely monarch pic, Jane, I haven't seen any this year.

Thanks for the ID clues on bumblebees vs carpenter bees. I just trotted out and stuck my camera with lens on macro into the bee feeding frenzy - they were a bit disturbed but took it well. The jam solution is a little too dilute so they need props to stand on.

Looks like fuzzy bottoms to me, so they're bumble bees. They're smaller than bumblebees I've seen in the past and that I remember as a kid - although everything was bigger when you yourself are smaller (knee-high snow, etc.).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm still seeing hummers every day, two yesterday and two the day before, having territorial snits.

This is today's hummer. I think it's a female both because the throat looks pretty white and because she perched peacefully as the females are wont to do.

Hummingbird 9:11:13

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Wed, Sep 11, 13 at 18:02


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 11, 13 at 18:58

Their fuzzy bottoms makes you a lucky duck. A neighbor has to replace most of a soffit on his house due to carpenter bees.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 11:43

Since I've been throwing peanuts at the squirrels to keep them off the deck railing peanut/nugget feeder, they've become more comfortable in my presence. Except when I see them on the feeder and they immediately disappear.

A few days ago I looked out and saw this squirrel apparently waiting for me to come out. I use this shelf as a table when I'm out on the deck - either with my laptop or a tray with food.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Early this morning a squirrel was standing on my chair looking hopefully in the patio door.

I'm still seeing hummers every day.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 13:43

"I've been throwing peanuts at the squirrels to keep them off the deck railing peanut/nugget feeder"... My first thought was of the squirrel lying there quoting Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom...".

No hummers here for a few days.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

claire, you actually encourage the squirrels?!?

I saw "my" hummer over the weekend, hanging out at the monarda and cleome.

PankajT


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 14:56

Jane: When I said I throw peanuts 'at' the squirrels, I really meant I throw peanuts 'to' the squirrels - shelled peanuts they eat in place, but they grab peanuts in the shell pack and race off, maybe to bury them. A few squirrels will crack open the shell and eat it right there. They're absolutely delighted to chase the peanut shell pack and then pitter-patter off the deck.

I won't mention the squirrel ladder I had to put up because they kept jumping on the poor Zephirine Drouhin rose and breaking the canes.

PankajT: I have squirrel baffles on most of my feeder hooks but this year I tried a peanut/suet nugget feeder mounted on a hook on my deck railing. All sorts of interesting birds like that feeder - downies, hairies and red-bellied woodpeckers, white-breasted and red-breasted nuthatches, chickadees and titmice (I don't feel like capitalizing the names right now), blue jays, starlings,.... I tried but there's no way I've found to make the feeder squirrel-proof without cutting off my view of the birds.

So I decided to feed the squirrels on the deck to keep them off the feeder. I'll take down the feeder when it gets snowy and icy out on the deck and I won't want to open the sliding door and let the cold air in. Then the squirrels will go back to ground-feeding. I'll also put suet feeders out soon and that will draw the woodpeckers.

When life gives you lemons sometimes it's easier to just feed the squirrels.

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 10:12


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Brought DD to ballet class today. This baby chipmunk was playing in the window screen. Of course I could only get shots of him napping.

 photo image_zpscd9aef25.jpg

 photo image_zpsd76dec7f.jpg


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Cute, pixie!

Brings back memories of Fluffy, our pet chipmunk when I was growing up. One day, a chipmunk nest fell down in our porch and we discovered four or five little kits in it. Their eyes weren't even open yet. We kept putting them outside for the mother to take away, which she did, one by one. But she never came back for Fluffy and so we took him in. Gave him milk through a soaked cotton ball. He stayed with us for about a year ... we used to let him out and he would go out and play and come back. One day, he decided the charms of a local belle were too great and never came back, although he would come and eat off my mother's hand for quite a while after.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 17:05

Adorable little chiplet, pixie_lou! You just want to cup your hand over it.

You were lucky to have Fluffy growing up, PankajT , (both you and Fluffy growing up). I'm glad you gave him the option of leaving when he was an adult and didn't need your care any longer.

I'm sitting on the deck now with a wild chipmunk gobbling up peanuts at my feet. I put down two peanuts in shells, a small single one and a double. The chipmunk stuffs the small one in its pouch and then grabs the double and runs off. sometimes it will take one and run off a little way and then come back as if to say, "I still have room for another". Very efficient, chipmunks are.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Claire, the only animal I have splayed out like that on my deck is my dog, Sam.

pixie lou, the baby is cute.

PankajT, what a wonderful story! I'm glad you and your family are animal lovers.

-Tina


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 15:35

The other day there was rustling in the small boxwood garden outside my window. When I had a look, I saw this little Common Yellowthroat female bouncing around gathering what she could. I did not know what kind of bird she is, so someone on the Bird Watching Forum enlightened me. Never saw this bird before, so if any one of you reading this post sees a brightly colored yellow throat on a thin robin size bird, it could be a Common Yellowthroat. She's pretty.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 17:05

Yes, she is pretty, Jane! Every once in a while I think I hear yellowthroats but I don't see them and I could easily be wrong with the sound.

