After playing with the feeder cam settings, and no I am not happy with it yet, I took some time to watch the feeders. Today we had House Finch, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Tufted Titmouse and Carolina Chickadee at the various sunflower feeders. We did have a couple of the species that I do not always catch at the feeder as a nice surprise. A Brown-headed Nuthatch made a quick visit to the hanging tray feeder that is in the background while I have the hummingbird feeder in front of the cam. We also had a couple of Common Grackles visit that same feeder. I had forgotten about the posturing that male Grackles will do to prove dominance over another male. If you have never seen it, they will point their beak straight up in the sky and puff out their chest. Always fun to watch them.
At the suet feeder we had Blue Jay, Carolina Wren and Downy Woodpecker. The deer hit the ground feeder early, prompting an early trip to my favorite birding supply for cracked corn. The Mourning Doves paid more attention to the cracked corn than usual and were joined by the Gray Squirrels and a sole Eastern Chipmunk.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird activity is up and seems to be strongest early in the day and late in the afternoon and on into the evening. I have a couple of new pictures I will post later in the hummingbirds photo section.Filed under Updates | Comment (0)
The feeder cam is still having a glare problem that did not exist in the past. I will be playing with some software settings today and as a result I will have to stop and restart the video stream to test the changes. Please bear with me as I try to make your visit here a better experience. Thanks, JimFiled under Updates | Comment (0)
Maybe just for today, I moved one of the hummingbird feeders in front of the feeder cam. If there are enough visitors, I will leave it there for a while. If not, then the tray feeder will return with sunflower seed. Also, every time I was on the deck taking pictures of the hummingbirds, the seed eaters would not visit the tray feeder. For first timers the link to the feeder cam is on the right side of this page under the Pages group.Filed under Updates | Comment (0)
The hummingbird numbers still seem to be improving. We have Ruby-throats defending both sets of feeders now. The Mourning Doves and House Finches continue to dominate the feeder cam. Occasionally you will see Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal or White-breasted Nuthatch at this feeder, I will be switching back to sunflower seed in this feeder hoping to improve the variety of birds.
All the birds seem to be a little grumpy right now. An Eastern Bluebird couple visited the yard last week. This is the first time any Bluebirds have been spotted in our yard since a pair were frightened away by heavy equipment in the yard next door. The male Eastern Bluebird was in the birdbath and had a go at a House Finch that was sitting on the side of the birdbath. Also on that same day, I saw an Eastern Phoebe have a run at a male American Goldfinch. I have no clue what that was about. Sure made that Goldfinch nervous at the feeder when it returned.
The doe White-tailed Deer and her two fawns continue to frequent the area around the yard. She jumps the fence and eats the cracked corn and hew fawns are still foraging in the woods. I will post more over the next few days.Filed under Updates | Comment (0)
After peering out of the window late this afternoon and seeing a decent amount of hummingbird activity, I decided to spend a portion of the evening out on the deck with my camera. Most of the time they get a little shy until it is decided that I am not their greatest worry. I did manage to take two pictures of the ruling male Ruby-throated Hummingbird. There is much more to report though.
As I began to fit into the scenery, the activity returned. As I was sitting there waiting for the hummingbirds to return to normal feeding, the first doe White-tailed Deer entered the yard. I sat still and stopped trying to photograph the hummingbirds. After she had finished eating and left the yard I returned to actively trying to photograph the hummingbirds. As I was waiting for an opportunity, a Carolina Chickadee landed on top of the hanger for the hummingbird feeders that was only about 6 feet away from me. Again, I froze to keep from scaring the wildlife away. Its cute little black eyes sparkling in the evening sun, it cocked its head and looked at me. It then hopped down to the feeder cam tray and plucked out a safflower seed and returned to a nearby tree with its prize.
Shortly after this, another deer entered the yard. This time it was the doe that has the two fawns. As she was eating the cracked corn I could see her fawns browsing around for bits to eat in the woods just outside the fence. Once she had her fill and jumped back over the fence, I again returned to my quest for hummingbird pictures.
I did get a few distance pictures of Northern Cardinals at another one of the feeders in the back yard. Also the grey squirrels were chasing each other for whatever reason. It was like watching dirt track racing. As they would make turns in the dirt, they would slide and kick up little dust clouds.
As I returned once again to my quest, one of the doe deer enter the yard. I paused my activities yet again to watch her eat. There are some other deer in the woods that I could not see from the deck. After she jumps back over and starts up through the woods, I see another doe follow in her tracks. There is always tomorrow to try for the great picture I want.
There’s no place like home.Filed under Updates | Comment (0)
Since hummingbirds are so tolerant of my picture taking, I have split off all pictures of them to their own gallery. You will see it right below the Pictures link at the right side of this page. I should have a few more weeks of decent activity and plan to take advantage of it On the regular Pictures page I added a snapshot of the camera setup that provides the video for the feeder cam.
Also in the news, one of our doe White-tailed deer brought her fawns to the tray feeder. One of the fawns was still in the backyard when I looked out. It was trying to walk through the fence. It would seem that it had forgotten it had jumped the fence to get into the yard in the first place. Have you ever seen the movie “Finding Nemo”? If you have, you will understand giving the name “Dorie” to that particular fawn. It did manage to get out. I found some hair in the fence, however no hole to squeeze through. All I saw was its tail, the fence shaking and then it appearing beside mom.Filed under Updates | Comment (0)
I touched up one of the hummingbird feeders Sunday afternoon. The feeder next to it still had enough in it. Monday morning both of them were about empty. I never fill my feeders all the way to the top, because we just never have enough of them to finish it before it needs changing. The temperatures are still hovering around 100 degrees and some of the nectar gets pushed out of the feeders due to air expansion inside the feeder. This refilling was not due to the expansion. We have a few more Ruby-throats hanging around!
Even as I was shaking the last of the nectar out of the feeder, a hatch year male Ruby-throated Hummingbird landed on the feeder right next to me. I froze because I wanted to be able to watch him. He stayed and drank his fill and was left alone by the guarding adult male until he started to fly away. You can sometimes see one of the hummingbirds at the feeder in the background of the feeder cam.
Have you ever been up close to one of them as it drinks? You can see the movement in the top of their head as they drink. I am not sure if this is just feather movement or muscles just over the skull. Beautiful and fascinating birds they are.
Due to increased demand and to give the less dominant hummers a chance, I added another feeder in the shade at the front of the house. If activity continues to increase, I will add one more feeder under the trees in the back yard. Nothing more to report in our resident birds, mammals and reptiles.Filed under Updates | Comment (0)
Not much new to report today. We did have a Common Grackle visit one of the other hanging feeders a few times on Friday. I have always been rather fond of the many of the members of the blackbird family. For whatever reason we have very few of them visit here. Probably my favorite of all of them is the Red-winged Blackbird. Beautiful birds with an interesting call.
No sign of the aberrant hummingbird that made a few appearances this week. I had very little time to watch for it today. We may have another White-tailed Deer visiting the yard. This doe looked a little more thin than the others. I hope she is healthy.Filed under Updates | Comment (0)