Category Archives: Birds

Little Girl That Feeds The Crows

I found this one by “surfing” You Tube. I love birds and really like crows. I’ve observed those that come to my feeders and the bird bath. At certain times of the year, they leave sticks and small rocks in the water but I believe these are used as tools to pulverize the meat, acorns, or corn according to whatever I happen to feed them. Thus far I’ve not had a chance to watch them at length since I am either too busy or fatigued from the afib meds that I take. This video is a bit long, about 5 minutes or a bit more. I hope you find it interesting and maybe educational.

To digress a bit, I hope to get back to posting at least every two weeks or weekly maybe. I have more than 50 posts in draft form that need some polishing and some I will delete. In the meantime I have tried to keep up with the bloggers that I faithfully follow.                                                 .

My son has improved considerably but his MDs want him to enter inpatient rehab to improve his speech and motivation as well as well self-esteem.Texas pays for inpatient rehab for TBI patients that have no insurance. I wish that all states had this program.

 Yvonne 

 

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Summer and Fall Birds: 2013

Presenting a few so-so bird photos. These are birds found in my yard, either feeding on plants that I’ve planted over the past 50 years or coming to the bird bath or the feeders. Of course there are many more birds but the photos were even crummier than these that I have posted here. 🙂

Eastern Phoebe perched on a branch over the bird bath watching for its turn to get a drink and take a dip. Photo shot through screened window hence the soft effect. Resident year round if winters are mild.  Photo September, 2013

Eastern Phoebe perched on a branch over the bird bath watching for its turn to get a drink and take a dip. Photo shot through screened window hence the soft effect. Resident year round if winters are mild. Photo September, 2013

White Winged Dove on limb of Live Oak tree. Photographed through window screen. Sept. 2013

White Winged Dove on limb of Live Oak tree. Photographed through window screen. Sept. 2013

Yellow-rumped

Yellow-rumped Warbler on left and White Throated Sparrow on the right. These two birds are northern residents in the spring/summer and winter residents in the south and Texas. I adore these two birds for I see a few of them every year. The white throat is generally the last bird to arrive in the late evening just before dark for water and scratch feed on the ground in a man made brush pile that I built for their protection.

Immature female Baltimore Oriole. Fall migrant. When I was young on the farm these birds were spring and summer dwellers. I remember the pendulous hanging nests. Now I'm not sure if a summer nester could be found. This one is a migrant. Sept. 2013. Photo taken through screen window.
Mockingbird in the Pokeberry plant. It was pure luck to get these shots of the Mockers since generally they woud fly "into the plant" where they were obscured by the foliage. A few of the birds happened to land atop some of the outer branches. This one was keeping his eye on me and about ready to fly.

Mockingbird in the Pokeberry plant. It was pure luck to get these shots of the Mockers since generally they woud fly “into the plant” where they were obscured by the foliage. A few of the birds happened to land atop some of the outer branches. This one was keeping his eye on me and about ready to fly.

Mockingbird, immature. July, 2012. Same fledgling. Different pose.

Mockingbird, immature. July, 2012. Same fledgling. Different pose.

 Mockingbird, immature.  About 4pm on a very hot July day. This fledgling seems to be pleading, "I need food. I need food, now! This baby's parents were over in the fig tree getting drunk on fermented figs. I think they forgot about their kid for a while. :-)

Mockingbird, immature. About 4pm on a very hot July day. This fledgling seems to be pleading, “I need food. I need food, now! This baby’s parents were over in the fig tree getting drunk on fermented figs. I think they forgot about their kid for a while. 🙂

Mockingbird in the Pokeberry plant.  The berries are a favorite staple after the figs are all gone. There were birds in and out of this large Pokeberry from early morning until around 6pm-CDT (central daylight time) every day until the plant was depleted of berries. This large Pokeberry was about 7 feet tall and it returns from the roots each spring to grow taller than the year before.  There are several in the yard but this one is the largest since I give it extra water during the summer months. Great bird attracter! Mockingbird is a resident bird. Quite a singer with a manhy different calls and songs. Sings at midnight sometimes in the summer/spring.

Mockingbird in the Pokeberry plant. The berries are a favorite staple after the figs are all gone. There were birds in and out of this large Pokeberry from early morning until around 6pm-CDT (central daylight time) every day until the plant was depleted of berries. This large Pokeberry was about 7 feet tall and it returns from the roots each spring to grow taller than the year before. There are several in the yard but this one is the largest since I give it extra water during the summer months. Great bird attracter! Mockingbird is a resident bird. Quite a singer with a many different calls and songs. Sings at midnight sometimes in the summer/spring.

