I was out with a group touring some gardens today and saw the cutest thing. One garden had a large koi pond with a smaller and more shallow upper "deck" to the pond. There were 8 of us standing around looking at the pond and I looked up and saw this robin. It was sitting perfectly still and very posed and we were just a few feet away so at first I thought it was a realistic piece of garden art. Then he started strutting around not at all bothered that we were all watching. Then he proceeded to take a nice long bath. He was so cute!! Of course I didn't have a camera!
Charlotte, I'm relatively new to birding. Live by the Lake I never gave too much thought about giving my little birds a drink or two. (water I meant), yesterday I saw this Cast Iron Bird bath which I couldn't resist. I hope they will use it some time soon. Those birds with their antics. I just love watching them.
As I was headed out for a ballgame these wood ducks were on the bank but swim off as soon as I open the door. Jimbo said while I was gone baby ducks were on the river platform with another female wood duck. That's the way it always happens either no camera or not there to get the picture. It is amazing to watch them swim against the river's current like it is no effort.
Love the nesting duck picture Kim.
Mary I have yet to capture the bluejay they fly off too quick.
Kim Lily that is a nice bath for your birds. I haven't seen an Oriole yet. They usually come to the hummingbird
feeder an tip it sideways.
Cindy, you do have more variety as far as birds and waterfowls where you are compared to mine. I'll have to look in my nature guide to find out more where I should go to find wood ducks here. I only get to see Mallards and Pekins frequent our area lake. Venture out further in the community I'll find some exotic ducks that belongs to someone back yard (saw them last year). It's so sweet to see the parent ducks huddling around their young. I get to see Canadian Geese with their young here from time to time. I know what you mean by missed opportunity. Since we discovered the Eagle nest locally. I usually equipped with cameras and binoculars in the car often time.
Though these guys, Pekin ducks are wild. People here must have feed them often. They even come to beg fisherman for food. Here they are seen swimming out to a fisherman for a "serious" getting-to-know you. lol
Hey guys. I just saw my first Hummingbird of the season. ^_^
3 days ago I saw my first hummer. Yesterday I saw it in close up and I think it was a Rubythroated hummer. I was at awe, how beautiful the little thing was. More over, the distance they travelled to get here.
Cindy, tell me about the locust tree! Wow I love it. Seems like we're seeing the very same kind of birds (this time of year) in the back yard. i.e. the Waxwings and the the 'Butter Butt' (hah, I recently learned that that is the term of endearment for yellow rumped warbler. lol. The waxwings hung around for two days here, but finally left this morning. :((
Same old birds here. We do have hummers back now but haven't been able to get a shot of them yet. But the bees are definitely back. I saw the pest control truck at my next door neighbors yesterday. I hope he wasn't trying to get rid of the bees!!! One year he had them come out and spray for the bees.
Oh thanks Charlotte for mention that. Talking about pest control...we got the need to control spider around the house and foundation being by the water front. I remember one spring I was so disappointed; as a result of spring (pesticide) application, I saw many a ladybugs got poisoned.
Yes and he has a vegetable garden down at Three Rivers! He did have someone explain the importance of bees to him. I think he still doesn't like them in his yard. They are just those harmless big bees. I've never had one sting me! They like to get in the ivy on the fence between out house.
Great photos, everyone! I will have to keep an eye out for the Cedar Waxwings--such a pretty bird! I saw my first hummer yesterday but I know he or she must have been here sooner because the nectar was really low in the feeder and I just put it out on Monday. As Charlotte said, they are really hungry after their long flight!
I caught a picture of this robin on the fence this morning. Like the sign says, he must have been rejoicing because of all the worms in my garden! LOL
Cute picture Marilyn! I have robins all over the yard. They seem to be finding lots of worms and stuff on the ground. They have gotten so used to me and the dogs they don't even fly away when we go out - they just keep on eating. They're not about to give up that good food!!
Kim The locust is a damp area thorny weed tree. The wood is extremely hard. I believe they make fence post out of them.
Why You Should Not Plant Black Locust!:
Black locust is not recommended for planting in your yard. The tree is a prolific sprouter as well as a free seeder. The tree is considered a thorny weed tree by many horticulturists and has escaped cultivation to invade pastures and prairies. It is considered an invasive species.
Robinia pseudoacacia is susceptible to locust borer. This insect damage can lead to damaged fences, roofs and automobiles and will lead to the tree's early death.
