April 2019

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Thursday, April 18th, 2019 08:48 pm

We have learned to recognize his chirps when he's on our balcony. There are three of them, I think. One has a very bold red band, then there's this one which is not as large, and then another one whose colors are quite faint and mostly yellow. Read more... )
Saturday, April 13th, 2019 11:00 pm
This afternoon at the cake feeder:

Common Starling

A male starling (you can tell by the corners of the beak - boys are blue, girls are pink - seriously) attacks the cake feeder. I think he's pretty young, firstly because he's still got a lot of brown in his plumage (mature males have a beautiful 'oil on water' sheen to them), but also because he's clearly not had a lot of experience perching on a feeder as he eats. He was flapping and making the feeder bang around the entire time, until he finally managed to get some cake.
Read more... )
Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 11:02 pm
From last August:

Hens and Chicks are these weird little cacti that my mom grows. They open up kind of like artichokes, with layer upon layer receding into a centre that you expect to be eventually revealed, but which really isn't there at all. They get their name because the adult plants (the hens) reproduce by sending out runners which take root and produce tiny offspring (the chicks).
Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 10:23 pm
From earlier today.

Red Bellied Woodpecker at the Cake Feeder

A male Red Bellied Woodpecker eats at my cake feeder, just outside the kitchen window (I was making dinner when he showed up). If you look closely, you can see his tiny needle-like tongue poking out as he cleans little bits of beef suet off the end of his beak. This is how he'd do with the tiny bits of smashed insect that would be on his beak tip after he'd drilled them out from the bark of a tree.

The cock stops by to eat every so often, but I have yet to see a hen.
Monday, April 8th, 2019 12:25 pm
From late last Summer, but I hope it'll be okay if I post it anyway. Spring is finally here (Great Lakes region, North America), and I'm excited about baby bird season, even if there are only eggs yet. Here're the last brood from last summer.

End of August 2018: In the little tree (yew?) by the front door, the doves are raising what are almost certain to be the last baby birds of summer. Doves can only feed two babies at a time, so they start early, and end late, getting in four or five, sometimes even six, broods per summer.


Here's DoveDad (the male sits the nest during the day) on Aug 22nd. Both eggs were hatched by then, although I didn't know it at the time. I was very wary about getting too close and frightening him, since if he was sitting unhatched eggs, he might abandon them. He's giving me the "Oh @#&$! Does he see me?" look here.

Read more... )
Sunday, April 7th, 2019 09:50 pm
When I got up this morning and pulled the curtains on an upstairs window, I saw a buzzard sitting in the field over the canal. I was still rather groggy so these aren't the best shots, but it was exciting seeing one so close, and so still.

in flight )