Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Gray Catbird’

Our serviceberry tree and shrubs (Amelanchier) are full of fruit right now and the birds are enjoying the feast.

Gray Catbird

Cedar Waxwing

Eastern Bluebirds are normally insect eaters and are regulars at our mealworm feeder but I also caught our female bluebird snacking on a serviceberry. She is looking in the direction of their nest box where their young are still growing. I wonder if she is trying to decide whether to eat it or share it with her babies.

Female Eastern Bluebird

This last couple of shots I didn’t even see happen when I took the pictures. It wasn’t until after I downloaded them to my computer that I saw what really took place. I was focused on the Cedar Waxwing on the left and didn’t see that another one was approaching on the right with a serviceberry in its beak.

Incoming!!!

Thank you!

My guess is that the “giver” is a male and the “recipient” is a female. It’s too early in the season for this to be a parent/child pair and many bird couples court by the male feeding the female.

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »


Wild Bird Wednesday

Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. There has been so much bird action around our yard this past week that I had to do a Wild Bird Wednesday post.

I was hoping to be able to tell you about our Eastern Bluebird fledglings by now but sadly the first brood of babies were attacked by a House Sparrow and did not survive. This is not an unusual occurrence for bluebirds and many other cavity nesting birds but it is a first for our property. Prior to this year house sparrow sightings in our yard were very rare but for some reason this year we had a couple try to nest in our spare bluebird box. Usually the other box is inhabited by a House Wren but the sparrow started taking over the box before the wren arrived for the season.

The sparrows also started harassing the bluebirds who, by this time, were feeding their hatchlings. One day last week while Charlie was working in the yard both adult bluebirds were out hunting for food when sadly a sparrow entered the box and killed the babies. We removed both nest boxes immediately and set about looking for ways to prevent this in the future. After a quick search on the internet we found plans for a “Sparrow Spooker” and quickly added it to the box.

Bluebird House with Sparrow Spooker

Bluebird House with Sparrow Spooker

The reports indicated that these funny devices were very effective in deterring the sparrows but didn’t bother the bluebirds. Ours is a simple design of a large diameter dowel with two smaller dowels near the top sticking out at right angles to each other. We stapled strips of Mylar to the smaller dowels and the large dowel is screwed to the back of the house. The renovated house was put up by the end of the tragic day so we hopefully wouldn’t loose our bluebirds. We are happy to report that the bluebirds have stayed, the house sparrows have left, and the bluebirds are working on another brood already. We haven’t seen or heard any house sparrows in our yard since.

Grey Catbird on meal worm feeder

Grey Catbird on meal worm feeder
(Picture taken through window)

In happier news we have had a huge rush of migratory birds to our yard. Some are on their way further north but many are here to stay for the season. The Grey Catbird is always one of my favorite summer residents in our yard. I love listening to their cat like calls and laugh at how they try to mimic other birds.

American Redstart
(Image Source)

We had a huge explosion of warblers in our yard. A few of these such as the Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat Warbler and American Redstart are some that stick around for the summer. The warblers are very difficult to photograph since they move quickly and hang out in thick trees and shrubs. I was able to capture an American Redstart (male pictured above) on video looking for bugs in our Leatherleaf Viburnum.

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

Baltimore Oriole
(Image Source)

The second bird that is often heard long before we see it is the Baltimore Oriole. I found ours hanging out in one of the apple trees on our property. Here is a brief video where you can catch a glimpse and hear his piercing call.

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

You can also hear the Common Yellowthroat call in the oriole video (you can find a sample of the call at the link for reference).

Okay I know this post is already a bit long but this is a busy time of year for birds. I have one more thing to tell you about. For years we have heard but never seen a Hermit Thrush on our property. These birds often hang out in dense woods and forage on the ground but this week we have had one regularly visit our perennial garden where he discovered the meal worm feeder!

Hermit Thrush on meal worm feeder

Hermit Thrush on meal worm feeder
(Picture taken through window)

We are thrilled to see him return often to partake of our meal worms and hope to see him much of the summer.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Wild Bird Wednesday and will take some time to stop by the blog hop host too.

Read Full Post »

Gray Catbird Visits Suet Feeder

Wild Bird Wednesday

I know what you are thinking. Why is she posting Wild Bird Wednesday on Tuesday? Well the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop is hosted in Australia so if I wait to post on Wednesday the blog hop is at least half over by the time my post goes up. I also have something else I want to do for Wednesday but you will have to wait until then to see what it is.

Okay, now on to the Wild Bird post…

A few years ago Charlie made some simple suet feeders that are called upside down feeders.

Upside Down Suet Feeder

Upside Down Suet Feeder

We quickly attracted the usual visitors like this Downy Woodpecker.

downy on suet

An upside down suet feeder is great for attracting many tree clinging birds including woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and titmice. Squirrels and chipmunks can still get to this type of feeder so to discourage them from using it we use a hot pepper formula of suet. The hot pepper deters the mammals from feeding on it, but does not bother the birds.

Gray Catbird Eyeing Suet

Gray Catbird Eyeing Suet

Most non tree clinging birds can’t hang upside down very easily so it is very difficult for them to use a feeder of this type. This is good to keep some birds such as starlings and crows from the feeder. Our non tree clinging birds are very tenacious and have learned to use the suet feeder despite the difficulty. Here is a little video of a Gray Catbird using our suet feeder.

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

So far the list of birds other than the tree clinging ones to use this feeder include Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, and Song Sparrow. It is always fun to see what unusual things the wild life will do next.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Wild Bird Wednesday and will take some time to stop by the blog hop host too.

Read Full Post »