It’s not about the size…….

July 30th, 2007

Have you ever noticed that size doesn’t matter in the animal kingdom. Our feathered friends are a perfect example of this. Think of some of your most aggressive visitors to your feeding stations and the size of that animal. Hummingbirds seem to have no fear of any animal when it comes to a food supply. I have had a face-off more than once with a Ruby-throated Hummingbird while changing the feeder out.

The hanging feeding station in front of the camera is another example. On a regular basis I will have the House Finches sitting in that little tray feeding with Northern Cardinals or those rather grumpy Mourning Doves. Have you ever seen a Carolina Wren defending its territory? No fear.

Even when it comes to tolerance of humans, you will see many of the smaller species coming over close to you while you are filling the feeding station or simply enjoying the outdoors. Some of the fastest to vacate the area are the American Crows, Blue Jay, Mourning Doves and Red-bellied Woodpecker. I have stood about two feet away from a Nandina while a pair of Kinglets gleaned the leaves of insects. As well I have had Brown-headed Nuthatches nearly land on a feeder while I am filling it up. While working in the yard, I will often find a Downy Woodpecker filling its little belly with suet with me no more than 12 feet away from it. I have also been sitting in a chair and had a Carolina Wren hop around underneath me searching for food.

Yeah….The tiny birds rock. Thanks for reading.

A sign of things to come…..

July 28th, 2007

Well, it appears that maybe time has come for more hummingbirds to arrive in our area. On Friday, a number of times both male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were observed at the nectar feeders. Also making appearances at the cracked corn tray feeder  were the doe White-tailed Deer, Eastern Cottontail Rabbit and a chipmonk. Afterwards  the  deer took a few sips of water from the bird bath. Hopefully, the filter will arrive for the feeder cam today.

The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades

July 24th, 2007

The new system of delivering the video seems to be working for the visitors (complaints, feedback???). I am bothered by the amount of glare washing the colors of the birds out. I have ordered a polarizing filter that I hope will solve the problem. Planning for just in case it doesn’t work, it will fit the zoom lens on my Pentax.

I did actually see a small female Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the feeder Monday evening. I also saw a hummingbird in the background of the feedercam the same day. Hummingbird migration should be starting soon or has already started. We wait.

Having seen a squirrel on the deck twice since I took steps to squirrel-proof the deck, I did make a switch back to safflower seed. The Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Tufted Titmouse, Mourning Dove, Brown-headed Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch and Carolina Chickadee all seem to like it just fine here. I will still use black oil sunflower seed in the other feeders.

The deer made a trip through the yard this week and emptied the cracked corn tray. If that wasn’t obvious enough, a noticeable amount of vegetation was missing from the fence area. Most noticeably was the supposed Trumpet vine I have been fertilizing and seeing some new growth on. It seems to have received a good grooming :-) I have not been able to get another good look at the rabbit, so there is no progress in a final identification.

The Eastern Bluebird couple have not returned to the nest box. I have to assume at this point that the heavy equipment in the yard next door scared them off. I will double check with our local experts before I remove the nest. They can have up to three broods a year, so there is still a chance for a second brood out of this nest box.

The suet feeder continues to host the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker and Chipping Sparrow on a regular basis. Also we still have both male and female Eastern Towhee visiting the cracked corn tray several times a day. Later, Jim

When dining late, wear red to the plate

July 21st, 2007

Have you noticed that Cardinals are always the last visitor to the feeder at night? I am sure that if I crack open my Sibley Guide to Bird Behavior I will find more info on that. They are beautiful birds. I have noticed the squirrel back on the deck in front of the camera again. I had squirrel-proofed the deck and the tree next to it a month or so ago. The little mammal must be coming over the roof. I am going to change back to safflower seed to see if I can discourage it. Later,  Jim

Changes, birds and rabbits

July 19th, 2007

I have moved the video stream off of the front page to make updates easier to post. On the right side of this page, you will see a link for “Feeder Cam”. Also in the works, I am trying to find an acceptable solution for the pictures that were available on the old site. I would prefer to move over to a gallery style with thumbnail views to select the picture you want to view.

The range of birds visiting has not changed recently. We are still waiting for the Ruby-throated Hummingbird numbers to increase. Also are still waiting to see if the Eastern Bluebirds return to the nest box. The doe White-tailed Deer that comes to the feeder has become rather varied in the time of day she visits. If she does show up while you are viewing the cam, she will most likely appear to the right side of the hanging feeder. I have also become rather curious as to what kind of rabbit is visiting that same cracked corn feeder that the deer visit. There are four species of rabbit here. I have narrowed it down to Eastern Cottontail (most likely) or Swamp Rabbit (not likely). While watching it on Wednesday, I discovered that the rabbit is blind in its right eye. Looks very healthy other than that. Interesting fact: The annual mortality rate for the Eastern Cottontail is 80%. This is due mainly to predation by mammalian and avian species.

Hummer defends territory

July 12th, 2007

While out in the back yard trying to get a cell phone signal, I looked up to see a lone hummingbird chasing two house finches out of the yard. The finches turned around in the neighbors yard, only to have the hummingbird continue the pursuit back through our yard, over the trees and out of sight.

The current visitors to the cam feeder are Northern Cardinal, Morning Dove, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Tufted Titmouse, Brown-Headed Nuthatch, White-Breasted Nuthatch and Carolina Chickadee. The suet feeder hosts Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Downey Woodpecker, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird and an occassional Tufted Titmouse or Chipping Sparrow.

The tray feeder (cracked corn) continues to be popular with Morning Dove, Eastern Towhee, Grey Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and the doe White-Tailed Deer. I have seen the female Eastern Bluebird in the tree by the deck once this week. They have not returned to the nest box at this point. I am still putting out mealworms for them, which disappear without me knowing if they are eating them or something else.

I had to upgrade the server to handle the new video stream. I am still working out the bugs of getting the stream to load on Windows clients. The stream is working on Linux, however not in the intended manor :-\

Deer returns, Bluebirds still absent

July 9th, 2007

The White-Tailed doe returned this evening to find the cracked corn tray empty :-( I had not seen her around in a while and had not filled the tray this morning.

Still hoping the Eastern Bluebird couple return to the nest box. I had verified that they built a nest in it last week.

I am still working on the video feed and am presently testing different solutions to find one that will work. Right now, I can only get the video stream under Linux. I should have it worked out by the end of this week though.

Later

The stream tests are looking good

July 8th, 2007

Initially, there will only be one kind of video stream. I have chosen a flash stream for compatibility with a wide variety of operating systems and its acceptance with users. I hope to actually have the video back on this web site next week.

We are still waiting on the hummingbird numbers to increase at the feeders. I have one little male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird that I see in the tree next to the deck daily and occasionally see at the feeder. The Eastern Bluebird couple have not been seen in several days. The last time I saw them was before our neighbors yard was filled with heavy equipment replacing some septic lines or whatever. They do have a nest built in the nestbox. I am crossing my fingers that they will return.

The lone doe White-Tailed Deer that frequented the corn feeder tray has not been seen in days as well. She does seem to disappear from time to time though. I am keeping the tray full and the rabbits and squirrels happy at least.

Progress….maybe

July 5th, 2007

The worpress blog should work correctly for everyone now. I think I have found help to get the video working as well. The bird activity continues to be strong as well.

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    Welcome to WingbarsCafe. The site consists of a webcam focused on a sunflower feeder and blogs posted about bird and other wild animal activity in the yard. Also featured are motion activated snapshots that may give you a chance to get a better look at birds that have been at the feeder.

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