Watching the Birds Midsummer 2014

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Pretty AWESOME about the cuckoo, aspen.

Whilst on our trek we only saw a few bald eagles, a couple golden eagles, some ptarmigan(did you know the town of Chicken, AK was supposed to be named ptarmigan but they couldn't agree on how to spell it?) and some black billed magpies. On the boat tour we took in Kenai Fiords Nat'l Park we also saw puffins. That was pretty cool. Also a bird that would dive under the water when we got to close to them as they were floating on the surface. I forgot their name though.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

My crape myrtle was a flutter this morning with birds. From the distance I couldn't tell what kind of bird, but, I could see they were picking at the flowers. Needed the binoculars which are still out in the RV.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Jan, I've seen birds on my crape myrtle as well. This was last year when I knew practically nothing about birds, so I don't know what they were. But I think they were picking at the flowers, not at the insects.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

That is interesting--about birds and Crepe Myrtles.....

The house across the street from me has a old, large C.M. Nice red blooms...
Every evening--it sounds like there are 100's of birds in this tree- The twittering
is so loud and busy. I am thinking they are all Sparrows.

I was thinking this may be their special tree to spend the night in.
It is about 25' tall and extremely dense.

G.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

So the birds eat the flowers?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Goldfinches apparently feed on the seeds. Which makes sense since I think I saw them pretty late in the year.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

This is the big Crepe Myrtle tree at the house across the street fro me.
Wish i could record the cacophony of birds chirping in it in the evening
so you could hear it. G.

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Wow, that thing is gorgeous G!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Jeff--
Several years ago--they cut it back to about 2' above the main trunk.
So--there were just these bare stems pointing up all around.

I thought o myself--"You! Idiots!!"....However--it wasted no time re-growing
and was back to the original size in about 3 years.(?). Blooming away as it
nothing had happened to it...Maybe a bit fuller....obviously.
No one is living in this house for now. It is empty. The owners come and maintain
the grounds now and them. I think they said they wanted to rent it out.
BIG Colonial--4 BR's-2 full baths, big open basement.....

I can take a closer picture tomorrow.... Gita

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh no!! Not a rental :( I live next to two rentals. You never know what you might get when they rent something out. Luckily the one rental next door is for sale (under agreement now) and the other rental has a nice couple living it in.

You know, I would have thought the same thing had I seen what they did to their CM. At least it came back nice though.

This message was edited Aug 14, 2014 8:49 AM

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Jeff--

This house has been owned by 2 Filipino families through the many years here.
They are very neat and clean people.
The owners live about 5 miles from here--the wife runs a daycare. Nice people...

I bet they will hold out until some other Filipino family comes along to rent it.....

Besides--this is a nice, old neighborhood--kind of international....
I now have a Pakistani family next door--a Spanish widow on the other side--
and ME--a Latvian in the middle.

Our ONLY "issue" is the kids from the High School parking all along the street.
But--we all have a driveway. I live 4 houses away from a HUGE High School.

Everything is OK!

Just for you--Jeff....here are several shots of the CM across the street
as well of the empty house.....G.


1--House across the street

2--Crape Myrtle tree from the east side. I walked across the street.

3--Looking at the fading blooms on top of the CM

4--Main stems, just above the trunk, of the Crepe Myrtle

5--Looking up from underneath of the CM tree.

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

Wow G, that CM has really come back nice from the hack job they did on it. It's truly very beautiful. I bet you enjoy looking at it in full bloom each summer. There is nothing like that around here.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Jeff--
It is like it has always been there--I don't really notice it...part of the scenery..

I DID just notice--in Pic. #5--if you look near the bottom of it, you can see
that all the thinner stems grew out of the tops of the cut back stems.
Many stems from one cut off end....that is why it is so full looking....
Wonder if this is a positive or negative result of pruning. It was done very cleanly--
NOT a hack job. but--I wonder WHY they needed to do it? It WAS big???

You want a better picture of this? Geez! OK!!! OK!!! Give me 5 minutes.....

There! Now you can see how it re-grew--even a nest in one of the crotches...

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

It looks like it came back quite nicely from the pruning. You're too funny G! Thanks for the closeups :)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Just watched an extended family of Goldfinches playing in my vegetable garden, with its sunflowers. They have that high squeaky twittery chirp.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

That must have been really nice to watch, Sally!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I put a new suet cake out this morning and within 5 minutes there was a male and female downy woodpecker, female cardinal, and a finch or something. It was like they were all waiting to be fed or something.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

It was cool, Robin, I had just walked out there and was so glad I hadn't scared them away mid-meal.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Seq and Sally, sounds like you both had a nice treat watching the birds today! :-) I need to refill my feeder--the birdies keep coming by expectantly.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Ahem.......Is it time already to put feeders out? Seems a bit early!
Are Goldfinches starving yet? I have a Finch feeder up--all summer--
and none of them ever used it. Must be the seed....