*Black locust is one of the most beautiful, fastest growing and hardy trees in the landscape.
*Black locust establishes quickly on infertile soil.
Thanks Cindy for the info. on the Black Locust. When I visit out West. There they use thornless yellow locust quite alot for ornamental trees. Like you, I am not very keen on separating the crows and the grackles, so we have to wait for Kim helping us to sort 'em out.
Marilyn, I love that sign you've hung on the fence. Very nice and affirmative. On the Cedar Waxwings, I'm so happy to find those birds hanging around my backyard the last 3 days. I can see some of them came so close to the feeder, but they appear to be more intuned in catching insects in mid air? I need to study more about their culture.
My Jelly Bean strolling in the garden and is oblivious to the pretty Brown Thrasher looking pretty on the clematis trellis. These birds (brown thrashers) I've noticed, like Robins and Northern Flickers, they forage on the ground alot. I caught them picking up earth worms a time or two.
Thank you Kim It is hard to get a good picture of them if you can't get above the tree. That is one good thing about having the locust trees below the high bank. The problem lies in getting a head shot. I take 30 pictures to get one where the head is showing now that the leaves are on the trees. No time for birding today did garden chores instead. Never looks like I make a dent in it but I guess before long something will look nicer.
Very little birding today for me too Cindy. What little bit helps; this is just a small area that looks pretty decent in my front yard. There are so much more to be worked on as it. MissMary. Yes, all the critters are very happy. Beautiful time of year. Kim those CWs are pretty active. They don't sit around too long for any picture session. ^_^
Thanks Sandra I am. I went to the rhumey and he put several shots in my back to stop the nerve pain. I am not sure he got deep enough because it did not hurt as bad as it should have .LOL It is better though. The bug has passed too just a little weaker than normal. I've got more probs than Carter has a pill for. My right hand keeps swelling if I use it very much trapping the nerves in my wrist. Same hand I already had surgery on. That kinda limits my weed pulling or much shoveling..
Congrats Cindy on those hummer's shots. I've yet to capture one (picture) of them. But seems as if they're here to stay for awhile. Here is an Osprey DH and I saw while taking our break --for a boat ride-- from working on the garden today.
I bet I took 30 pictures before getting one even this good. This Thrasher is my morning and afternoon crooner. I love to go out and just listen. It will sing for long periods of time and its voice is loud and strong.
It's a fast mover, though, and I haven't been able to catch many decent shots of it.
I have never seen that bird. Beautiful. You know I used to take pictures a lot when we had film. I even developed black and white. I would get so frustrated that out of a 36 roll of film I might have one good shot. A professional once laughed at me and said they considered themselves lucky it they got one good shot out of 200. So with digital just fire away you never know what you will catch.
Well, a glance out the door this morning proved to be quite exciting for me. I saw a bird I'd never seen here before and it is so pretty. From looking at pictures on the Internet, I assume it is a male Indigo Bunting. When I saw pictures of the female, I wondered if I'd been seeing them before and just thinking they were Sparrows. I'd like to know the best way to tell the difference between the female House Sparrow and the female Indigo Bunting. Can you help me?
Marsue, thanks for the links but, to my untrained eye, the females of those two species look too much alike. I consulted other images as well but can't seem to draw a line that would help me differentiate between them. I wonder if there's some telltale, no-miss characteristic that I could be on the lookout for in one or the other.
I'm in the same boat with Marsue. Kim, could you help us please.
I saw a large black bird swoop down on the water surface and caught a fish. This is the second time I see this (first time I didn't have my glasses on I thought to myself; geez that's new to me-- a blackbird with a white head, but actually it was a fish that it was carrying, lol. Anyone ever seen grackles fishing like so?
Have I shared the story of the feisty Redheads? Redheaded Woodpeckers I meant. Introducing Lord Byron and his Missus. (Please don't ask me which is which -- male and female are similiar in this species). They're very entertaining. This is the second year they nest nearby. All through the winter, they stayed around their nest and defended their home against intruders such as crows and squirrels ect. Never once they came by to check out the grain feeder. But this past week, they have returned (as they did last year when they raised their youngs). Last spring, they brought their fledglings to the feeder too, when the "kids" were big enough to venture out to the world. Cute, cute family.
Let me answer the easiest question with a question ;o) Kim, are you certain the bird was black and not blue? How big was the fish? How big was the bird?
