#2- MID ATLANTIC BIRDS IN OUR GARDENS- NO CHAT

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Following our well used previous thread , please note.
PLEASE DO NOT CHIT CHAT HERE- BIRDS/ BIRDWATCHING ONLY
Please respect the wishes of a few with specific interests, so that they may continue to enjoy the forum. My little buddy the titmouse will be watching you!

Here's where you can chat!
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1163583/


Besides if you have something else to talk about, starting a new thread for that will get more interest.

This message was edited Mar 11, 2011 10:33 AM

Thumbnail by sallyg
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--

I need clarification on the "rules" here......

SO! Any bird-related chit-chat is OK?
Questions on feeding, locations, sightings and such--OK?
Problems with feeders and other critters eating up seed---OK?

I hate "rules".......:o/ I was born to break them--selectively.....

Loved the link lady supplied for learning bird songs.
I bookmarked it.....


I have a question--YES! Bird related....

Those of you who said you put out fruit for birds...oranges, apples, whatever--
How do you 'serve" them?
Do you have special feeders? Do you just nail it to a tree? How?
Does the location matter? Near a house--not so near? Near a tree?
Could, say, an orange cut in half be put in some kind of netting
(like Onions come in) and just hung from something?
Does just throwing the fruit on the ground work? I can see it attracting other critters, though.

I often cut up apples (past their prime) and never see the birds go for them--
BUT! They are always gone by morning.....What? Who??? Don't have any kind of
wildlife around here....some squirrels--Chipmunks--but they are still snoozing....

Thanks--Gita

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Gita, those are all great subjects on the bird thread. We just want to avoid getting off on tangents --yes we all mostly are very familiar but when someone wants to read birds and there come lengthy posts about (...fill in the blank....what did I have for breakfast---the price of gas...my kneecaps itch today...) can be annoying, and may turn off people who are here for the TOPIC.

I have never had luck getting birds come to fresh fruit. Anyone?

I rescued this young robin from between some fencing, last spring. I had to grab him to save him, so we took pictures too.

Thumbnail by sallyg
Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

That is a great question and I also need the answer. I have tried jelly and 1/2 oranges and the only thing they attracted was ants.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--

Do you think the Momma pushed the baby robin out?

I have heard that birds sometimes do that...too many eggs hatched...

Tell us what you did with that baby last year....Raise it? Put it back in the nest?

Judy---You are some statistician! A nice way to end the last Thread.....

G.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I feel we should not lose the link ladygardener provided on learning to recognize bird songs...

SO! Lady--if you don't mind, I c/p'ed it here for everyone. I really liked it--but never
spent a lot of time checking it out....

**************************************************************************
I heard and then saw my first robin this morning, happen to be looking out the front window at the time.
I get Orioles every year, since I coaxed them to the back yard with oranges, I always hear them before I see them as they are very shy and stay high up in the trees. I had at least 2 pairs last year. Have to buy a new nectar feeder this year as the old one is leaking. They also love grape jelly. Learn their call, here is a site that will help you.
http://www.birdjam.com/birdsong.php?id=2
I had a pair of Bluebirds check out my bird houses but they moved on, not enough open space and the sparrows take over the houses. Do get wrens to nest if they can fight off the sparrows for squatting rights.


This message was edited Mar 11, 2011 10:15 AM

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Sweet little robin, no, its hard to tell there but I feel it was big enough to be rambling around the underbrush and got stuck between layers of lightweight fencing by the garden. In fact he could fly a bit and got himself on this railing after the photo shoot.
I noticed the rough patch on the roof of his mouth in the first picture. Neat.

Nice bird call link, its pleasant just to be able to hear birds when they aren't outside singing.

I just added a link in the opening post here for anyone who wants to go Chat on a new Chat thread.

This message was edited Mar 11, 2011 10:39 AM

Thumbnail by sallyg
annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Speaking of robins, and getting the worm, as I delivered my papers yesterday there were a number of robins out in paved parking areas getting the migrating worms in between heavy rain showers here.

The worms not consumed by hungry robins were flushed into storm water to become part of the ecological system of the Chesapeake Bay .....

Sally, your "fledged but still dependent" robin rescue reminds me of the year a pair of robins built a nest in the big oak tree less than 20 feet from my door.

Most birds do not nest near my yard because of indoor/outdoor cats or so I figure. These robins were also way off schedule for nest building as this was the end of August with not nearly enough time to raise the brood to enough maturity to migrate or survive the winter if they survived my cats!

