Watching the Birds Midsummer 2014

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Watching the birds--or are they watching us?? :-D

Time for a new thread. We came from here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1355016/



This message was edited Jul 1, 2014 5:42 PM

Thumbnail by CatMint20906
Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Cute bird, is it a quail?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

yes, it is a baby quail! :-) One of my cousins took this photo, and since the birds in my yard are not nearly as interesting as hers, I'm using her photo! ;-)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Lol...nice! I thought I saw a gold finch today but it was a flyby as a female cardinal was on the feeder and I think the goldie wanted a private breakfast.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I've noticed the cardinals can be bullies sometimes.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

After I decided that my Wren had "flown the coop"--I did a good watering
of the BIG POT--all over.....
Later--I decided to really look at the nest. I was going to remove that mess of
whatever it is made of. I tilted it to see where the opening was--and--
OH, my goodness!!!--there were babies in it.

Now I felt bad about dousing water over everything....Hope all is OK.
Still have not seen the mama come and go....
G.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I sure hope the mama returns! :-(

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Saw my first ever Goldfinch in my backyard--yay! It flew to the sunflowers by the feeder, inspected things for a while, then flew off. Couldn't get close enough for a good photo--this is all I could manage.

The goldfinch is the gold speck on the leaf above the sunflower bloom on the right. Sorry for the pathetic shot--I was just so thrilled to see it!

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Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

One of the ferals allowed me to get close enough today for a photo. Here he/she is lounging in one of my garden beds. The other one was around, too, but not cooperating with the photo-taking.

I can always tell when the ferals are around, because the bird feeder gets so quiet and empty. ;-)

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Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

She's a cutie :)

My neighbor's cat used to sunbathe next to their house and sometimes in our garden but she'd never let me pet her. Not so cute though when she's tearing a squirrel apart in your yard...

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Ewwww! Poor squirrel! :-b I think the closest I've ever been able to get to these ferals without them bolting is about 15-20 feet. Took this photo using the zoom lens so it looks closer than it actually was. They are definitely wary of humans though they love each other--and my backyard! LOL

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Do they poop all over in your gardens?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Not that I can ever tell--although I'm sure the answer is yes... ;-).

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Lol...cat poo doesn't break down nice. I always see fossilized remnants months after the deed is done....

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Hmm. They must have some other backyard they use for that. Maybe mine functions primarily as their bedroom/ lounge? ;-)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Haha...as the saying goes...

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

This afternoon a blue bird landed on the ground less than 6 feet away from me. He was so intent on not losing the large insect he had just caught that he didn't even notice me as I stood very still in my tree imitation. He got it firmly in beak and then flew off, maybe to a nest of hungry babies!

On another note, "Science Friday" today on Public Radio had a discussion on a new study on the effects of neonicitinoid pesticides on insect eating birds. It ain't good. One of the presenters also said the following, "One neonicotinoid treated seed can kill a seed eating bird."
http://sciencefriday.com/segment/07/11/2014/concerns-rise-over-pesticide-use-birds-and-bees.html

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Very cool Coleup. Glad you got to see the bird up close. And thanks for sharing the link on the impact of pesticides on birds. :-(

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Got a photo of the other feral in my neighbor's yard. So there is the one with white nose & paws, and this one which is solid gray.

I'm accepting their presence better now. I guess it completes the ecological circle. The birds prey on insects and grubs, the ferals prey on the birds.

Back to the birds with another baby quail photo.



Thumbnail by CatMint20906 Thumbnail by CatMint20906
Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Circle of life I suppose Cat. Although it's hard to see a cute cuddly cat viciously eating a little bird. Now if it was a rabbit, that's something I could get behind :)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

LOL Seq!

Okay back to midatlantic birds:
Not seeing much variety at the feeder these days: sparrows, chickadees, mourning doves, cardinals...

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

These last few days for me has been catbirds and downy woodpeckers mostly. I think the chickadee mafia is hanging out at another joint; I haven't seen them for a couple weeks.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Chickadee mafia--LOL

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Lately--as evening approaches--there have been loads of Chimney Swifts flying
above my area.
You almost have to look for them--they are so small and swift.
But--you can hear their cute chirping sounds.

