Constantly amazed with the birds

I just have to say I’m constantly amazed at the number of different kinds of birds we have around our house and yard. Yesterday I saw another first for me–the Summer Tanager. It is a totally red bird–the color is almost psychedelic. At first I thought it was a cardinal but the color was a little different with no black around the beak and no crest on its head. Its wings were barely darker than the rest of its body but still red which tipped me off to look under tanager in the bird guide book. I saw the same bird again this evening. Both times, the bird was eating from the suet basket while hovering like a hummingbird.

I also saw another visitor that I don’t see often this evening–the Indigo Bunting. I’ve seen them before, but very seldom.

Then we had all the regular visitors: Blue Jays, Cardinals, Mocking Birds, Downy Woodpecker, House Finch, Chickadee, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Titmouse, Morning Doves, Eastern Bluebirds (in front yard). They love our bird feeders. I wish I was better at catching them with the camera.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Bluebird eggs in nest – picture

Eastern Bluebird eggsI took my camera with me today to get a picture and an exact count on the number of eggs in the nest. There are five eggs. This means the last egg would have been laid on the 17th so they could hatch as early as April 30.

I found a great site for bird lovers to learn about birds of all kinds. It is maintained by Cornell and has so much information including live nest cams that constantly monitor selected bird nests. The URL for this website is http://www.birds.cornell.edu/.

Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Mockingbirds and bluebirds defending their territories

In two previous years we have had mockingbirds to nest in our grape arbor. They can be very territorial and agressive and would dive-bomb us if we got too close to their nest. I had already decided that if they nested in the arbor again I would remove the nest because we want to be able to enjoy our arbor and tend to the flowers and plants that are growing on it.

Now that the bluebirds have begun nesting in the bluebird house which is about 15-20 feet from the arbor, I frequently see the mocking birds trying to chase the bluebirds away. The bluebirds do a pretty good job of holding their own, however.

My husband noticed that when the bluebirds are on the bird feeders the other birds pretty well leave them alone and wait for them to leave before coming for food themselves. This is true even of the more aggressive cardinals who often chase the other birds away from the feeder. So our bluebirds aren’t wimps, even if they are small.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green