Thursday, February 2, 2017

Happy Ground Hog Day

Six more weeks of winter?  We have had a fairly mild winter this year and already, the daffodils in the yard are beginning to bloom.  Regardless of what the Ground Hog may say, the calendar confirms that spring still does not begin until 21 March.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cedar Waxwings Bathing

Over the last several days, a large flock of Cedar Waxwings have hit the street going from one property to the next devouring the berries from all fruiting plants.  They have completely finished off from my holly and are working on some up the street.

I see them early when I am walking the dog and by the time I get back to the house, they are coming in for water and a bath.

Hope you enjoy the video below.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

It has been a miserable day between the freezing rain, sleet and snow.  The extreme cold over the next couple of days means we will be stuck with it for several days.

The little hummingbird that is here hit the feeder often and long today.  I had set up a light under the eaves of the house along with a stick tied to the ladder. The hummer warmed itself from the heat of the light most of the day.

I could not find a think cover heat lamp and it did not particularly like the white light so I settled on a yellow bug light hence the gold glow.

I had lots of birds and put out additional food on the ground and along the deck rail to limit food fights.

Though not one of the colorful birds that visited today, my two favorite shots today were a female Cardinal and a dove.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Drake and Hen Wood Ducks

The drakes are in their full display of colors hoping to impress the ladies!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cedar Waxwings

Holly, red berries and a Cedar Waxwing.  Seems like an appropriate photo for Christmas Day. The Cedar Waxwings swarmed in on the holly tree today for their meal.  Groups would eat a while then fly off and another group fly in.  These continue to be one of my favorite birds.

 I hope everyone had some good family time and a wonderful Christmas Day.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fox Sparrow

In the mornings, I throw out a couple of handfuls of seed on the ground for the doves and other birds who prefer to scratch around.  This time of year there are lots of White-throated Sparrows however I noticed one that looked a little different.

I grabbed the camera quickly hoping it was a Fox Sparrow and indeed it was.  What a wonderful early Christmas present.  It has been around all day so hopefully, it will call the yard home for the winter.

This only the second one I have
ever seen so it is a real treat.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Banding The Hummingbird

The lady who has been researching and documenting hummingbirds that winter over in our State came yesterday to catch and band the hummer.

After getting a photo that showed the tail spread coloration, I felt sure that one was a Rufous.  There are two here but we only caught one yesterday.

It was quite an ingenious contraption she used to catch the hummingbird.  She had built a cage with a hand operated door and placed the feeder inside.

As you can see here, since the temps were below freezing early in the morning, I covered the feeder with a sock, inserted a couple of hand warmers and covered with another sock.  This seems to work well to keep the water from freezing.

Needless to say, the little hummer was not happy at all at being captured!

The bird appeared to be overall healthy and in good condition.  These birds will travel to Alaska and northern Canada in early March for their breeding season.  It seems like they like to migrate to the SE portion of the US rather than going farther south towards Mexico and Central America.

The researcher was a wealth of knowledge and eagerly shared it with myself and my friend whom I had invited to participate in the event.

During the examination of the bird, it was noted there was some damage to the birds beak.  This is caused by bad design of the most common feeders....the typical round hole.  If the bird hovers in flight while feeding, the round hole gives no leeway for back and forth movement resulting in damage to the birds beak.  Fortunately late in the summer season, I had purchased one with the oval hole which is preferred.

The last thing the researcher confirmed.....use only sugar and water....1 pt sugar to 4 pt water for feeding....both summer and winter.  DO NOT USE RED FOOD COLORING!!

The bird was released none the worse for the experience. She did mark the top of the hummers head with a bright orange temporary paint.  I am trying to document the second hummer and this lets me quickly distinguish between the two.  It want last long and will not hurt the bird.   It was a little hesitant about coming back to the feeder for some time however late in the afternoon, hunger and the need for energy won out and after checking out the area closely, the bird came in and drank with