Wonder if anyone in this area has a large, open chimney?
I know there is one--about 1mi. away at a VFW --in the field.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

That's very cool, Gita! I don't think I've ever seen a chimney swift--at least not to know what I'm looking at!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Chimney Swifts look like Swallows.
In late afternoons--they come out of their chimneys--where they live--and
start darting around, flying erratically and chirping away.
As dusk approaches--they make their way back in their chimneys.

The first time I saw these numerous birds flying so fast and erratically, I thought they
were bats.

You cann google them and learn more....G.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/chimney_swift/lifehistory

G.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Very interesting--thanks for the link, Gita. It's good that you are seeing them, as according to the site they are near endangered as a species. :-(

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

This big chimney I was talking about--on the fiels behind the VFW is
just a mile or so away--as the crow flies.

Years ago--we used to play Volleyball in this field and them go inside to
munch and have some beers.
In the field, there was an old, unused, huge grill--with a brick chimney about
20' or more tall. Very big around as well--possibly4'x4' or 5'x5'.

We would see the vortex as they all funneled back into this chimney
as it was getting dark . Neat!

I could drive 1-1/2 mi. and take a picture of this chimney--but it's not worth it.

G.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

It's nice the swallows have a habitat in the old chimney.

Just have to put in a plug for the Wagners Eastern Regional Blend birdseed I got recently. The birds are positively swarming all over my feeder!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Cat--I used to buy that seed too--but at $20 some $$ a bag--the birds can
learn to eat cheaper seed.

It is amazing---the billions of $$ people in the USA spend on feeding birds.
Amazing--hoe they do just fine in other countries. So do cats and dogs...
NO fancy pet foods...

I wonder if it is some form of transference of out own needs-to being appreciated?
By animals and birds???? Hmmmmmmm....

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

hmmmm... no expectation here that the birds who fly away and hide when they see/hear me coming are suddenly going to start appreciating me--LOL-- but I do enjoy seeing them flock to the feeder like this! :-) Usually I get less expensive blends, but sometimes it's worth it to me to pay the extra money just for the joy of seeing them all flocking to my feeder! :-) I had similar success with the 'Greatest Variety' blend. This is the first time I've tried Eastern Regional Blend. Claws up!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I saw my first hummer today!! I'm surprised it took this long as my garden is loaded with hummer friendly plants. Darcy said she saw two earlier this week though.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

that's wonderful, Seq! Still no sign of any here...

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Jostling each other for space at the feeder! :-)

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Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Got another photo of them crowding in. You can also see them hanging out in the branches behind the feeder. What you can't see is them hanging out nearby on the roof of the shed, in the cherry tree, in the beauty berry shrub, on the ground near the feeder, and along the fence! Flash to the old Hitchcock movie, The Birds. LOL! Guess my 'diner' is popular for now. ;-)

Sure wish I could get a crowd like this at the hummingbird feeder! I realized just today that I was mixing the sugar/water in the wrong proportions, so I think I finally have the right combo hanging out there now. So now I'm testing the Field of Dreams quote: 'Build it and they will come'. :-)

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Cat---seems they are ALL sparrows.....

maybe you have a zillion nests of them in the shrubbery? They all look like young'ones.

It's like----Today ONLY!!! Free fries with every Burger!!!!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Catmint, still no hummingbird on your monarda?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Still no hummingbirds, SSG! :-(

Yes, I definitely have a lot of sparrows! Other birds I see on a daily basis are chickadees, cardinals, mourning doves, catbirds, bluejays, robins, and starlings. I'll try the 'Greatest Variety' mix next and see if it draws in--er--a 'greater variety'. ;-)

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Cat--

Have you tried Costco or Sams--or BJ's?

I got a 40lb bag of Bird seed at Costco for $20--about 2 years ago.
Not a super great mix. Mostly both kinds of Sunflower seeds, Safflower
seeds, and a small amount of the millet.

I have also found Wallmart to have decent prices on all bird seed.
A great variety to boot...

BUT--you all know--I am a bargain hunter....aka--"el Cheapo"....
I even buy a lot of my seed at Big Lots.

If money does not matter--why NOT buy the best mix?

Right now--I do not have any feeders up for the birds....but, because I do CARE...
I keep a 16" saucer under a chair on my patio with asst. seed for the
ground feeders. They are safe there....totally NOT visible from above.
I like to see Doves tip-toeing under there to feed.
G.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

SSG are you seeing hummingbirds regularly now?

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