Showing posts with label birds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birds. Show all posts

29 August 2018

11 May 2014

Let's Talk About Birds

I haven't been cooking much lately as my body keeps being weird. Not sick, necessarily, but full of inexplicable discomforts that turn eating into something of a trial and, therefore, cooking becomes a resented chore. Most annoyingly, I'm not consistently discomforted -- I'll have series of days where I feel pretty normal (and get too excited and menu plan) and then it goes all weird and unpleasant again.


But talking about personal health is both boring and awkward so let's talk about something significantly more interesting and exciting!

Yes, let's talk about birds!


A Wild Birds Unlimited franchise opened up in Avon recently and celebrated its grand opening this weekend with drawings for many possible prizes including a pole set, tube feeder, and a hummingbird feeder combo! I already own that particular combination, but wouldn't mind winning another. Our current set was purchased at the WBU franchise in Niantic more than a decade ago and is still going strong.

(Well, except for the bit that got bent into a lovely 40° angle this past winter. Bear has been suggested as a possible culprit, but I'd like to think I would have noticed a bear in my backyard).

I don't want to turn this post into a giant ad for Wild Birds Unlimited, but I must say I really enjoy their products. Barring accidents with lawn-mowers and bears, the feeders and pole systems seem set to last forever. And everything is pretty. Frequently, even adorable.

So we went primarily to enter the drawing (because who doesn't love free bird stuff?), but also to look at replacing the rusty metal Home Depot shepherds hook I've been hanging the hummingbird feeder off. It only has one hook which has been fine -- hummingbirds in the spring/summer, seed balls in the fall/winter -- but now we want to be able to hang multiple feeders concurrently and so that hook just won't do. Obviously, we came home with a whole new pole set!


I want to say we went with the yellow finial because hummingbirds are attracted to yellow, but we actually went with it because it was the cutest option. (And hummingbirds do like yellow. And orange. And pink. And purple).

When we arrived at WBU, the store was in the midst of hosting a talk by a representative of the Sharon Audubon Center. She had live owls and hawks and was generally completely awesome. I took too many bad pics with my phone -- of which I will only inflict you with two -- and I learned lots of new things. Did you know many owls have differently-sized asymmetrical ears? Their ears are of different sizes and at different heights to allow for sound localization which makes the prey easier to find. Also, birds don't have bladders! Which makes perfect sense, really, but still surprised me.


The Sharon Audubon Center sounds like a great place to spend a spring afternoon -- 1,147 acres with eleven miles of trails and two ponds, raptor aviary with live birds of prey, herb garden, bird and butterfly garden, and a working sugarhouse -- and I'm sure we'll get up that way before too long.

20 May 2009

Birdie @ My Window

We have several American Goldfinches visiting our yard this spring. Aside from this inquisitive girlie, most of them have been hanging out at the pole feeder. I would have thought she was too big for the window feeder, but she seemed pretty content.


Sheer torture for the cats, of course!

27 June 2005

Bye, Bye Baby Buntings

I scared the bejeesus out of some poor birds, yesterday. I walked into the bedroom and it sounded as if something was being mauled in the rhododendrons, so I peeked out the window and there was an enormous blue jay flapping it's wings and carrying on. It flew off when it saw me, but some of the noise continued. I then realized that part of the interior shrub wasn't shrub at all but two or three fuzzy looking blue birds. Of course, before I could get a good look at them, they also flew off.

At the time, I presumed I had seen a blue jay with it's fledglings, and that's what I've been telling people, but I think I was wrong. I looked blue jays up at work and the fledglings look just like the adults. They do not resemble the round blue balls of fluffy feathers I saw. Indeed, the birds I saw inside the rhododendron resemble male Indigo Buntings more than anything else.

According to my Birds of Connecticut field guide, jays will eat other birds' eggs or young offspring so I carefully checked the shrub for a nest -- in case what I had seen was a little neighborly raid -- but could find no nest. So why the jay? And why three male buntings (if buntings they be) in the same shrub?

It is all a great mystery to me.

25 May 2005

Bevy of Birds

What with the weather finally becoming Spring-ish and the new bird feeder array and all, we've been inundated with birds. So far, I've seen:
  • downy woodpeckers
  • hairy woodpeckers
  • red-bellied woodpeckers
  • monstrously huge blue jays (possibly a nesting pair)
  • northern cardinals (ditto the above)
  • mourning doves
  • black-capped chickadees (a veritable mob)
  • white-breasted nuthatches
  • tufted titmouses
  • american goldfinches
  • house finches
  • chipping sparrows
While this may not be a list to make an ornithologist cheer, I'm pretty chuffed.
And, yes, some people do say "titmice." You can argue it either way, but I'm going with "titmouses," because it makes my mouth happy.

titmousestitmousestitmouses ... hairy woodpecker ...

Heh.

15 May 2005

For This I Went To Grad School

I'm in the bathroom, staring blindly out the window, and trying not to be awake when I think "Oh! The Husband bought me a finial!" Then, I think that doesn't make any sense. A finial won't fit on our bird feeder pole. Then, I realize it's a different pole. Someone schlepped off to Wild Birds Unlimited, bought me a new double arch pole system with bird-shaped finial, squirrel baffle, and leaf branch and then installed it in the night. I'm wondering who it's from, but it's only six thirty in the morning. I couldn't possibly wake up The Husband to find out, could I?

I could. He says The Parents came and installed it while I was at work. It is the other graduation present my mother kept hinting about so madly.

It's so nifty! I could stand by the back windows all morning, watching the squirrels breeze up the pole and then shit themselves when they realize there is no access to the sweet sweet gourmet birdseed blend. There is only the Death Star of a squirrel baffle looming over them, eclipsing the sun and all hope of easy living.