Tag Archives: birds

I Was NOT Amused!

While I love cats and have three of my own, this situation is NOT amusing!

One of our neighbors’ cats sitting one story up in our tree next to the bird feeder. Yes, I went out and chased the cat out of the tree.  It’s bad enough they poop in my yard, keeping me from letting my dog loose by himself  in his own yard because he eats the poop.  Which also makes for a lovely surprise for my hands as I’m gardening.  But they also sit by the tree and bird baths scaring the birds away.  I do not need them UP in the tree as well!  And, OH!, did I mention the dead bird bodies lying in the yard? Not good for the bird populations!  And that also means I can never go bare foot in my own back yard. Cats should be kept at home!

Squee! Another Sign Of Spring!

I glanced out the window as darkness fell….

and spotted a Robin at one of my bird baths. Yay!  Welcome back, Mr. Robin!

 

Surprise! Turkeys!

So I glanced out the window in the early afternoon and saw big ‘somethings’ moving around in the brush behind my neighbor’s shed. Moving to a better vantage point allowed me to see that there were TURKEYS back there! I’ve not had turkeys in my backyard before.  I ran for the camera.

They had come around the shed by the time I got my camera.

There has been a lot of drilling and fracking in our area which means A LOT of lost habitat for the animals. Makes me wonder what will head our way next.

While I was wishing they were closer for better pictures, at the same time I did NOT want them to find my bird feeders! Turkeys make a lot of poo! Not to mention scratching and ripping up the grass.

They wandered away out of sight but not before stopping in front of the neighbor’s raspberry patch. It is amazing how well they blend in.

 

Brrrr… A Cold and Grey Day

It snowed last night.  But the worst was yet to come. Today brought a cold, cold wind. With wind chill it was 1 degree Farenheit (-17 celsius) outside. Not my favorite kind of day! I bird watched awhile before having to suck it up and take the energizer bunny (Ryder) out for his daily chase session.  Enjoy the pics!

A wee bit of snow.

A wee bit of snow.

A poor song sparrow poofed against the cold.

A poor song sparrow poofed against the cold.

A junco huddled against the wind and waiting out the blowing snow.

A junco huddled against the wind and waiting out the blowing snow.

A lone cardinal standing watch.

A lone cardinal standing watch.

The snow was so heavy it weighed down the tree branches. Without snow, you can walk under this tree no problem.

The snow was so heavy it dragged the tree branches down to the ground. Without snow, you can walk under this tree no problem.

While the wind blew away the bulk of the snow at the base of the tree, there was still enough that the birds had to dig for their supper.

After the worst of the windy weather, birds began showing up to eat.  While the wind blew away the bulk of the snow at the base of the tree where we have feeders, there was still enough that the birds had to dig for their supper.

And then it was time for me to bundle up, grit my teeth and get out the door.

Despite the frosty temps and being frosty of face and ears with icicles hanging off his chin, Ryder, of course, enjoyed himself thoroughly. Note the snow covered frisbee between his legs. And though the wind let up a little and the sun peaking out between the clouds, mom FROZE HER BUTT OFF!  (Have I mentioned I don't like the cold?)

Despite the frosty temps and being frosty of face and ears with icicles hanging off his chin, Ryder, of course, enjoyed himself thoroughly. Note the snow-covered frisbee between his legs. And though the wind let up a little and the sun peaked out between the clouds, mom FROZE HER BUTT OFF! (Have I mentioned I don’t like the cold?) The things we do for our pets!

 

Aviary 2016 (Part Three of Three)

My final pictures are of Bateleur Eagles.  Having a ‘near threatened’ status, this African eagle prefers open woodlands and tree savannas. They are a medium-sized eagle with a wingspan of 5 to 6 feet.  While viewing them, I watched them perform some type of ritual that was interesting and beautiful. While most of the pictures are of the eagle closest to me, both were involved.

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These actions were repeated several times. Such beautiful birds!

And, of course, to end one’s trip to the Aviary, one must purchase souvenirs.

This is a postcard of the painting by Johno Prascak. It is one of my favorites.  I can't afford a wall sized version so this postcard will do.  I'm even going to frame it. :D

This is a postcard of the painting by Johno Prascak. It is one of my favorites. I can’t afford a wall sized version so this postcard will do. I’m even going to frame it. 😀

Ooooo, I've found a new artist to love.  Dean Crouser. This mug is just gorgeous.  And it's a good solid mug. And you should see his prints!  Guess what's going on my Christmas list!

Ooooo, I’ve found a new artist to love. Dean Crouser. This mug is just gorgeous. And it’s a good solid mug. And you should see his prints! Go here to view his art. Guess what’s going on my Christmas list!

That’s it!  Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Aviary 2016 (Part Two of Three)

Here are some more of the 72 pictures I took at the aviary.  😀

Northern Bobwhite Quail

Northern Bobwhite Quail.  Once a numerous bird in the eastern United States, its population is in sharp decline mostly due to habitat loss. This small quail, not hugely bigger than a soft ball, has a distinctive call that literally sounds like ‘bob-white’. And this call is SO loud it makes you think they are twice their actual size.  It is sad to say that I have only heard this call in the wild only once in the past twenty years.