My cats early on in their predator life were dive bombed and two were pecked by mockingbirds and shifted their predation to mice and moles and a squirrel or two.
These cats actually ducked and crouched when any bird flew over, not just a hawk!I felt, however, that a baby robin fledgling sitting on the ground loudly begging its parents for food would prove too much a temptation, so I made plans to confine my cats indoors for a week or so when fledging time was near, hoping to get it right.
Silly,silly robins I thought.

One morning as I was leaving for work and wondering if I should let the cats out that day I got a surprising answer. As I opened the back door, I was immediately buzzed by not one but both parent robins, and they meant business.! I went to the front door but they were there, too. Shades of the movie "Birds"! I finally had to climb out a window and leave thru a neighbors yard to get to work! I wondered if I would be able to get back in at the end of the day and truly did not look forward to fending off determined birds even if they were smaller than me for a day, let alone a week!

Cautiously I approached my house. No birds! Those silly, silly robins had fledged their brood of four in less than one day and moved on! Silly, silly, me.



NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

Our occasional visiter the Sharp Shinned Hawk stopped by for lunch. It can and does enter the heavy shrub cover and helps itself. This time I think the hawk made off with an English Sparrow which is acceptable. The hawk sat off to the side for quite some time eyeballing the offerings. Again it was poor photography weather.

NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

We just wittnessed the hawk capturing a chippy. We do not see that often because the chip and dales are pretty quick. They out manuver the hawk if they know they are slated for lunch.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Judy--

We moved into our new house (same one I am still in) here in fall of 1969

The next Spring, a Robin built it's nest on top of the light by our front door.
This light is barely above head level...

For 6 weeks, we used only the side entrance.....till they were all gone.

On a slightly alarming note--about 5 years ago, a bird had built a nest on top of their
front door light. and the heat from the light caught the nest (empty..) on fire...
OH, the excitement---calling 911, having 2-3 fire and EMT trucks and all that.

Learning a lesson--they replaced it with a light that sits flush with the soffet. (sp?) .

Gita

Falls Church, VA(Zone 7a)

Sally, our neighbors next door have had very good luck with birds and fruit.

While it's not "fresh fruit" they've put out raisins on their deck railing for a couple of years now during the warm months, and have very regular catbird customers. They'll lurk in the shrubs nearby while you're putting them out, and swoop in even before you're off the deck.

This year, they've begun putting out a half-orange on a sort of hanging thing (I'm assuming they got it at a bird store just for that purpose), with the cut side up, and have a mockingbird coming on a regular basis to enjoy the treat. Something else is enjoying it too, because the cut orange occasionally will just disappear. :-/

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Good bird stories. Their behavior can be so interesting but we have to sometimes wait and observe, other times they're 'in your face"! sometimes we got great nest views when what was high and well concealed from the ground, was in a good position for window watching.
Hawks must surely be active in my yard but the waiting and watching was hard to do with a young brood of our own. Still, there was that one day when one suddenly and completely noiselessly swept across my path. Whooh. You almost wonder if you imagined it.
Also battled light fixture nests too. I never thought about the fire hazard! Let them finish a brood, then removed it and taped up a "lovely' duct taped cardboard thing, sloped to keep them off.( On second thought, that may not have been the smartest thing either...!)

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I haven't had much luck with oranges either. I rarely see Orioles any more but I have tried putting out orange halves and didn't get much in the way of takers other than the ants.

Falls Church, VA(Zone 7a)

Holly, we know there are orioles "around" here, but I've never seen one. We put out oranges years ago to try to attract them, and got nothing except shriveled oranges. ;-( Our friends may be battling ants once it gets warmer, but oddly we don't see mockingbirds much after the catbirds arrive in late April/early May. Maybe they compete for the same foods/nesting areas?

Huntsville, AL(Zone 7b)

We had a flock of these guys visit in January (ab 12+++)- holy cow are they HUGE! It was cool to have them visit, but I was every so pleased when they left!

Thumbnail by Bec_No_Va
Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

For those interested in feeding orioles oranges and jelly here is a feeder made from a coat hanger.
http://www.ehow.com/how_5051286_build-feeder-hanger-attract-orioles.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_4903986_make-oriole-orange-birdfeeder.html

I have a tall shepherds 2 hook that I hang the orange nectar feeder and a pop bottle bottom hanging not far down from the hook with dental floss, the oriole preaches on the hook and leans down to get the jelly. I also have a metal ring with a spike in the middle to poke an orange half on it, found at Wild Birds Unlimited. Oranges can get expensive so once you draw them in switch to the nectar and grape jelly.