You're lucky to have been able to photograph her, much less see her.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Very pretty little Yellowthroat, Jane. I wonder if that is a song bird?

I was very excited this afternoon when I went to pick some herbs for salad dressing, to see what I think is a Monarch caterpillar! Especially since the population of Monarchs are so much lower this year. I thought I only had a solitary Monarch in the yard this year. I assume you have to have a pair to end up with caterpillars, right?

Does anyone know what is going to happen to this caterpillar now? I thought the butterflies were already heading south. Will it mature and fly south before it gets killed by cold weather?


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Here's a close up....


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 16:16

PM2 - don't worry about that caterpillar, it's not a Monarch. It looks like a very healthy (thanks to your parsley) Black Eastern Swallowtail butterfly. (see link below for the difference between the two caterpillars)

This afternoon a neighbor rang the bell and presented me with a white caterpillar. He hadn't seen one before and apparently I have a small reputation for the being the neighborhood 'Nature Nut', so I get gifts with the promise of looking up an answer. So, I'm sharing today's gift, a white fluffy caterpillar. Unlike your soon to be gorgeous find, PM2, mine will probably be a Virginia Tiger Moth.

Jane

Here is a link that might be useful: KimSmithDesigns.wordpress


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 16:20

PM2 - forgot to mention in ref. to butterflies, yes, it takes 2 to tango. I photographed a butterfly mating dance and it's posted on a previous link, if you're interested. If not, just use your imagination.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Ohhhh...now that makes more sense because I did have a few of the Black Swallowtails in the yard this year. I thought I saw a green stripe on it. Plus once I saw the photo of the monarch caterpillar, I see the difference. It's been a long time since I've seen one in the yard. They have those antenna on both ends, very odd. lol

So, what will happen to the caterpillar, how soon will it turn into a butterfly and is this the usual time you see these caterpillars? Then do they fly down south?

Yes, I do remember the butterfly mating dance series of photos, now that you mention it, and you captured it perfectly.

Caterpillars are so interesting looking. That's a nice little fluffy caterpillar. I have only seen a brown fuzzy caterpillar in the yard, and not this year.

I have six large parsley plants so I had to go around and check them all, but this is the only caterpillar. I'll have to plant more next year. :-)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

pm2, yes, the yellowthroat is a songbird ... a warbler. You can listen to its song here:
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/common_yellowthroat/id
I'm wondering though if Jane's bird is a yellowthroat or a Connecticut warbler. Check it out:
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Connecticut_Warbler/id
specially the pic of the one-year-old.

Pretty regardless, and a great shot, Jane.

PankajT


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

I take that back ... it's probably an immature yellowthroat ... see the sixth photo in the link I had sent.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

PankajT, thanks for the link and the ID on Jane's bird. What is better than finding a songbird making itself comfortable in your garden. :-)

edit: I forgot to say, I checked today and the caterpillar is still on the parsley today in the same area. Should be interesting to see what might happen next.

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 16:04


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 16:36

Those are great caterpillars, PM2 and Jane. Green, black and yellow bands versus white fuzz, and they then nonchalantly turn into moths or butterflies.

I'm guessing (without any particular knowledge) that at this time of year they'll form a chrysalis and winter over in that stage, to emerge triumphantly in the spring. Does anyone here know for sure?

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 13:54

Claire, that's my understanding of these caterpillars in autumn.

Don't spit, Sped, it's swimming sparrows!

Doing the breast stroke yesterday afternoon...

You did not just spit in the bath!?!?

This is the first brood (5 of them) that has been here this year. They still have a little soft beak tissue and as of last week, were still asking the parents for food. This is their first bath that I've seen.
Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 18:03

Enjoy the warm bath, little birds. One of these days the water will turn hard and slippery and no fun at all (unless Jane puts out a heated bird bath).

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

I also had a yellowthroat, but unlike Jane was not quick enough to grab a camera, even though it was in the rose bush just outside the window.

We were gone for a few weeks and the deer have gotten a bit too nonchalant about making themselves at home in the veggie garden, although I haven't seen any evidence of nibbling in the garden. (After taking this photo I ran at them yelling and waving my arms; I really don't want the deer deciding that my veggie garden is their buffet when there's another couple hundred acres where they are welcome.)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

remove duplicate

This post was edited by nhbabs on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 7:51


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 26, 13 at 10:21

I don't know if yelling and waving your arms really works, but it does make you feel better.

I once saw a coyote grab a squirrel in my backyard and I ran out on the deck and yelled and banged on the railing. The coyote did drop the squirrel, and the squirrels no longer took my yelling at them seriously (after all, I was their protector). You win some, you lose some.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Jane - I love your swimming sparrows. I had a chickadee bathing in my bird bath recently. Of course the camera wasn't handy.

Caught this little guy at the top of the maple tree. Maybe a sparrow? I'm not very good with my little brown birds.
Sparrow photo Sparrow_zpsc0cb0cdf.jpg

The blue jays seem to be back.
blue jays photo birds10_zps6fed197f.jpg

And some green bug was on my zinnia. Some type of cricket? Or little grasshopper? My bug identification ability is right up there with my brown bird identification ability.
zinnia bug photo birds9_zps99c6c326.jpg


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 9:36

pixie_lou: I'd say you have a Song Sparrow surveying its territory. If it were earlier in the season it would probably be singing.