Black-chinned Hummingbird (probably-not positive of ID)Hummer aiming its long beak for the blossom of Mexican Bush Sage.

Black-chinned Hummingbird (probably-not positive of ID)Hummer aiming its long beak for the blossom of Mexican Bush Sage.

Immature Black-chinned hummingbird? Not sure of Id but about 95% of hummers in my area of central Texas are Black-chins. We are are located on the east/west division of birds and my area is more westerly. It was windy and about 5pm CST. This hummer seems to be a bit "ticked off. There was another hummer that was nectaring on the blooms and I think this one had been chased away :-) This bird is found here during spring, smmer, and the last ones leave about first or second week of October.

Immature Black-chinned hummingbird? Not sure of Id but about 95% of hummers in my area of central Texas are Black-chins. We are are located on the east/west division of birds and my area is more westerly. It was windy and about 5pm CST. This hummer seems to be a bit “ticked off. There was another hummer that was nectaring on the blooms and I think this one had been chased away 🙂 This bird is found here during spring, smmer, and the last ones leave about first or second week of October.

Year round resident of my area. I love the unusual call. Larger that the Mourning Dove it began spreading north about 40 years ago.  When dove hunting season begins the number of these doves increases in the city. Those living in the country are wise to seek the safety of the city rather than getting blown to smither-reens by a bullet. They also are very fond of my figs  and just about all the berry producing plants or trees in my yard.  Photo taken through screen window. Sept. 2013

White-winged Dove. Year round resident in my area. I love the unusual call. Larger that the Mourning Dove it began spreading north about 40 years ago. When dove hunting season begins the number of these doves increases in the city. Those living in the country are wise to seek the safety of the city rather than getting blown to smither-reens by a bullet. They also are very fond of my figs and just about all the berry producing plants or trees in my yard. Photo taken through screen window. Sept. 2013

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An Unknown Bird. Poor Photos. Just Need an ID

Please ignore the multiple postings of this bird. There is a glitch in the hitch of my blog. I have labored over a Monarch butterfly post off and on for weeks and those photos have doubled and tripled as well. I have deleted and begun anew until I am sick of it all with the Monarchs. So these birds will just stay. I have no idea what to do about the glitch. Maybe it will go away. Or maybe it is what it is- whatever that might be. 🙂

I am going to blame my posting of these dreadful bird photos on Andrew Hardacre who suggested this post. 🙂 http://ajh57.wordpress.com/

I took these photos in September through a window screen. I was desperate to get some photos of this bird since I knew not what he/she might be. So I did what any self-respecting bird and nature fanatic would do. Just shoot through the window screen and hope the ID field marks are good enough to identify the bird.I have looked in Sir Google and all my field guides and I just am not smart enough to figure this one out. I’ve been away from birding for about 20 years. Actual in the field birding, so I am “out of tune” and off-key by more than I care to admit.

If anyone “knows” this bird, leave a comment and I hope my face does not acquire too much red. 🙂

I’ve searched and researched and the best that I can do is to call this a subspecies of the Bullock’s or Baltimore Oriole. There are two sub species. I.b. bullockii and the other is I.b. Parvus. The other possibility is that this bird is a hybrid and according to literature the hybrids molt at least twice before the next spring. It also might not be possible to give this bird a positive ID if it is a subspecies.

I just wish that I had hired a carpenter to take the storm window off before fall migration. I had wanted to remove the screen but the entire outer window has to be removed. There is another window that “goes up and down” in front of the storm window. I plan to get that done soon since this is a window for optimum viewing and thus acts a perfect place to set up my little ole canon 60D with its el cheapo 200mm lens.

unknown bird    September 10,2013

Unknown bird September 10,2013

9/10/2013  Unknown bird

9/10/2013 Unknown bird

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Photographed through a window screen. September 10, 2013

Photographed through a window screen. September 10, 2013

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“Humdingers and Hover Arounds: The Hummingbirds

