Showing posts with label BLUEBIRDS 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BLUEBIRDS 2012. Show all posts

Friday, January 11, 2013

Around our Home in December/January

Today I will share with you some of our birds, deer --and a beautiful picture (above) I took of our sky one evening in December, 2012.  Isn't it gorgeous?  We had so much rain and dreariness in December --that when we did get a pretty sky (here and there), we had to get out and take a picture...




We see deer around our home ALOT all year long... Recently,  I'm sure they are hungry --so we seem to see them more on the golf course fairway behind our home.  Even though there's not much for them to eat in our yard now,  we still spray Liquid Fence to keep them OUT of the yard.  BUT--I love deer.  Aren't they gorgeous?  There were about 4-5 of them that day--and they were staring at me.... ha




One of the deer came a little closer ---so I could get a better shot with my long lens.  Isn't he just gorgeous?




And on another day,  another group stopped by --and I got this picture of one of them who came a little closer into our backyard.  Love those big ears--although they aren't nearly as large as the Mule Deer.. Have you seen them?




I showed you some of my Backyard Birds in THIS post on December 17,  so today I will show you a few more of my little Darlin's....  I've talked about all of our Goldfinch this year... But--we also have some HOUSE FINCHES around... Here is one (above) of the Male House Finches... I love his RED colors.




The Bluebirds have been coming around alot lately --as do most of the birds when it's winter and COLD... This is a gorgeous picture of a male Bluebird --with a Goldfinch and a Tufted Titmouse I think to the left.  EASTERN BLUEBIRDS are still some of the prettiest little birds around I think.




Here is a picture of two Bluebirds at the suet feeder...  Bluebirds ---as do most of the birds--will eat most anything during the winter.   They seem to like the suet and also the fruit/nut combination in the plate feeder.




I love our little DOWNY WOODPECKERS.  Like the Red-bellied Woodpeckers,  they are with us year-round---and love the suet...




Here is one of my all-time favorite birds,  the huge PILEATED WOODPECKER.  They (like the Red-bellied Woodpeckers) make alot of NOISE before coming to the feeders.  AND --even though they are very large birds,  they seem to be able to handle themselves quite well at the feeders...  Sometimes they come to this feeder and hang on --and other times,  they come to the other suet feeder...




Finally,  here are a couple of photos I took of another favorite bird,  the NORTHERN FLICKER WOODPECKER...  I love these birds --and was lucky to catch him on the deck...




Here's one more of that gorgeous Northern Flicker.  He's looking up at the suet feeder waiting his turn for some dinner!!!!!

Hope you enjoyed seeing pictures around our home this past month or so... There's never a dull moment living here in the mountains of Tennessee...

On another note,  prayers for the family of Leontien--who lost her battle to cancer on Wednesday.  Many of us have followed her on Blogger --and have prayed for her.  She certainly fought the good fight.  I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone fight as hard.  God rest her soul.  She is now out-of-pain and with God....

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

Hugs,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Backyard Birds

Tufted Titmouse
Last week,  I showed you pictures of  10 different Backyard Birds at my feeders  (click HERE for that post)....  Today,  I'll share a few more which have recently been here to visit.

Birds I showed you last week:  Red-headed Woodpecker,  Bluejay,  Brown Thrasher,  Red-Bellied Woodpeckers,  Mourning Dove,  Northern Cardinal,  Goldfinches,  House Finches,  Downy Woodpecker and the Eastern Bluebird.   Today--I'll show some of these again,  but will add SIX more:  Tufted Titmouse,  White-breasted Nuthatch,  Pileated Woodpecker, Gray Catbird, Carolina Wren and a Hairy Woodpecker...

Others that come regularly which I haven't gotten a picture of yet are:  Carolina Chickadee and a few Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, whose feeders are in different locations...  During other seasons,  I have American Robins (yes--they come to the feeders),  Northern Flicker Woodpeckers (don't know where they are this summer),  Dark-eyed Juncos (winter only),  and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (migrate through here in Spring and Fall)...

We have plenty of other birds around --but these are the ones who come to my Bird Kitchen!!!!!!  Hope you enjoy another installment of my Summer Birds..  Be sure to click on the photos to see them larger.

White-breasted Nuthatch





Pileated Woodpecker on top of the Arbor
This woodpecker is trying so hard to find a way to get down to the Suet feeder!!!  I enjoyed watching him... Think he's a young Pileated....


