Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Common Yellowthroat

After 7 days where high temperatures went from 83 to 40, today was a nice day before rain that is suppose to move in tomorrow. The server that operates the computer system I work on crashed and burned around noon today so home I went quickly to change, grab the camera and head out.

Was thrilled to see the Common Yellowthroats had returned to the area. I generally only see them in this area spring through summer. This male's bright yellow stood out and caught my attention quickly.

I saw the female but never could get a decent shot of her. Something for another day.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Canon 50mm lens vs Black Lab

Guess who won? Yucky weather today and practicing some digiscoping through the window. Trying a couple of different lenses and cameras. This is what happens when you don't secure your items. Yes, not very happy with "THE DOG"but I have as much blame in the incident. If it has your scent on it, put it up! At least, it was the least expensive of all.

So, I will add this to the list of 4 remotes, 1 cordless telephone, 1 cell phone and countless other minimal items.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bird Banding

Athough it was cloudy and cool, at least the rain held off this morning for a bird banding event today. I have always been curious and wanted to learn more so when I saw the event scheduled I signed up as an observer.

All the handlers were very knowledgeable and readily shared information on the procedures for collecting data on the birds. Each bird was weighed, wings measured, a general assessment of their overall health, molt status, then banded for release.

All ages were in the group and I was particularly pleased to see the young children taking such an interest and asking good questions. All were given an opportunity to release one of the birds and to see the smiles on the childrens faces as they gently held the bird in hand was delightful.

My parents started my interest in birding when I was young and it has been a life long activity. Interacting with nature teaches value of and appreciation for all life forms.

Some of the birds were very docile from start to end while others expressed their discontent with the whole situation. The Cardinal I was to release clamped on to my finger and would not let go despite total freedom to fly at any time. Not that it really hurt, just a pinch. I was more amused at how mad it was from being handled and that given the opportunity to fly, didn't. Finally a gentle stroke down its back sent it off.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nest Building

Years ago, ivy was planted in many of the yards on the street. The houses were built in the 50's when I guess ivy was desired. It is now a constant battle to control. The trees in the woods around the house have ivy growing up them so each winter (no snakes), I tromp through the woods hacking the vines at the base of the trees. I take a general area each year and by the third year start back in the first area.

There are several cavity trees I make an attempt to clean each year to ensure the opening is inviting for nesting. I was late on a couple this year but after seeing some birds checking them out, cut the vines.

This afternoon walking around looking to see if any takers, out pops a little head. The bird and I stared at each other then off it went. I came back inside to get the camera in case it should come back. After checking out a couple of other trees, I came back to the one where I saw the bird. I saw the pair of Tufted Titmice fly in and they sat fussing so I backed off a ways to watch. The skies are very gray today and it was getting late so the photos are not the best. I suspect I will have several opportunities to observe their nesting behavior.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ready for the Hummingbirds

Not really needing another feeder, I kept procrastinating but eyed this feeder everytime I walked by it in the bird food section. Something about the old time look of the bottle appealed to me. I liked the idea that it is glass and red. Never really cared much about the adding of red dye to sugar water or the concentrate mixture.

Down to one today so I made the purchase. I usually see the first of the hummers around tax day which is not so far away. At least something to be happy about as I rant and rave about high taxes while writing the check for my payment due.
I was hoping for an early arrival but with a cool snap arriving for the next several days, I will just have to wait.

Sunday, March 13, 2011