Late one afternoon I was walking about the yard with my camera and not expecting to see any hummingbirds when I heard the unmistakable sounds of 2 hummers that were squeaking and tweaking. I watched in fascination as they darted in and out of the Mexican Bush Sage that grows in my old garden plot about 250 feet from my house. I did not have my tripod and wished that this time I had my very old trusty camera support. These pics were shot with my canon 200mmm kit lens and of course, here I go again- they would be better with at least a 300mm L series but alas I do not have the lens that I had counted on getting. I let it go back to be put in the case for sale. Just got afraid to spend the money when my daughter’s health insurance was no longer in the federal government pool. This is an aside here but we have no idea what insurance company we can get for her or what it will cost. Therefore I could not blithely spend 1,500 smacker roos on a camera lens. But one day…

Back to the hummers. The Black Chinned and the Ruby Throated females and immatures are very difficult to identify and even experts sometimes have a problem. After taking notes from my photos, I might, later, be able to identify which is which. The hummers in the pics are not all of the same bird. The hummer feeding on the Skyflower appears to be an immature male but which one I know not. 🙂

The last pic is of the little hummer snagging/shagging an insect. (“In baseball, shagging is the act of catching fly balls in the outfield outside the context of an actual baseball game.[1] This is most commonly done by pitchers during batting practice before the ball game,[2] where they assist their hitting teammates by catching or picking up their batted baseballs and throwing them back to the pitching area in the infield. Batboys also help shagging baseballs, and it is reportedly considered a great honor among batboys to be asked to do this.”) {Source Wikepedia} You can see its long tongue that grabbed perhaps a fly, mosquito, gnat, or whatever. I like that pic a lot and will probably never get another one of the bird’s tongue reaching out to feed without moving its body. A stunning aspect of nature. 🙂

Note: Linda of Shore Acres http://shoreacres.wordpress.com/ included the Shag video in her comment and I have taken the liberty to include it in this post. The dance is great entertainment to watch. Be sure to check out Linda’s blog as a source for some fascinating reading and information. She is an excellent writer.

A "hover around" feeding on Mexican Bush Sage. A female or immatire Black chinned or Ruby throated Hummingbird. I believe it to be a Black Chinned but I could be very wrong. I don't  have all the field ID marks. There were 2 hummers who fought over the flowers until one flew away.

A “hover around” feeding on Mexican Bush Sage. A female or immatire Black chinned or Ruby throated Hummingbird. I believe it to be a Black Chinned but I could be very wrong. I don’t have all the field ID marks. There were 2 hummers who fought over the flowers until one flew away.

This hummer sat on a dead sunflower branch and shagged skeeters or other insects as they swamed nearby. Fascinating to watch.

This hummer sat on a dead sunflower branch and shagged skeeters or other insects as they swamed nearby. Fascinating to watch.

A humdinger feeding on Skyflower (Duranta) A plant that has been one of THE BEST for attracting butters and hummers.

A humdinger feeding on Skyflower (Duranta) A plant that has been one of THE BEST for attracting butters and hummers.

Black chinned or Ruby throated Hummingbird (female or immature)

Black chinned or Ruby throated Hummingbird (female or immature)

A humdinger feeding on Mexican Bush Sage

A humdinger feeding on Mexican Bush Sage

These species very difficult to identify. I've tried for days comparing pics and field notes and still have no identity.

These species very difficult to identify. I’ve tried for days comparing pics and field notes and still have no identity.

Immature or a female Black chinned or Ruby Throated Hummingbird. Very difficult to identify positively

Immature or a female Black chinned or Ruby Throated Hummingbird. Very difficult to identify positively

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The Mockingbird and the Beautyberry ( click to enlarge- October, 2012)

Perfect desert

I shall choose just the right one

This berry looks just right

I must be cautious and watch and listen for those that will eat me

The Beautyberry is an easy to grow native shrub and one that

I began with two broken off twigs that I removed from a shrub near Lake Palestine in east Texas many years ago. Once in a while my husband would take our children and me on an overnight fishing trip. I have never likeed camping and on this trip it was very hot and humid. I was miserable the whole time besides trying to keep an eye on my children who I made wear life jackets if they were near the water or in the boat. Both our children were excellent swimmers by the time they were 3 and 5 years old. But when near the water and not knowing the lake I insisted they have on a life jacket.

 Anyhoo- the best part of this little trip was getting the early spring cuttings to take root and now I have several beautyberry shrubs in various parts of the yard. The birds helped spread the seed and I almost always leave the plant to grow wherever it has sprung up.

I was sitting in my little electic cart watching for butterflies when this bird flew to the beautberry. I don’t think that he/she even noticed me. I am sorry that these are not sharper and larger. My lens is an 18-200mm zoom and I could not place the camera on a tripod or the bird would surely have flown away.

Post and photographs: Yvonne

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