Female buntings are more buff in color with a slight yellow tinge (tawny). Her bill is brown on top with a lighter mandible (lower bill). Her wing feathers are a light brown (no streaks) with blue edging (not easy to see). No eye line.
Females House Sparrows are brown with grayish underside. Her bill is brown-black on top with a yellowish mandible. Her wing feathers brown with dark brown streaks. There is an eye line.
Buntings are usually slightly smaller than sparrows.
The best way to tell the difference between the male and female red-headed woodpecker...the female lays eggs. LOL
Thank you. I've been seeing pictures on the internet of female Buntings that have streaked wings like Sparrows and it made them look so much alike. I'll be on the lookout for something a little different at my feeder now.
Kim, from a distance of 40 feet or more, the bird appeared black. It's roughly the size of a ?crow? larger than Kestrel but smaller than an adult Redshoulder Hawk. It's black. The fish was about the size of my thumb (quite small). I believe, at one time or the other. I saw the same (size) bird perched on the tall tree while it was eating its catch.
Very good info. on the difference b/w the bunting and other birds. I've yet seen a bunting so I still have a mile stone to go. Thanks Kim for the info. all the same.
Kim, I almost convinced that was a crow that I saw. I'm going to try to get a photo of that bird one of these days. lol.
Marilyn. Those Redheaded they're very social among themselves. There were 3 of them that came by one day. All adults. So I'm looking out for the juveniles when they're big enough to come around. Have a good night all. Back tomorrow.
Boys, my eyesight isn't 20/20. lol, moi don't know Margaret. But I had a gut feeling that it was its beak? For it carries the fish off with its beak (thus the first time I saw it flewn by with that shiny silvery fish I mistook as...black bird with a white head?).
That's IT . Kimmie! You did it again. lol.lol. I listened to the voice from the website. Sure enough I've heard that "caw caw caw" call time and time before. Thank Kim. Margaret glad you've stopped by to visit.
Oh Kim, you're just now planning on going to the nursery? I myself, I've wiped out the Botanical Garden's plant sales, raided Lowes, Wally Worlds, my nearest favorite nursery and even adopted some Iris from neighbor. Then joined neighbors for a veggie garden project. There. Boys, ain't I hurting now. Just kidding.
Yes, it was the fish-crow. Kim I googled the fish crow, but I didn't come up with anything before. Thank for helping me out. No it wasn't an albino. I'm nearsighted, and didn't have glasses on when I mistaken the fish for a white head. lol.
LOL No, Kathy Ann and I are going to Mississippi, then to Memphis and on to Jackson, TN. tomorrow. We will be meeting up with others from Mid-South...that is if the weather is good enough for them. But we are going no matter what ;o)
I am glad that we figured out the bird. Now you will recognize it the next time you see it!
Now the puzzle is solved; wondering why these birds hang out by the pier? ^_^ Thanks again Kim. Margaret, would you care to share some of your backyard birds and critters with us Midsouth? That would be a treat. Thanks in advance.
Her husband took a new position with his company and relocated there. Both of them were born and raised here in Arkansas - and my sister is having a HARD time adjusting to them being gone...especially the grandkids!! But, my niece and her family are really enjoying it there. They moved the 6th of February... it will be a minimum of 5 years before they move back, but personally I don't look for them to EVER move back to South Arkansas.
Thanks for the welcome, Lily_love. I won't bombard your thread with critters from Downunder - I don't really have all that many photos of them, anyway. However, saying that, here's a few shots of kangaroos I took many months ago. Nice vultures.
Hello, Genna. What part of Perth has your niece moved to? I hope she's loving it.
I am not sure since we send her mail to their office in Houston and they forward it to them... I know they are close to the beach but I am not sure that narrows it down much. :) They are LOVING it down there ... not sure they will ever want to return home. They are going to Hong Kong next month to meet some relatives of her husband - they are meeting them in HK and touring the area. My nephew (technically my niece's husband) works some in Malaysia, some in Hong Kong... I believe he has 5 different offices that he has to report to on occasion but I can't remember where they all are!
MargaretK, how often does one see a kangaroo where you are? I have squirrels and rabbits that freely come and go in my yard. I can't imagine opening my back door in the morning and seeing one of those before my first cup of coffee...!