Gray Catbird
This Catbird looks dark enough to be a Cowbird ---but his 'mew' sound  (which sounds like a baby crying) tells me that he is a Catbird (plus the fact that he doesn't have a brown head)...




Male Northern Cardinal
This male Cardinal --with his tuft standing up--just looks so regal,  doesn't he????  Such a beautiful bird....  (Colin--enjoy him!!!!)




Female Northern Cardinal
Could it be that Mr. Cardinal has a 'lady friend' above him in the plate feeder???????  Isn't she beautiful also?????  (That is one of our many Goldfinches beside her.)




Mourning Dove --and a Juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker
This is a good picture of our 'resident' Mourning Dove... We have two of them who come to the feeders regularly... Such beauties!!!!




Carolina Wren
I love the little Carolina Wrens...   The only problem we ever have with them is that they want to nest in our garage.  We won't let them because at times when we are gone,  that garage can get very very hot, since it stays closed up...  SO--we are constantly 'shooing' them out of the garage during the daytime when it is open.



Hairy Woodpecker
I'm excited to finally get a picture of this bird at the suet feeder.  He (they) don't come very often --but I have seen them a few times---always when I am not near the camera.  This time I captured him.. He is a Hairy Woodpecker...  He is similar to a Downy (which we have LOTS of) ---but much larger and with a much longer beak....  What a beauty!!!



Red-headed Woodpecker
I must show you one more picture of the prettiest birds  (well--besides our Bluebirds) at the feeders these days...  Isn't he gorgeous?




Pileated woodpecker
Finally,  here is another picture showing that Mr. Pileated  did make it to the suet feeder... Instead of flying down from the top,  he started at the plate feeder--and flew UP to the suet feeder.. Smart one, he is!!!!  (That yellow thing in the picture is our rain gauge --which is hooked to the arbor.   It had SIX inches in it last week!!!!)

More Bird News:   There are 2 baby Bluebirds in the nestbox,  plus one egg which hasn't hatched yet..  They should fledge about August 1st.....  So exciting!

Have a great day.  And Happy Birthday to my eldest son today...  Bert is 49 years young today.... YIPES---that makes me ANCIENT...... (I was 20 when he was born!)

Hugs,
Betsy

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Birds at My Bird Kitchen

Red-headed Woodpecker
Since getting the new deck and bird arbor (which I call my Bird Kitchen) ---I have enjoyed sitting in my air-conditioned home watching some of our sweet little birdies coming back and forth to the feeders...  SO--today I'll share some cuties for you!!!!!

Be sure to click on the photos to see them all larger... Above is my favorite woodpecker (besides our Pileated --which I have missed getting a picture of recently).   This guy is the Red-headed Woodpecker.  I usually see one or two of his 'babies' during the summer --but so far,  I haven't seen one yet...




Bluejay with a peanut in his mouth  (Nuthatches and Bluejays both love peanuts.)
Here is another summer favorite at the kitchen...  I've always heard that Bluejays are loud and aggressive --but I don't see it... They are loud --and love to make their presence known,  but they don't seem to scare any of the other birds away...  I do know that Mr. Bluebird was chasing him away ---or any bird--which got near to his babies in the nestbox.  But--I think all birds do that.




Brown Thrasher
One year the Brown Thrashers built a nest in our Confederate Jasmine bush in the front yard.  Not knowing they were there,  I was working near that bush ---and almost got nipped by one of the parents.. Scared me to death!!!!!!  Needless to say,  I stayed away from that bush until the little ones fledged..... ha  (Note also that the rope on the arbor has now been replaced with chain since this was a newer picture.)




Male Red-bellied Woodpecker
Here is Daddy Red-bellied Woodpecker. They are with us year-round ---and also squawk when coming to the feeder --making their presence known!!!!




Juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker
AND--may I introduce Daddy's baby---a Juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker.  Note that he/she doesn't have any red yet.  Isn't  he precious?




House Finch and Mourning Dove --having a 'discussion'
I have two bird baths --which the birds love,  especially during a hot and dry summer like we are having.  I keep the smaller bird bath on the deck rail --since it plugs in during the winter to keep the water from freezing...  I also change both of these bird baths twice a day during this hot weather.  Birds need water and love it.

Here is a cute picture of a serious discussion going on between a Mourning Dove and a House Finch...  The Dove had been sitting in the water for the longest time --and I think the Finch wanted a turn!!!!!




