Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

At a time in our history, when many Americans look down on anything patriotic, yet they are the very people that will cite their right to protest or burn the flag, they can thank those who sacrificed their lives or came home with life changing injuries so that many people, both American and in other countries can enjoy a life free from oppression.

                                            

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cedar Waxwings

Early this morning I looked out the kitchen window and the bird bath was filled with Waxwings. Usually I would have had the window open but the recent cold front dropped the temperature to 48 last night so I had not opened the windows.  Hopefully they will come back today when the light is better.









The Waxwings have been hanging around for the last couple of days devouring all the mulberries they can find.  My up the street neighbor has one mulberry tree that has been loaded and she was kind enough to allow me to go up and get some photos.  Thanks Cynthia!

I just love these birds with their animated appearance. They are a lot of fun to watch.  There appeared to be lots of young birds assuming the begging position wanting to be fed.  One young bird really put on a show spreading its feathers and fluttering wings.





Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Young Birds Everywhere

There is almost a constant of high pitch begging chips, wings flapping quickly and assuming the begging position from the young birds around.

The male Bluebird has taken a lazy approach and brings the youngsters to the suet cage.  He breaks off bits of suet and feeds the youngsters each taking their turn.  He does catch insects but towards the end of the day, I guess he is looking for an easy meal.










The Cardinals were early this morning so the shot was a bit dark.  Always sweet.  I wonder why the males are the primary feeders of the young birds that have fledged?











Around mid day, I heard a flock of Cedar Waxwings.  I kept looking around trying to spot them until I realized they were in my neighbors back yard feeding on the mulberries.





















Certainly, the young European Starlings are not much to write home about.  The buzzing noise they make when they are trying to get the adults attention can get on your nerves quickly.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Visitors Over the Last Couple of Days

female Indigo Bunting
Black and white Warbler

Baltimore Oriole


Great Crested Flycatcher
a 2nd but younger Scarlet Tanager

Friday, May 6, 2016

Studying The Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Since the first RBGs arrived on 21 April, it has been a steady stream of them arriving and some departing.  The older RBGs arrived first.  Shortly after, the flood gates opened  to younger birds.  It has been a wonderful opportunity to observe and study their behavior as a group.

I always counted myself lucky to see the 1 or 2 that would come through in the spring and fall so I have surely been blessed this spring.  Late Wednesday afternoon/early evening, I had 12  at one time.  Since they seem not to be able to get along well with each other, it is difficult to try and get a photo as a large group.

What I have learned is that they have a voracious appetite.  They have been through about 10 pounds of safflower seed so far.  Of course a few other birds have come in and eaten also.  The RBGs are extremely protective of their food source.  When they first began showing up, they would not allow another bird on the feeder with them.  As they have become sure of seeds, usually one till be allowed to share, and on occasion, two.

The females are noticeably larger than the males and can be just as aggressive as the males.

They are quite curious.  This one particular male was quite infatuated with the purple carabiner clip at the top of the feeder.  He picked it up in his beak several times and on different trips would repeat the same action.  Not sure what he was thinking.

When a large group begins to gather, they make this little mewing sound as a warning.  It makes me laugh when they get tuned up fussing at each other.










There is a wide variety in their feather coloring and pattern depending on their age.  A new arrival yesterday I thought was a female at fist glance until I saw the red under the neck and noticed the beginning of black feathers on the wings.  He was young enough that he still had the white eyebrow like the female birds.


At first glance in the photo to the left, they all look like females however the bird on the backside of the feeder is the same one as the photo above.  This is a young male.








The younger males from the back side have a very mottled appearance.


The red on their breast appears different on each bird.  Some are very distinct while others are not quite as well defined. As they age, molt and get new feathers, the design begins to look a a wine glass.


After watching their feeding behavior and the way they would try to hang on one of the post of the tube feeders and lean down, I rigged up another feeder to give them more space.  It is just a top of a 5 gallon bucket that I drill holes in the bottom to let any rain water out and drill some holes for the strings.  Inexpensive feeder that they like.














Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Urgent Action Needed To Protect Eagles


UPDATE:  Comments may be filed with the Federal Register in regards to SUBJECT:  Eagle Permits; Revisions to Regulations for Eagle Incidental Take and Take of Eagle Nests, here.

A new federal rule would permit the injury or killing of 4200 eagles per year.  This approval is being sought by companies owning wind companies that produce power.  While clean energy is important, I am not sure that the proposal of 30 year permits and self reporting of injuries/kills is the right direction.  You can read the story here.

While the Bald Eagle has made a come back, 4200+ that could be killed without consequence would begin taking a toll over a 30 year period.

I ask you to read and if you feel that 30 year permitting is too long, a petition has been initiated and signatures are desperately needed to address this issue before the Obama administration revises the federal rule governing this issue.  A petition to the White House has been started and can be found here.