HMM, there are no kangaroos in the area around where I live. In some of the more outlying areas of the metropolitan area they can be seen regularly. I took the top and bottom shot at an island right near the city where a mob of them live. The area these ones are contained in would be probably about 40-50 acres (I'm really not sure but it's a fair size). During the day the gate is unlocked and the public can freely access the area. They're pretty amazing creatures. As soon as you leave the metropolitan area, kangaroos can frequently be seen. Driving in country areas during the night and at dawn and dusk are particularly hazardous as this is when they're active and are prone to jump out into the road. You see lots of the poor things as roadkill.
Well, my computer shut down last night in the storm - and we had cross posted on your last two pictures ... they are adorable. I have heard they can be mean - but they sure look cute! Maybe someday since she is living down there I will be able to visit australia, but at the price of airline tickets down there it won't be anytime soon!
I guess the roos are similar to the deer we have in this area who are pretty to look at but do a lot of damage to vehicles as they are often active at night and run out in front of you while driving.
Yes, Genna, the roos do a fair bit of damage to vehicles, but not as much as the damage vehicles cause them. Male kangaroos in particular can become aggressive at times and use their tail as a prop and will try to disembowel with their middle toes on the hind legs. The ones I photographed here were only a few feet from me and as you can see, they were pretty laid back. It would be wonderful if you could visit.
I'm hoping one of you can shed a little light on something for me. There have been some serious Robin fights on my patio lately. Today, I was nearly hit by two of them brawling as they descended from a rooftop. It was the one in this picture (in fact moments after I caught the shot) and another one. This one arrived at the nest with a big worm and the other one attacked it. The Robin in this picture hopped across the patio, worm in beak, while the other one took to the nest.
Any clue as to what's going on with them? Seems a bit strange to me.
The fights are still on today. In the top photo, you can see the mother bird (I'm assuming), who has been sitting on the nest. She had just gotten up and taken this position when I caught this shot. A few moments later, the other bird (bottom photo) arrived on the scene and she swooped down upon it, chasing it all around the yard.
Would these two be a male and a female or two females? Why do they appear to be vying for the same nest?
I cannot tell for certain if they are both male or female or one of each...but my best guess is they are sparring over territory. One may have a nest fairly close to other and this does not set well with either ;o)
I have seen one of them on this nest and then the other one makes a surprise attack on the "sitter". The original sitter is shooed away and the attacker takes over sitting on the nest. They have showed up at the nest at the same time, each with a worm. They fight but neither lets go of its worm. The winner feeds the babies.
Maybe I should dig up a little worm bed for them and sprinkle some Prozac on it...
Wait, wait, don't we usually wait 'til the FDA approve such proposal? LOL MissMary. So you're saying there must be a sorrogate mother, and a biological mother fighting over the chicks? From another perspective; those little wee bit juvenile Robins will be up and running in no time with all the tender love and affection showered by both mother-hens. lol.
Various birds at the feeder. Redheaded Woodpecker, Chickadee and a Northern male Cardinal. The smaller birds will gladly give room for the bigger fella at the dinning table. They will return once the other had his share.
I am not really certain. The picture looks like two females (I could be wrong) and are both trying to feed the babes. However, the male and female will both feed the new kiddies and when one shows up the other usually leaves. On occasion, the male and female will sort of "wrangle" with each other, which is normal bonding. If two females ever care for a nest, I have not seen it but it may be fairly common. I have not ever heard of a last year's chick helping raise this years or anything like that. I have heard and seen a female start feeding a chick that is not being fed by its parents. Maybe, this mother lost her chicks and/or nest and wants to take over this nest. Miss, you may want to ask the folks on the birdwatching forum. I bet they would know the answer!
Here is one of the 4 baby bunnies...you have to look for the ears. The other 3 are underneath him. They all left the nest two days ago. We watched them leave. Mom sat there patiently and slowly but surely all 4 came hopping out. So much fun to see those little ones hopping around after momma...
Kim I understand the Cedar Waxwings love those Oregon grape holly's berries as well (beside the mulberries). I've but one of those and the 'grapes' are not quite ripe yet. On the week of April 10th, or 14th they came in drove (into the garden), and hang around the area in the neighborhood for a solid week. Whatever we've here that attracted them. I'm all for it. It sure was a pleasant experience.
^_^ come to think of it, yes it's a duck bowl isn't it? First I thought those were birds, but it's actually ducks. Comon over my friend, we can go ducking, errr I meant birding together. lol.