Male Northern Cardinal
Here's another year-round bird,  our Northern Cardinal.  When I think of Cardinals,  I think of my Aussie friend, Colin.  He loves these Red Birds...  SO--Colin,  this one is for you!!!!




Goldfinches
I have more Goldfinches this year than any other bird... They love Nyger (thistle), although like most all of the birds,  they love the plate feeder too ---and love to eat me out of house and home!!!!!




Downy Woodpecker and House Finches
Since I have multi-feeders,  most birds can usually find a place at the table in at least one of them.   I have suet in 3 places... You can see the Downy Woodpecker eating on the side of the 'red house'.... Even though we have more Goldfinch,  we do have some House Finches also.  They are larger than the Goldfinch.




Male Eastern Bluebird
Finally,  here's my 'man'....  The Bluebirds are my fav's ---and guess what they are doing again JUST for me?????  There are eggs in the nestbox ---so they are going to have more babies....  All of this excitement should happen over the next five-six weeks... I'm sure I'll be sharing it with you!!!!!   (I still haven't seen any of the previous set of little ones at the feeders yet --but I probably will soon.)

Also---I do have a few Hummingbirds around now FINALLY...  There aren't too many --but hopefully,  more will come soon... No pictures of them yet though...

One more thing:  You have heard the "How Hot is It" jokes... Anyhow--I have a new one for you, and this one is true... It was so hot here recently that the suet in the feeders MELTED...  I have never had that happen before --but then again,  it has never been as hot here as it has been this summer.  (They say that the non-melt kind doesn't work either---so I just have to take the suet down when the temperature is over 100 degrees.)

Hope you enjoyed seeing my Bird Kitchen today... Can you tell how much I enjoy my birds??????

Have a bird-lovin' Monday!!!!  AND---thanks for all of your prayers, thoughts and good-wishes after our storm..  The golf course people came the next day and cleaned it all up.  All that is left now are two big stumps (which I'm sure they will come back and get soon)...   Sad though to lose those two trees!  But--we were luckier than some.  That same storm did alot of damage in other areas of Tennessee including the beautiful Smoky Mountains...

Hugs,
Betsy

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The First 18 Days in the Life of a Baby Bluebird

Well----many of you know that our first batch of baby Bluebirds disappeared a couple of months ago.  After that happened (we think it may have been a snake) ---we bought a new baffle to put on our nestbox pole.

Daddy Blue found himself a new woman ---and they immediately tried again... I didn't take a photo but I peeked into the nest and saw 5 little eggs toward the end of May.  I was so excited---yet a little worried,   just hoping and praying that this little batch would make it!!!  But I was also excited to be able to use my new toy.

In April, George bought us a Radio Frequency Shutter Release...  To put that in 'my' terms,  it's like a remote control for the camera... I can set the tripod up near a spot (like the nestbox) ---and sit WAY back out of the way.  When one of the birds would go to the nest,  I would CLICK that photo...

Above is a picture of my 'set-up'.   You can see the nestbox with the new baffle --and you can see my camera and tripod.... Needless to say I have spent some time in the backyard watching these busy Bluebirds  this month.  




Five Bluebird babies ---born on June 1, 2012
On June 1st ,   I looked in the nest and there were 5 precious little baby birds  (pictured  above)... I had done my research and knew that  on Day 5-8,  they open their eyes;  on Day 13-14,  they begin making blue feathers;  on Day 14,  some of the babies start looking out of the nestbox;  and they can fledge anytime between Day 16-21,  typically on Day 17 or 18.  If you read my blog post from June 4 (click HERE),   I predicted that these little bluebirds would fledge (leave the nest) on June 18th....Guess what????  I was RIGHT!!!!




Five Bluebird babies ---10 days old
Here is the only other picture I took of the Bluebird babies, inside the nest.  (Be sure to click on this one to enlarge it.)    I'm always afraid to open the lid --for fear of scaring them and making them try to fly out.   This picture was taken on June 10.   I marked all five of these little guys for you to see... See how much they have grown in 10 days??????  They are even getting some feathers.  Imagine how crowded the nest got by Day 18!!!

By the way,  Bluebirds are VERY clean birds.  Both parents feed the little ones,  and Daddy takes the fecal sac (poop) out of the nest ALOT....




Daddy Blue feeding the babies
As you can imagine,  I took probably 175 pictures of the Bluebirds this month....  I want to share with you a few more ---leading up to  their day of leaving the nest.