Red Bishop Weaver

Could this be a young Red Bishop Weaver just coming into color?  I just had to take her picture as she sat there all sleepy and rumpled.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. A bird of south-central U.S. and across to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri.  These birds love open scrubby country and sometimes catch bugs by launching off a perch to catch them in mid-air. I was very fortunate to get a picture of these little guys as they were very busy flying around.

Black-naped Monarch

I have no idea what the black and blue bird is, but he was very aware of me and the camera, staring straight at me and slightly poofing his chest.

Wattled Curassow

Wattled Curassow.  Endangered. They are native to the rainforests of South America. In addition to habitat loss, they are hunted for meat much like we hunt for turkeys.  This particular bird was enjoying himself standing on the railing next to the door startling visitors as they came through.  😀

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican. Yep, another of my favorites.  I wish I could find a decent small china figurine.  These birds dive headfirst into the ocean to catch fish, the pouch on the underside of their bill expanding to hold 2-3 gallons of water to help trap the fish.  Did you know they incubate their eggs with their feet? o_o

Hooded Vultures

I went to a free flight show!  One of the free flying birds were these adorable Hooded Vultures.  These birds are common across sub-Saharan Africa.  They live in a wide variety of habitats including villages!  They are carnivores and scavengers.  Unlike a lot of vultures who feed only on carcasses, these guys can be found feeding in refuse dumps and along shore lines.  Unfortunately, like most vultures, they do poop on their own legs to help cool themselves off.  Eww! (But they are so cute!)

Lanner Falcon

Another of the free flight birds, the Lanner Falcon.  A beautiful raptor found mainly in Africa with small populations in Europe and Asia, these birds have been used in falconry for over 1000 years.  Unlike the North American Peregrine who is known for their stunning high-speed dives, the Lanner Falcon hunts horizontally reaching speeds up to 90 mph from wing flaps alone.  Do you see the antennae attached to the bird’s leg?  There are actually two, one to gauge speed and one for GPS in case the bird decides to wander off.

Lanner Falcon

There he is high in the sky.

Lanner Falcon

A lucky shot of the Lanner Falcon having a go at the lure.

Lanner Falcon

Mantling (protecting) his ‘kill’.

Lanner Falcon

A wonderful shot of the Lanner Falcon as he gets ready to eat his treat.

I love watching the birds working with their trainers.

Next up will be the Bateleur Eagles and, of course, souvenirs!

Aviary 2016 (Part One of Three)

Saver went to meet a friend in the Big City in the weeks before she left.  I was to play chauffeur into the City and decided to treat myself to a side trip to the Aviary.  I do love birds.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Victoria Crowned Pigeon from northern New Guinea. These are the largest pigeon in the world and are nearly the size of a turkey.  These guys live in lowland swamp forests eating fruit, seeds and insects.  I liked this weird shot ’cause it shows off the crown and the soft shading of the feathers.

Pied Imperial Pigeon

Pied Imperial Pigeon (the light-colored birds with black wing tips).  From Myanmar and Thailand, south to Java and east to the Philippines.  They eat fruit and live along the coastal islands and scrub.

White-crested Laughing Thrush

White-crested Laughing Thrush.  This is a noisy social bird the can occasionally sound like they’re laughing.  They are native to the Himalayan forest of teak and bamboo. I have no clue why he was waving a foot at me! 🙂

Malayan Great Argus

Malayan Great Argus.  A repeat, I know, but this shot gives a better idea of just how large these birds are.  They have the longest tail feathers of any wild bird. From Borneo, Sumatra, and the Malay Peninsula, they are omnivorous.

Palm Cockatoo

Palm Cockatoo. From New Guinea, Papua New Guinea and northern Australia.  Eats nuts and seeds.

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl.  How can I not show a picture of this cutie on every Aviary post? Native to the Americas, these little guys live in open grassland, prairie, and desert habitats.  A long-legged tiny owl that eats small rodents, large insects, and other invertebrates. Unlike most owls, these guys are actually active during the daylight hours, but hunt mostly at night.

I have no idea what this bird is. I couldn't find a tag or anything on the website. S

I have no idea what this bird is. I couldn’t find a tag or anything on the website. So if you know what this bird is, PLEASE speak up!

Roadrunner

Roadrunner.  A long-legged bird in the cuckoo family, this bird lives in desert and shrubby country of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. These birds are known for running down their prey and have been clocked going as fast as 20 mph (32km/h).  They are carnivorous and eat pretty much anything smaller than they are.

Double-barred Finch

Double-barred Finch.  Poor thing.  This guy is from Australia and lives in grasslands, savannah, and shrubbed habitat.  Grass is a natural material used for nesting and this poor little guy just kept working and working this piece of grass, unable to pull it free because it is still half green and well attached.  I was seriously tempted to reach in and tear it off for him.

Double-barred Finch

The Double-barred Finch is also known as the owl finch because of the dark rings around their eyes. You can see where he’s been grooming his feathers.  The nest basket in the corner is  where the grass was supposed to go, the spouse fussing inside.

Hope you’re enjoying the birdies.  Part two coming soon.