I thought I'd do a bird blog - and for once it's not about my chickens or ducks! I'm very lucky to have a wooded area on my land, and that brings in lots of different bird species. I love to watch the birds, and I enjoy finding their nests and watching their young grow and fledge. I have 3 bluebird boxes, 2 of which are presently inhabited. One box had a bluebird family in it earlier this spring, but after they fledged, tree swallows moved in and now they have 4 eggs being "incubated" by mother swallow. The second box has a different swallow family in it. The movement and flight of the swallows is mesmerizing. I especially like to watch them when Kelly mows the lawn, because that seems to stir up the bugs from the grass. They follow behind the mower, diving and swooping in a bird ballet of sorts, getting all the tastiest insects I'm sure!
Of course, hummingbirds are a favorite of mine also, and here is one that I photographed earlier this week at my hummingbird feeder. It sits right outside my dining room window, so I can watch it when I eat (if I'm not eating in front of the computer!) They are such delicate little birds, but they pack a mean beak when there is another hummingbird around, and they will dive-bomb each other while trying to feed. It's hard to keep up with their antics sometimes!
On the more docile side, we have quite a few chipping sparrows around here. Can you see the chipping sparrows in this picture?
Nah, didn't think so. It's a bit of a trick question. This is my Jackmanii clematis, which mother sparrow decided was the perfect place for her nest. Indeed it was, because last year's chipping sparrow (maybe the same one?) tried a nest in 2 of my viburnum shrubs and in a juniper, and every time, the nest was either destroyed or the eggs broken. I'm not sure who the culprit was, but this time....success!!
Now you can see the chipping sparrows in the clematis! There were four babies and they just fledged this weekend. What a sweet little family! If you go back to the first picture, you can actually see a little bit of the nest, just to the right of the single bloom on the bottom left side. She used a bit of shredded paper (from my chicken nest boxes) and the white shows the edge of the nest.
Today, I heard one of those unpleasant "thunk" sounds on a window in my dining area. I have some decals that are supposed to limit bird strikes, but sometimes they still hit a window. I ran outside to see if I could be of assistance. Sure enough, this female rose-breasted grosbeak was in need of some quiet time.
I think she was so focused on the caterpillar in her mouth that she neglected to notice the window. I generally felt her wings and legs, etc, to ensure that I couldn't feel any breaks or things out of place, and then gently placed her in a little animal carry-crate with some water, in a quiet spot. I did take some photographs of her first, because it's such a treat to have a close-up experience with such a bird.
She has beautiful golden yellow patches under her wings.
After about an hour, I heard her begin to flap about in the box, and I took her outside and released her. She flew away with no problem whatsoever. I'm glad she had a safe place to rest and recover from her bump on the head! Maybe next time, she'll remember not to fly with her mouth full!
"Excuse me? Since when are you an expert in bird etiquette? Just leave me alone with my nectar, please. Geesh....humans...."