Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Excitement in our Backyard

July 27, 2009
A baby bluebird on our deck.  July26, 2009.

A baby bluebird on our deck. July26, 2009.

If you have been reading Betsy’s blog, you know how interested she has been in the bluebird family that has been nesting in our back yard.  We’ve been watching the second brood and Betsy felt that it was close to the time for the babies to fledge.

In the late morning yesterday Betsy noticed the baby bluebird in the above picture on the deck.  He most have flown to the deck from the nest, but he wasn’t very good at flying just then.  He mostly ran around the deck before falling off the edge.  Fortunately he wasn’t hurt.

Were there any birds left in the nest?  A quick check of the nest showed that there were still babies in there, but that they were thinking about venturing into the big world.

Ready to explore the world.  July 26, 2009.

Ready to explore the world. July 26, 2009.

Betsy was able to see the maiden flight of one of the babies.  They didn’t get very far on that first flight, but at least they were out in the world.  Daddy and Mommy Bluebird (and the juveniles from the first brood) kept a close watch on the babies, encouraged them in their efforts to fly, and in general offered moral support.

Daddy Bluebird keeping watch.  July 26, 2009.

Daddy Bluebird keeping watch. July 26, 2009.

But things got very interesting when squirrels got too close to a baby.  Then all the bluebirds started chattering and raising a ruckus.  If the squirrel didn’t leave quickly enough, the bluebirds started dive-bombing it.  I didn’t know squirrels could move so fast once that started.  I only wish we could have captured a picture of that.

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Eating Us Out of House and Home

November 7, 2008
Young Goldfinch in one of our feeders.  October 28, 2008.

Young Goldfinch in one of our feeders. October 28, 2008.

I’ve mentioned several times that Betsy has become an avid birder.  She keeps a pair of binoculars by her favorite chair and periodically consults several books and blogs in her attempts to identify new birds that come to our feeders.

We now have six stations where the birds can get food.  Betsy has tried her best to provide the favorite food of each of the different birds in our area.  Judging by the numbers of ‘feathered friends’ on our deck, I would say that Betsy has done a good job.

I guess we’re running a cafeteria for birds.  I will admit that the birds are interesting, and the young ones are even cute.  But they sure can eat!!  It seems that we’re having to refill feeders every time we turn around.

I’m glad Betsy likes her birds.  I just hope we can continue to afford to feed them!

Mister Mom

September 6, 2008
A male cardinal feeding a juvenile, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  September 4, 2008.

A male cardinal feeding a juvenile, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. September 4, 2008.

I’ve written about Betsy’s infatuation with birds a couple of times now, and I have to admit she’s getting more and more interested with each passing day.  Betsy can sit watching the birds for hours at a time.  She tries to get me interested, but I don’t have that much patience.

As Betsy has added different feeders and different types of seed she’s attracted many different birds — hummingbirds, bluebirds, titmice, chickadees, sparrows, wrens, flickers, and cardinals.  There are also blue jays; Betsy wasn’t too keen on them until she read that blue jays frighten off squirrels.  (Squirrels can really do a number on our flower beds!)

We can sit on our couch and watch the birds at four feeders on our deck.  A couple of days ago we watched a male cardinal with a young juvenile.  The juvenile got to the deck railing, but didn’t seem to know what to do next.  After a few minutes the male cardinal started feeding the juvenile — the male would peck up some seeds and then take them over to the juvenile and put them in its beak.  I couldn’t get a picture of the feeding, but I did get the above picture of the two of them.

Cardinals will be here year round, and although I know the juvenile will grow up I hope he’ll stop by for a visit now and then.  I wonder if Mister Mom Cardinal will be able to get some rest once the juvenile has grown?