Kim, Ducky , and Mary please keep them coming. I can't bird right now but really enjoy your pictures.
Lily Kim no I don't get that beautiful Oriole that Kim had. I just get the Baltimore to my knowledge. Of course last year I would have told you I didn't have many of these birds because I wasn't really looking.
Cindy, I'm relatively new to bird watching. It's a wonderful, peaceful experience when you can just let yourself go and enjoy what nature has to offer. It's a marvelous world. It's all Kim's (duckmother) fault I got into it. Just kidding there Kim. (Good friends are good influences).
I am glad y'all are enjoying all of the birds...the ones you already knew and the new ones you have spotted. Now, if I could just get everyone around here interested! Oh well, one person at a time ;o))
Charlotte, this is my second year seeing these Cedar Waxwings. Usually they travel in flock. First time I saw them this year was in early March. I couldn't tell what they were until I snapped a couple pix from a distance, and I was so happy to discovered I lucked into a flock of them perching on tree tops. It was easier to spot them when the trees haven't leaved out yet. Now, all the leaves are out, it's more challenging to spot them. Kim was really keen on finding them under tree canopy. Thanks Cindy. We seem to get a good birding year this year.
It's beautiful time of year, I too finding it hard not to work in the garden. Here is some current blooms on American wisteria 'Emithyst Falls'. How did your wisteria turn out when they in full blooms?
Very pretty wisteria. I have not been real pleased with mine. I still may end up buying another wisteria. I saw one at Homestead last weekend and was tempted to get it. I may end up getting another one at Forest Hill if they have one.
I know it's tempting. It's a great pain to rid of them once they are established. This one I've it in a large plastic pot. But the roots have escaped and it will eventually strangle the tree it is climbing on. The blooms are attractive, but they last but for a little while. Sigh!
G'nite all. 'til we meet again. Happy gardening, birding or just happy doing whatever we do. ^_^
Kim, how big is the mulbery tree? I can see it's a hit for manyabirds! wow. I saw a Rose Breasted Grosbeak for the first time last year ever. I was so excited then. I reckon I'll be just as excited to see them again...but so far no sight of them yet. Not sure I can recognize a Wood Thrush yet. And the Urasian Collard dove is so pretty.
Brown Headed Nuthatch. A cute tiny tinsy little bird. It's very people friendly like that of chickadees, it chirps joyfully especially when I refill the feeder as if to say. "About time...thanks". lol.
I would guess the mulberries are 30 feet tall. We have 2 a white and a red. The birds don't touch the white but as you can see, love the red. Our neighbor next door, has a red one, too. So we have lots of birds here at the moment! We also had Orchard Orioles and Baltimore Orioles eating the berries this morning, but they would not sit still long enough for me to get a decent picture. Our trees are almost at the end of the property. We have been told they will spread with ease but we would not know for certain because of where they are located.
We don't see very many brown-headed nuthatches...but we have lots of white-breasted nuthatches. They do have a lovely song. I can pick it out when all of the birds are singing. Nice picture.
Shoot I was wanting to know what those pretty pink flowers are.
I have a mystery that I bet can be attributed to my squirrels. I keep some fish food in a plastic bottle with a flip top lid on a shelf just outside the back door. I went to feed the fish this afternoon and no food!!! At first I thought I had probably just taken it inside by mistake. I have looked everywhere and that container is just not inside or outside. I bet those darn squirrels are having a feast! The container was full!
Charlotte I can relate with the feeling of frustration. I bet my missing suet feeder can be traced back to the squirrels as well. I walked around the garden looking for the missing feeder, it was no where to be found. I just rehung the feeder for the nursing woodpeckers and other birds in the yard with small babies (I assumed there are babies--no pix though).
On the 'Pink flowers'. Those are Lavender Rhododendron on my neighbor's property. I've a small bush or two but not anywhere near that size. They're pretty.
"Can one get some privacy here?" said the Carolina Wren. lol. A pair of these social birds decided to nest here. I love watching them running in and out of the Gourd nest. At time, they will patrol over a chipmund running in the ground. Other time the wren will bump into a big 'old Brown Thrasher. They're a hoot.
Few feet from the nesting site, I've set out mealworm buffet for the Wrens to feed their little ones. Now I bet you the Brown Thrashers will benefit from that too. Just hope they will coexisting in peace. Grrrrrrr.