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Archive for the ‘behavior’ Category

We love seeing all the birds around our yard. Here are a few of our regular visitors.

Gray Catbird

Many birds love our mealworm feeder. We made a small change to this feeder by adding a baffle to the stand.

Female Eastern Bluebird

The main reason for adding the baffle is to keep the chipmunks from pigging out on the mealworms. It has worked perfectly and so far this year we haven’t been going through as many mealworms as we have in the past.

Male Eastern Bluebird

This pair of bluebirds are our second pair of the season. We have two bluebird boxes on opposite sides of our yard. The first pair in the north box have successfully raised their young. The second pair of bluebirds were aggressive towards the first pair so after the babies fledged the first family left the yard. The second pair of bluebirds are now sitting on eggs in the south box so we hope to see more babies soon.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

It’s too bad the hummingbird didn’t turn his head just right to catch the sun on his gorget. We are again hosting a male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbird so we hope to see some young ones in a few weeks.

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You can stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Today I’m thankful that I have a new camera too. It’s the same kind that Charlie recently purchased, a FujiFilm X-T3. I also picked up the XF 100-400mm lens. (Remember you can click on any of the images to see a bigger version.)

My handsome boy Walter

My sweet Millie

A few years ago I switched from a Nikon to an Olympus camera that allowed me to take videos of the dogs. What the Olympus didn’t have was a great ability to do bird photography and I realized that I missed taking pictures of our feathered friends.

A male Oriole hanging out in our yard.

I’ve been inspired by Maggie & Cammie’s mom’s beautiful bird pictures and just knew I wanted to do it again.

Mr. Bluebird is aglow in the evening sun

Another male oriole in the yard

To be honest the old Nikon was very heavy, especially with the long lens needed to do bird photography. The new FujiFilm camera and lens is much lighter and with all the advancements made over the past decade you get a better image too.

Don’t you love my underbite?

Do you have any treats for me mom?

There is also an advantage to using a long lens when photographing the dogs. Most of the time you are so far away they hardly know you are taking their picture.

I’m thankful for my new camera and hope to bring you many great pictures and videos.

We are joining Brian for the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

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Hi everyone. It’s Millie here. Our mom finally got around to taking some pictures of what is flowering in our yard right now and then she actually said we could do a post. We have lots of perennials and some shrubs in bloom right now so let’s take a look.

Goats Beard – Aruncus dioicus

Goats Beard – close up

Hosta

The hummingbirds just love drinking from the hosta.

Stella D’Oro Daylily

Spirea flowers

Therese Bugnet rose

Rugosa Rose

Amsonia and Ladies Mantle

Amsonia – close up

Campanula Blue Waterfall

Campanula Blue Waterfall – close up

Clematis

I hope you enjoyed checking out some of the flowers blooming in our yard right now. This is what I was doing while mom was taking all those pictures.

This is my happy place.

We are joining Rosy for this weeks Flower Friday. Stop by her blog to see what other blogs are doing. They probably have flowers of their own to show.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Boy I must not have been thinking straight yesterday when I posted about our orioles at our feeder because I forgot to include the video I made to go along with it.

So without further ado here it is.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Enjoy!

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here to tell you about some of the wild bird excitement we’ve had in the past few days. On Saturday morning we saw a Baltimore Oriole feeding from our hummingbird feeder.

Male Baltimore Oriole on hummingbird feeder

In a short time we were able to see at least 3 male Orioles and one female.

Male Baltimore Oriole on hummingbird feeder while female waits her turn

One of the things Orioles like to eat from are fruits and oranges are a favorite. Since we had a supply of oranges in the fridge Charlie decided to make an orange feeder. After a little while in his workshop an orange feeder was created.

An orange feeder with room for half an orange on each side.

All it took were a few scraps of wood (that were already treated with protective coating) and a sturdy piece of wire salvaged from an old bookcase. A couple of screw eyes to hang it with and we were in business.

We put the orange feeder just a few feet away from the hummingbird feeder and within minutes the orioles were exploring it.

Sometimes there was even a waiting line in the tree above the feeder and other times there was an oriole on both sides.

In the morning when I take the dogs out for their first “business” run I now add orange feeder maintenance to the routine.