The grass is still green--the worms are still 'right there'...and we have
plenty of bugs. SO????

I DO have a 16" saucer that I put asst. seeds in and put it under one of my
plastic chairs on the patio. Really protected....out of sight.
I wanted to do this for the Doves--but the sparrows have found it....

I really do not want to put out a feeder yet--that seems enabling....
Maybe in October.
G.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

G, I feed all season. I do it for my own enjoyment rather than to 'sustain' the birds. Perhaps that's selfish, oh well.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I had so much fun watching a cute little bird in my backyard today. I think it may have been a mocking bird.

It was feasting on the Chicago Lustre viburnum berries when another mockingbird tried to come and share the fun. The first mockingbird wasn't having any of that and chased it away.

Then all of a sudden it started flying in a strange pattern and I realized it was chasing a flying insect.

What fun!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I guess that's what its all about for us- bringing nature into our own space- nice!

Mockingbirds are mostly grey but have obvious white wing feathers when they fly.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, it was the white tips on the wings that made me think it was a mocking bird. Mockingbirds also have that cute flat tail that sort of bob up and down.

There were also robins on the ground. I couldn't see what they were doing because they'd fly away if I got too close. Maybe hunting crickets? I think I may have a million crickets just in my backyard.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I'm seeing lots of crickets, too, SSG! Good bird food. ;-)

Speaking of bird food, I switched back to the less expensive, 'basic' brand of Wagner's this week and have noticed a definite difference in bird activity. Here's what I've been noticing. ;-)

1) Wagner's 4-season Wild Bird Food
2) Wagner's Greatest Variety Blend

I think it is too funny! Such refined palates my little birdies have. LOL! Well, I'm afraid it's the basic for a while now. :-D

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

I love watching Mockingbirds fly because when they open their wings in the sun, the white part almost looks like a skylight :)

Wow Cat, your feeder sure is getting a lot of action! Pretty sweet.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Just saying "hello!" to save my place. :)

A.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Hi Amanda!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Welcome, Amanda! Hope you hang around here..we are a nice bunch.

Gita

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks Gita. :)

I'm an infrequent visitor. Birds this time of year also disappear from my feeders - there's so much bounty out there. Good thing too, because I'm out of seed right now!

Hope everyone's enjoying what's left of summer.

xo
A.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

What is the avian version of 'hell bent for leather'"?
Something came whistling over my head and was gone in a flash this morning. What the..?

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Hmmm....A hawk focused on her prey????

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Maybe it was a bird catching a bug that was about to fly in your hair?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

That would be a comforting thought, sort of. I was near the Clerodendron, it might have saved me from a fig beetle. That would be a very startling creature to get in your hair!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Yeah, that's the reason I shave mine off. I don't need any bugs to get caught in it.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I saw a goldfinch today! What a pretty little bird. :) At first I thought it was a giant yellow butterfly until it landed on a tree.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

They are so pretty! I saw one flying around on Sunday when I was mowing the grass. I also saw two hawks in the yard this morning and they too were beautiful.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have SEEN Hawks close-up twice in my yard.
There--and gone in a flash!

They seem SO big, compared when they are gliding motionless above.
G.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Yeah, I was secretly hoping they were hunting wabbit....

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Jeff---

never know---I ave not seen any baby Wabbits this year at all???

There is a mama--I have seen her all of 3 times.
I think she builds her nests under my back-yard neighbor's elevated
(on 8x8' beams) garage. Plenty space underneath for animals.

Not that I have seen one--but snakes also can live under buildings.
Perfect! mama makes babies--snake has a good source of food.
And--IF they venture outside--the Hawks could get them.

There is a solo juvenile Wabbit hiding in my beds. It runs away
when i am watering...

Last year--I counted SIX different clutches of baby rabbits. Going by
the size of the babies running around.

IF there are no more rabbits at all--I can stop putting that stupid, green,
plastic fencing around my beds and plants. I hate it! But the rabbits can chew
down a whole stand of Oriental Lilies, stems of my New England Aster,
as well as my Heliopsis. . Have to protect them somehow...
G.

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