Do you have periods in spring and fall when the blue jays seem to disappear? And when they come back the numbers may be different and they behave differently? I've read that blue jays migrate and that the populations we see at one time of the year are not the same as in other seasons.

This seems to be true in my yard. When I first started putting peanuts out for the jays, they quickly learned to watch for them and swoop down as soon as I got out of the way. But suddenly the jays didn't seem to know about the morning peanut distribution and it took a while for them to catch on. I figured this was a different group that had just migrated in. Now, of course, they all keep a watch out (peanuts are here!).

Maybe you have some kind of leafhopper? or a katydid? I'll leave this to more knowledgeable folks.

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 11:03


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 10:58

Pixie - have no idea what the bug is, but love the flower photo.

'My' jays seemingly disappear from about mid-July through mid-September. A pair is back now, but the number is down from what I normally see in winter through June. There is at least one (how to tell them apart?) that imitates a hawk and he successfully scares the little birds away from the feeder. I've seen him while matching his opened beak and the sound, so I know it's him. He is good at it. I've read that they are members of the hawk family and that our Eastern Blue Jays have 11 different vocalizations. All that ability plus imitation...amazing.

Jane


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

Claire - I think you are right with song sparrow. I hear many of them. But rarely see them.

I know the blue jays disappear for the summer. But I haven't paid enough attention to their behavior to see if it's the same bunch who came back.

I think I have a tomato hornworm in the garden. Deciding whether I should let him live.
Hornworm photo image_zpse80a1136.jpg


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 12:45

Well, pixie_lou, it might grow up to look like the Five-spotted hawkmoth.


Manduca quinquemaculatus, Peterborough, Ontario, June 30 - July 1, courtesy of Tim Dyson.

Whether that's worth the loss of some tomatoes is your choice.

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 12:46


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

The horn worm has now taken up residence in my daughters butterfly cage. He's in there with a couple sprigs of tomato vine. I still haven't decided if I'm going to let him live. I'm just postponing the decision. And involving a 9 year old. Who's taking bets?


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by corunum CT 6 Central CT (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 15:39

Kind of funny story - a couple of years ago the guy across the street trotted over to show me this mysterious worm he found on his tomato plant. He wondered if it was something very rare because he had never even heard of a worm with horns and perhaps UCONN might be interested in having this specimen and maybe, just maybe, he had discovered something that could be beneficial to some plants here in tobacco valley and he could breed them and make money! He said there were many of them on his three patio tomato plants. "Whatta ya think, Jane? Should I put it in a jar?" I asked to see it in my gloved hand and as this guy was envisioning $50 bills, the silly worm reared it's head with horns and mouth seeking something to bite. I dropped it on the driveway and with a flash of my right foot, the mysterious money-making dream shrank into a bite-less green blob as my neighbor went into one of the most shocked and crestfallen expressions I'd seen in a while. I told him he had lost the horn worm lottery and to go home and squish all the others. I have a feeling that my reputation as a nice neighbor lady turned into tough old broad that day in the driveway.

Squish 'em, Pixie, Squish 'em - unless you're going into the horn worm raising business.

Jane (aka Hard Hearted Hannah)


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 16:29

With a 9 year involved I'm betting the hornworm doesn't get squished. I'm wondering though, if the butterfly cage should be kept indoors or outdoors.

If the caterpillar pupates in the warm indoors then the moth might emerge in the winter and have nowhere to go - too cold to go outside, and not much of a life in a cage indoors (can't mate, maybe can't eat, and can't lay eggs).

If it pupates outdoors, the moth might wait until warm weather to emerge. Then you (or the 9 year old) could set it free to lay eggs on your tomato plants.

Hard choices there.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 16:38

I just noticed there are 85 followups on this thread - I'll start another one ASAP. Please feel free to continue the discussion here if you want. I hope the thread isn't too slow loading for some people.

Claire


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

I used to have 4 kids living next door (though they are now all in their 20's.) They loved coming down to visit the garden, and often took things back to their mom: some veggies, a plant division, or whatever caught their fancy. Once when they found me pulling tomato worms off my plants from a serious infestation, they were fascinated, and as was usual, wanted to take some home to mom . . . I can't imagine what she thought of her present that day of a 1 pound coffee can partly full of huge tomato hornworms!

I do leave the hornworms that have the little white wasp cocoons glued to their backs in the garden to lead to the next generation of parasitic wasps.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

When we put Tom Hornworm in the butterfly cage, he stomped his foot and said "I'd rather die than be trapped in this cage". And lo and behold, he was true to his word and died in the cage. RIP Tom.


 o
RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2013 #8

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 19:17

Tom Hornworm must have been from New Hampshire - state motto "Live Free or Die" - he apparently lived a life of principal and left on his own terms.

An admirable way to go.

Claire (who is avoiding the image of a coffee can half full of hornworms)


 o Post a Follow-Up

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

    If you are a member, please log in.

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


Return to the New England Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

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


Learn more about in-text links on this page here