Do you deadhead your flowers to encourage blooming and make them tidy? I used to, but when I realized that birds love to mine the seed heads, I quit. Even though it's early summer, some plants already have seed heads that attract colorful birds especially Goldfinches. They swarm the Black-eyed Susans and Catnip. This is the reason Goldfinches nest later than most birds--availability of seeds makes feeding their young a lot easier.
Goldfinches aren't the only birds that flock to seed heads. I didn't realize until yesterday that their cousins, Purple Finches, do the same. The one below landed on the Catnip and stayed for a while ferreting out tasty seeds.
Now that I have quit deadheading, my flowers look a little unkempt, but who cares when they're decorated with colorful birds?
Yesterday was the first day the Bluebird dad brought his fledglings to enjoy meal worms on the deck. It looks like the nesting produced at least three big healthy babies. Obviously mom and dad did a great job feeding them because these babies look bigger than dad!! They still have to be fed, but I noticed this morning a couple of them were eating meal worms on their own, but still asking dad to feed them!!
I haven't seen the female for several days. Bluebirds can have two or three nestings in a season. These babies fledged several weeks ago so I'm hoping that she's on the nest again!
Would you expect to see a Sandpiper visiting an inland fresh water lake? Because of excellent camouflage, I almost missed the Solitary Sandpiper wading back and forth in the shallows of the lake looking for tasty morsels. Sandpipers are thought of as beach birds, but the Solitary Sandpiper inhabits fresh water lakes. They’re big travelers, too, breeding in the woodlands of Alaska and northern Canada and wintering in Central and South America. This one is probably on a rest stop back to his northern home since these birds often visit lakes and ponds along their migration route. And as for their name--Solitary sandpipers aren’t really loners, but they don’t travel in large flocks.
The Belted Kingfisher searches for fish from his high perch in the Birch tree, then brashly dive bombs into the water for his catch.
These stocky birds nest in burrows excavated in river and lake banks. They don't often fish from my side of the lake so it's a special treat to see one in the Birch tree. Happy New Year to all from the creatures and birds of Georgia Backyard Nature!
Blue Jays love meal worms. Every morning they wait rather impatiently for me to put them on the deck railing. The second I'm back in the house, they attack. Blue Jays are extremely aggressive while feeding, but are also good parents. You can see them on the video clip stop eating to feed their juveniles. Nice to know their babies are a priority for these boisterous birds.
32Yesterday while working at my desk, I heard a cacophony of bird calls which were clearly sounding an alarm. I thought it might be a cat, but the noise was unusually loud and persistent. A snake, maybe? After watching a few minutes, I saw that a small Cooper's Hawk had landed in the yard. The birds were right to sound a warning because this predator was looking to put one of them on his lunch menu! He loves to eat medium sized birds. Here's a clip of the bird alarm.
I was so happy to spot the first Red-headed Woodpecker this season, but seeing this poor fellow scrounging for dregs in the peanut feeder gave me a bad case of the guilts. I had filled up the feeder with the last of the peanuts at mid week and I forgot to buy more. Of course, I dropped everything and hustled off to the store. Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Red-head and the other woodpeckers had plenty of peanuts. Yes, hungry creatures know how to get me moving!!
Happy New Year! Every New Year’s and Fourth of July I rant about people setting off fireworks nearby which threatens homes and frightens pets, wild animals, and birds. However, this was the worst New Year’s ever for fireworks and for the first time, these dangerous nuisances were set off on my street.
Why does this upset me? Here in Georgia, fireworks that shoot into the air are illegal (except for licensed professional displays) and with good reason. The potential for injury and property damage is great, especially when they are set off in neighborhoods where houses are close together. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks were responsible for over 17,000 fires in 2011, and over 8,700 emergency room visits in 2012.
Yes, I’m afraid an errant rocket or falling ash will burn down my house but it’s more than that. When fireworks are booming and flashing, I think of the chipmunks and rabbits cowering in their burrows, the birds and squirrels quaking in trees, and frightened deer believing they are being pursued by an army of hunters. When I hear my neighbor’s dog barking and see my cats hiding under furniture in fear, I think of terrified stray animals that have no one to comfort them. New Year’s a time to celebrate, but who says we have to do it by courting danger and frightening animals?
Nature's road crew at work. So sad that a doe was hit by a car yesterday. I sure hope it wasn't one of my deer. Nature is efficent, though. A large flock of Black Vultures began the cleanup long before the county could get a truck out to remove the body.
How can you tell a Black Vulture from a Turkey Vulture? Black Vultures have a deep grey head but the head of a Turkey Vulture is red. Also, Black Vultures have white on the underside of their wings. You can see the white feathers in this picture.
I will worry about my deer until I see the old doe, the doe with her twins, and the doe with the single fawn. Wouldn't that be a nice Christmas present from Mother Nature to see them all peacefully grazing in the marsh?
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Eagle Cam 2014 This camera streams the activities of the eagle nest located 110 feet up, in a tree on the grounds of the US FWS National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia.