Thursday, July 19, 2012

For the BIrds

One of the joys of summer is to be able to watch "our" birds. We have feeders and a bird-bath attached to the deck so we always have birds around.

We leave peanuts out for the jays and magpies, in an old pie tin screwed to the deck. One of the magpies has a curled, deformed foot, so he is identifiable. I call him Curly. He has been in our yard for 4-5 years, every year he comes back. He gets around fine. I get such a kick out of watching the magpies choose the best peanut, like an old lady choosing a melon, they pick up one, then put it down, push them around with their beaks, pick and disregard another, until they find the one that is juuust right. Sometimes they struggle to fit TWO in their beaks and off they fly to hide them somewhere around the yard. I have found peanuts in some pretty creative places. The jays just quickly grab one and they're gone.

We have had the most brilliant yellow finches this year! I love their tiny little bodies and they have a sweet song. They and the chickadees and common house finch/sparrows feed at the feeders that have sunflowers and bird seed in them. There is so much waste with the sunflower seeds! Down under the feeder there is a pile of shells and uneaten seeds at a ratio of about 5 to 1 in favor of the seeds! Last night I scooped a bunch up, put them in a shallow bowl, shook them and blew hard to separate the shells from the seed. I'm going to try it with a fan. After blowing , shaking, blowing, shaking I worried that I may have inhaled some dust that could give me bird flu or something...been around Don too long. Anyway, it made me think the biblical wheat and chaff.

This afternoon I saw a mama robin and two babies, this made me really happy after finding a little corpse in the flower bed a couple of weeks ago. I had watched a nest right outside my bedroom window, watched the bird sit, saw the mom and dad feed the babies (y) and then they were gone. I'll have to watch the cats now, try to keep them in. Well actually it's only Lido, the black and white that goes after them. Beans, our brindle brown, tiger-y cat leaves them alone. Joining the robins on the lawn are the crazy little starlings. I know they're trash birds, but marching stiff-legged across the lawn with their whirs, whistles, clacks and chirps they entertain me and when the sun hits their feathers just right the iridescent colors shine. Occasionally we even have a couple of ducks that come and hang out in the backyard, a beautiful mallard pair, pretty brown female and emerald green headed male. The quail hide out , camouflaged in the garden. In the front yard they will fly straight into my very dense ornamental pine. I don't know how they do it! The other day, the pair and about 8 little bumblebee babies ran across the lawn and over to our neighbor's yard.  Such a sweet sight!

The woodpeckers require no feeding. While I was watering the baskets the other day, I saw an adult and 4 baby woodpeckers, the little ones hiding at the base of the tree and close to the ground near the fence, while mom was in the tree.The hawk that hovers overhead sometimes takes advantage of the little birdies that congregate in the yard, but since the fields are rapidly disappearing, they have to eat too so... we've found a pile of feathers a couple of times.

It makes me sad to know that in a couple of weeks  I will be back at school, missing out on the daily bird show. I'll have to make do with the afternoon performance.


nana_ang_poppaphil said...

How lucky you are to have such colourful birds at your house. I was amazed with the Hummingbirds when I was visiting Evette last year.

We don't have the colourful birds that you have.

lifeinredshoes said...

I remember telling Kent we must be getting old when we started feeding the birds.....30 years ago!
We also love having them visit our yard, this year we have had Red Winged Blackbirds stay all summer.
One casualty of our move was the loss of the Jays. We put out peanuts daily for years and enjoyed watching their crazy antics.
And we also feed the Hummers, but those little buggers can be mean!

Breezy said...

I love watching the birds, they are a constant source of entertainment!

Shan @ Design Gal said...

My love for birds comes from you and grandpa! I love their sweet tune! :)