Please don't think that just putting out oranges will draw them in, they need to be in your area so listen and look, then feed if you spot them.

Yesterday I saw 6 robins in the empty yard across the street, it started snowing last night and is still snowing, we have something like 6 inches now and it is very wet and heavy, the spruce branches are hanging very low. No robins today, they headed back to the woods.

Bec, nice pic of the Turkey Vulture

This message was edited Mar 11, 2011 5:09 PM

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

I started putting fruit out for the butterflies, then thought about for the birds too. I have a yarn pot hanger that I put a plate in and the fruit on the plate hanging from the end of a branch towards the middle of the yard. I put out orange quarters, grapes, apples ..... just any kind of fruit. I've had birds and butterflies, also hummers, at 'the plate'.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Funny story--cont'd......re the battle between the Starlings couple and the "prime hole"
in my old Cherry Tree....

Been seeing all this stuffing (feels like cottony fiberglass???) all over the grass around the
tree. Saw a squirrel there this morning--and the starlings having a fit......
Got my flashlight out this evening and looked inside----nothing there but the stuffing...
SO! The winner is not yet announced---but I bet it will be the birds--as they are
pulling the stuffing out of the hole in the trunk as fast as the squirrel is stuffing it in there....

Amazing--how the birds can THINK to destroy something to re-gain their roost from
last year....
Equally amazing is that the squirrel even tried again--after being ousted by the birds last year..
I know the birds won last Spring--as I KNOW they had babies in that hole!

Will be watching who wins this spring! I know it will be the Starlings.....

AHHH! The entertainment available in Nature!!!!!!

Gita

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

lol How fun to watch

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Act 3---

They are taking turns now---one dives in and brings up something--then the other
does the same....Not sure what it is they are bringing up now--but it must stick to
their beaks--as there is a lot of beak-cleaning going on each time.

Here is one of them at their "front door".....

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

The other one is higher up--watching for trouble...

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Here is the "fluff" that is being removed....
It feels coarse--like maybe stuffing to an outdoor pillow--or some insulation.
I don't know where it came from???

The ground is littered with it...

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

The Robins are feasting on all the bugs and worms brought to the surface
with all the rains we have had...

Yesterday was the first time I saw Robins. All of a sudden--they are just there!

The dry stalks are the dead stalks from last year of my Kopper King Hibiscus.
Need to cut them back--or leave them up to act as a framework and support to
the new growth to come. I'll just tie a string around the stems--voila! A cage!

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

This is the plate in pot hanger that I use for seed cakes in the winter and fruit in the summer.

Thumbnail by Crit
Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I have a wonderful new lens now! The 100mm-400mm! Love it!

These were all taken from my computer desk this afternoon, looking out on my balcony!

I'll start with the one that has eluded me all winter... little butter butt!

A Yellow-rumped Warbler

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Another view of this cutie!

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

A Red-bellied Woodpecker, male... hanging off the gutter.

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

A Black-capped Chickadee

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7a)

A female Downy Woodpecker... she thinks she's hiding behind that limb from the Starlings!

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

Wow..........great images.

Falls Church, VA(Zone 7a)

Beautiful shots, as always, Karen. Great to see you posting again! Barb

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

great lens in the hands of someone with a great eye! Wonderful to get the camera to see what we do. Thanks

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

Thank you for posting, Karen. I learned a new bird today Yellow-rumped Warbler. He is a sweet heart. That new lens is wonderful, you may just educate was all and help us identify more birds.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Geez Karen, you've gone from amazing to AMAZING! Thanks for sharing. The Downy even seems to look scared, with your description in mind! She really could be.

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

Humming bird migration map http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html
OMG look how far this little boogers have traveled! Get ready everyone.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL Ladyg, I never see them this early but I put out my feeder the first week of April. Trying to catch them early. Thanks for the map.

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

oh wow, spotted one in our area on 3/21 according to the map. Better get my feeders out for those scouts

NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

To darn cold here to put out hummer feeders. They would freeze up in a single night.

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

Doc, you are right, not till the end of April for me to welcome hummers..

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