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Monday, March 29, 2010

Bird Watching and Counting

Since putting up our feeders last week I have been watching to see who comes for dinner.
Our first diner was a chickadee.  At first I thought it was a Black capped Chickadee, from my bird field guide.
But when I had trouble finding my bird book, I looked in my Nat. Geo. North American Birds
I found that it could quite possibly be a Carolina chickadee...And there is not much difference.....they are very hard to differentiate the two species, and I am right at the convergence point for both fact, I believe there was an article depicting the differences between these two, and it says in many instances they are best left's a chickadee, that is for certain!
        {Click on the Photo above to enlarge, it is actually pretty neat. Female Northern Cardinal.}
Shortly after the chickadees located our feeder, the doves and cardinals found it, too.  And a few squirrels will hover under the feeders for spilled seed.  But the simplicity of the design of a water bottle feeder, prevents all but the most acrobatic and determined squirrels from feeding directly from them.

To my surprise this weekend I found a new visitor...the tufted titmouse. Fortunately, there are no common mis-identifications for these. They are really cute, and I think that I just love crested birds! Their little pointy heads are so adorable, and reminds me of music my mom used to make me listen to as a kid. 

Not that it is at all relevant, but she used to play the same stuff for my Uncle when he was little and my sister and brother as well.   Really nostalgic stuff for me, if not nearly forgotten by my siblings!

Maybe not your typical kids album, but I assure you I had Chipmunk Punk 
 and Sesame Street Fever as well! LOL!

{I digress}

So, speaking of Big Birds, I have been seeing a lot of red tailed Hawks courting, and boy are they vocal this time of year!  It is Mating Season!!! Look Out!!!
I will be trying to keep as accurate of a bird count as I can, to see what types of birds we can lure with seed, feed and natives.  Before I move, I hope to have an expanse of garden that is certifiable for a wildlife habitat. I may not have it certified, but if there is plenty to eat, and places to nest, that is enough for me and my feathered friends.  It is a joy to watch anything wild in its natural habitat, especially when you are trapped in a concrete jungle!
I plan to add more types of food and build some cat proof shelters in addition to the multitude of natives I have been and will continue to plant.  After the ice storm, we lost many good trees, and damaged many more.  each year I have planted half a dozen new trees and hope to continue to do that until we no longer own our property.  The wildlife in the back yard has had to adjust to the new surroundings, which became more sparse.  At one time the squirrels could run the perimeter of our yard, from limb to limb, without ever touching the ground.  They went from elm to maple to walnut, sampling succulent leaf buds, seeds and nuts, and never a worry of needing more food.  I would like to improve the setting to include natural foods for all the wildlife...even the occasional fox, and raccoon we have met with ......

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