Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Owls babies, House sparrow babies and more babies

Well, Owl Cam Fest 2007 is over as the Owlets have left the box and are learning to be adults. See the owlcam link to the right to check out pix of the owlets and the owl box.

My neighbors, Mike and Barbara have two House Sparrow nests, where else, but in there house. Well, the outside, near vents. Here are the photos.

Well the builders of nest one weren't so adept. At least two, and possibly three, of the tiny young 'uns fell out. One broke his leg and was sent to hospital where he got a toothpick splint and is expected to recover. The other got shoved back into the nest by me and Mike. Eventually, the stopped pouring out. Here's the non-broken leg fella.

That was the weekend of 19th. This last weekend, my neighbors to the south, Fernando and Nate had a little house sparrow on their front porch too. But this fellow was a fledgeling and was supposed to be out there. The parents were never more than about 20 feet away.

This weekend, I kept seeing this mockingbird on the fence between Fernando and Nate's house and mine. Being quite dull, it didn't occur to me that that meant there was a nest nearby. Duh. I took a picture of it though.

Today though, I saw her again with an insect in her mouth just sitting on that fence. I approached and she didn't move. I got really close to my Afghan Pine tree as I was maneuvering for a good shot and the bird got a little agitated. Only then did it occur to me that I was not only between her and her nest, I was probably right next to it.

Sho'nuff. For some reason they prefer smaller trees and nest from 5 to 8 feet off the ground in these smaller trees or bushes. I looked into the pine, saw a tangle of twigs, pulled back a branch and saw 3 little mouths stick straight up for food.

Eyes aren't even open.

Mom swooped at me a few times but not too close. Her she is eyeing me.

In 2 or three weeks, they'll fledge and look like this fellow I snapped at the main PO a few weekends ago. Not a great picture, but it gives you an idea.

Lastly, I went to pick up my brother at the airport on Memorial Day, and saw a scissortailed Flycatcher as I drove down to the pickup zone. I was just sitting by the curb. Didn't get a picture, but here's one I stole from the web.

Ton's of birds out there including cliff swallows and lots of field birds. Might have to head out there just for the birds sometime.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chard 'n Eggs?

My Friend Suzanne gardens, as I do, and this Tuesday, the 8th, she sent me this:

Did some bird get confused and think my chard was its nest? Just found this seemingly intact egg in my garden this afternoon. There really aren't trees nearby so I am not sure what's up. I guess I'll just have to keep watching.

Check out the pix:

I went over and checked it out. Sure enough, what looked like a white-winged dove egg was just sitting there. No birds around. Strange, no?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hummers, Woodpeckers, Owls and Red Tailed Hawk

Since the last blog, over 2 weeks ago, The hummers continue to come and feed, but I still haven' gotten a shot of them. Only see them in the morning and in the evening.

The Wrens have stopped their calling. Perhaps this mating season is over and done for the moment. The cardinals, however continue to call, mark territory and attract mates.

Now, the Mockingbirds are getting into the act. Took a shot or two of them, but they didn't come out well. Did get a shot of Grackle love though! Well, actually Gracklecourting. Thess pix show the male dancing in display to the female. These were taken last weekend.

Also, a red-bellied wood pecker is back to work on my front pecan tree. Also, the starlings that chased the woodpecker from their other hole are making frequent trips to the hole. I suspect they are rearing young in there.

The big excitement was Wednesday the 9th. I heard a dove screaming holy murder, turned to look in that direction and saw a red tailed hawk cruise right over my head, about 30 feet up. Beautiful bird, but no chance to get a shot as the cruise lasted less than 5 seconds and I didn't see him again.

About two weeks ago, about 5:40 a.m. I heard the great horned owl hooting outside my bedroom window. Never saw it. Just heard it. So they remain in the area.

Also the screech owlets are getting big. Click the first link in the Links List to the right of this blog. Very cool.

More news as I get it.