A well used orange

Needless to say the new feeder is a hit with the orioles. We think we have at least 2 males and 2 females so we are hoping they stick around all summer so we might get to see their babies too. Most summers we’ve had glimpses of orioles around our property but this is the first year we’ve ever had them come to our hummingbird feeders so we hope to see much more of them.

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Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. A couple of weeks ago we were woken up in the morning by a banging on a window downstairs somewhere. Charlie remembered the same thing happening last year at about the same time of year and was pretty sure he knew what it was. On closer inspection his suspicions were confirmed. Watch this video to see who was doing the knocking.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

We are so excited to see our Eastern Bluebirds back for another season and are fairly certain that this is the same pair we had last year.

Hello Mrs. Bluebird

Hello Mrs. Bluebird

Our suspicions that this is the same pair is based on the fact that the female exhibited the same behavior of attacking the windows as she did last year. This pair is already staking their claim to one of our bluebird nest boxes (the same one they used last year).

Photo courtesy of Google Earth

Photo courtesy of Google Earth

Above is a satellite view of our house. We have two bluebird nest boxes indicated by the arrows. From the spring of 2010 through the summer of 2014 we had a pair of bluebirds nesting in the Meadow Box. We watched them raise multiple broods and enjoyed close up views when they would all come to our mealworm feeder in the yard. In 2015 we were without any resident bluebirds but in 2016 another pair showed up. This pair picked the Driveway Box to nest in. We were a little disappointed since the Driveway box is not easily viewed from inside the house or even from the back yard.

Another disappointing thing about this pair is that last year they never discovered our mealworm feeder. Even though we put out worms and every other bird in the yard would feed there, this pair didn’t seem to figure it out. They would use the birdbath that was just a few feet away but the activity of the other birds never enticed them to visit the feeder.

They're using the feeder!

They’re using the feeder!

This year they came back well before any natural food is available, like live bugs, so we think that is why they finally found the feeder. We have just finished the warmest February in history for our area and never before have we seen a pair of bluebirds take up residence so soon. We have our fingers (and paws) crossed that they eventually bring their babies to the feeder so we can enjoy seeing them this year. We don’t think they are nesting quite yet as we haven’t seen Mrs. Bluebird bringing any nesting material to the box. It is still quite early and on average too cold for that yet.

Thanks for making a mess of our windows

Thanks for making a mess of our windows

One by product of Mrs. Bluebird’s activities is that all our windows are now full of smudges from her wings. I guess this is the bird equivalent to the dog’s nose art!

We are so excited to have our bluebirds back and will hopefully have some family pictures to show you come spring.

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Hi everyone! Today we are joining our friends at the Army of Four Digest with a Serene Sunday post. One of the most serene things in our yard is our linden tree. It was planted about 25 years ago fairly close to our family room to provide shade as it matured.

Linden tree in full bloom

Linden tree in full bloom

It is the anchor of our perennial garden and as it has grown has become the reason for changing some of the flowers to more shade loving. This year was one of the most prolific flowering seasons for the linden tree. If you are at all familiar with linden trees you know that the fragrance from the flowers is intoxicating.

Linden tree flowers

Linden tree flowers

When the weather is cool enough, and we have the windows open, the fragrance from the flowers just fills the house. We aren’t the only ones who enjoy these flowers. During the time the linden tree is in bloom it is overcome with every kind of bee like creature you can imagine. Here is just a little snippet of one visitor.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

If you stand under the tree during the time it is in bloom it sounds like you are standing next to a beehive. You can’t hear it in the video so you will just have to take my word for it.

The only down side to the two weeks of the sumptuously sweet smell is the mess the flowers make as they fall to the ground.

Hostas under the linden tree

Hostas under the linden tree

Usually we have periodic rains to wash the debris off the plants under the tree but this year we have been experiencing a drought.

The hosta leaves catch everything

The hosta leaves catch everything

It doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect on the hosta. Hopefully we will have a decent rain soon to wash it away. We wish someone could invent smell-o-vision so we could share the sweet scent with you but until then maybe you can find one near you. Of course you will have to wait until next year to enjoy it though.

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