This picture shows Daddy bringing some delicious food to the babies...  I think it may be suet --since the Bluebirds love to get the suet and take it to the nestbox...




Mama Blue feeding the little ones
Here is a picture of Mama at the nestbox.  You can tell that Mama Bluebird has much more gray in her than Daddy's vivid blue color.




Bluebird peeking out of the nestbox
These are always some of my favorite photos.... I love seeing those new babies looking out at this big ole' world.....  Can you just imagine what they are thinking?????   Bet they are afraid... I would be,  wouldn't you?




Welcome to the world,  Baby Blue!!!!
Aren't they just precious????   Can you imagine my excitement getting to see all of this????  I will say that Mom and Dad Blue (mostly Dad) were both VERY VERY protective of these little ones,  as fledging day drew nearer.   Dad actually dive-bombed me when I got too close to the nestbox on Sunday.   I looked up at Dad and said: "Hey You---don't you know that I'm the woman who FEEDS you?????"  ha ha




One of the Baby Bluebirds in the grass --after leaving the nest
I had George helping me take pictures on Monday morning --when they all left the nest...  George got all of the way flat on the ground to get this photo of one of the little ones.   (George will say:  "See what I do for love?"  ha ha)




Baby Bluebird --in the grass,  after fledging--on June 18, 2012
Finally,  here's a good one I got of one of the little babies.   Isn't this just awesome?  Look back at what they looked like 18 days before...    Such a huge change....  Isn't he a Cutie???

I did see one of the little ones actually leave the nest --but didn't get a picture.   BUT--I'm hoping to see them at our bird feeders in a few weeks --once they learn how to fly well and once Mom/Dad bring them here to eat.

Now---I wonder if Dad/Mom will try again!!!!   Sometimes they do and sometimes not... I'll just have to wait and see!!!!

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As if this is not enough excitement around here,  we are also getting a new deck --and getting our house painted....    SO---all of our birds are not going to be very happy with all of the excitement around here for a few weeks....   Fun Fun !!!!!

Have a wonderful day.

Hugs,
Betsy

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks)--and a Surprise!

Most of you (if you have been following my blog for awhile) know that George and I love succulents. Our Autumn Joy Sedum is one of our favorite succulents. BUT--even better than that is our Sempervivum. We have LOTS of Semps in our yard.

The name "Sempervivum" has its origin in the Latin semper ('always') and vivus ('living'). Sempervivum are called "Always Living" because this perennial plant keeps its leaves in winter and is very resistant to difficult conditions of growth.

These little succulents are also called Hens and Chicks. The main plant (hen) creates lots of babies (chicks). Typically, each plant (hen) grows for several years before flowering. After flowering, the plant dies, usually leaving many offsets (chicks) it has produced during its life. I think I read that there are over 40 different species of Semps.

I have done blog posts several times showing our Semps (go to my sidebar and click on SEMPS)---but since there are new people, I decided to show some again to you today. I hope you will enjoy my pictures! These are new pictures which I took recently.   Be sure to click on them for enlargements.   The picture above doesn't show it,  but this group are in a 'pile'----like a big mound, living off of each other.. I have never seen them do this.




This one is different... I love its colors.




Here is one of my favorites... I love the purple edges!!!!




I love the colors in this one also.  See how wonderful these little guys are?  They'll grow most anywhere in your yard... We put them around the edges of our flowerbeds...




This one is gorgeous also --with all of the neat colors.




Here is a colorful group of Semps.  I was able to get some sun and shadows on this one.




There are alot of 'babies' in this group---as there are in most groups.  I love to see the Mamas when they bloom (none are blooming now)---but hate to see them die.  BUT-- that's just life for Supervivum.




Here  is one last picture of some gorgeous Semps.   If you want to see some of them in bloom, click HERE.  I have done several posts showing these beauties...  Hope you don't get tired of seeing them.  They are all a little different from one year to the next...

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Five Bluebird Babies
Here is a surprise for you.  It's not a 'hen and chick' --but it is a picture of five tiny baby Bluebirds just born this week.  I've been watching the 5 eggs in the nest in our backyard for awhile --and am happy to see those precious babies come into the world.  We have a new baffle on the pole --so hopefully,  this group will make it.  I'll keep you posted.  They should grow up and fledge by about the 18th of June (give or take).  Aren't they precious?  

Have a wonderful Monday.
Hugs,
Betsy