Sunday, October 31, 2010

Red-bellied Woodpecker

I saw a female Downy Woodpecker in the morning, so decided to put my hanging suet cage out finally for the first time, with a crunchy peanut butter sandwich inside. I didn't see the Downy Woodpecker again, though, but did surprisingly see the cool-looking Red-bellied Woodpecker come to it and peck at it a few times. It came right after I put it out there. The head looks more orange than red to me, though. I went to get my camera, but, of course, it wasn't there when I came back. Heh. I think I've seen this kind of woodpecker in my yard one or two other times maybe. Definitely a rare sight to see. Hopefully it will become less rare to see.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Bird

Recently been seeing these brown-colored birds. It has brown, white and maybe the male has stripes on its head, one white stripe in the middle of the head, then two brown stripes next to the white, and then two more white and two more brown (I think). It also has a small white bib under the bill, with an overall color of brown upperparts and gray underparts.

And there was another similar-looking bird, maybe a male, with the same color upperparts and underparts, but had some yellow on the top of the head and possibly some dull yellowness on the upperparts.

Just writing this down for myself mainly, but will try to get some pics and lookup info on the species of bird it is.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Common Grackle with Half a Top Bill/Beak

So yeah, just saw this Grackle missing half of his top bill. It looked kind of twisted at the end. I felt sorry and sad for him, but I'm glad he was still able to eat sunflower seeds, etc. I hope he grows some or all of his bill back, which after reading online, I'm not sure if it's possible or not. I was just casually thinking if I could capture him I would take him to a wildlife rehabilitator, but that's pretty much impossible unless he was not able to fly, etc., and he may have a mate, family and friends around. As long as he's still able to eat, he can probably adapt to the situation (worst case scenario) and he may eventually grow some or all of it back, or at least I can hold out hope.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Couple New Birds

I saw a new bird a few minutes ago. It looked kind of like a Chickadee, gray flight feathers/back, light gray/whitish underneath and a black head. The difference was instead of having the whole head black, just the top of the head/crown was black and the rest of the head was the light gray/whitish WITH a black stripe going through the eyes. I thought it was a small White-breasted Nuthatch at first, since there is one that has been becoming more active and was out there at the time I saw this bird. Trying to identify the bird.

The other birds I believe are American Robins. Gray upperparts, brown/orange/rusty underneath. Not really seen at the feeders, mainly foraging nearby and in trees.

On a side note, yesterday as I was riding my motorcycle through the neighborhood I saw a huge bird fly low and close-by in front of me. Pretty surprising and cool to see.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hunters and Birds

Accidentally got some bird hunting videos on YouTube while looking up various birds. Apparently, from reading the video description, these hunters put birdfeeders out in the woods and shoot birds, like Grackles, etc. I don't even watch the videos. Hunting is so wrong, I can't even tell you. Man, might as well be hunting dolphins like in the movie The Cove. I don't know why some people still hunt. We are civilized now and supposed to know better and don't need to kill animals in the same way that birds and other animals might kill another animal. If they don't have food they will die. Hunters primarily don't hunt for food. It's so wrong, mean, ridiculous and unnecessary.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vulcan Materials Rock Quarry

I live where I border a rock quarry, unfortunately, and they're really a nuisance to the community. Dynamite explosions that vibrate and shake the house sometimes and just general noise. If some of them who work and operate there had to live in my community I can guarantee you they would not want that kind of stuff. And I'm sure they don't live around here and could care less about the community.

Vulcan Materials, the largest mineral company in the country and on the S&P 500, apparently owns a lot of the beautiful woods and forest. I would hate to see those trees gone. It's a bird and wildlife playground. I've seen birds I've never seen before in there. That large piece of land where the quarry now is could have been so awesome. You can see the results of the quarry sometimes from a road. It looks like a huge cliff with a lot of trees on top of the cliff, and obviously, the gigantic hole the quarry has made in the earth. I drove up to it, got close and looked down in it one time. I mean, it was like the Grand Canyon... So far down. I felt kind of scared to be fairly close to the drop. But that's probably the only cool thing about it. What they are doing to bird and wildlife habitats and even the Earth is really damaging over time. All of the trees that are cut down have contributed to global warming. And I see it emitting a lot of pollution into the atmosphere. But on a more local level it's more about the birds and how they have to deal with the rock quarry, too. It makes me feel that it's just me, the little guy, versus a big corporation, trying to protect my property and represent the wildlife who cannot speak or communicate with us (in English, anyway). It's become clear to me that this company and corporations like it, in general, are an example of how the Earth is being slowly destroyed by corporations out for a profit, who will do anything and destroy everything that gives them more, more, MORE money and profit. I think we've destroyed enough of this place already that we have to really look at the effects of actions over the long-term. We can't just think of ourselves, we have to think about the effects it will have on not only our generation but future generations of people and wildlife.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wasp Waving Back

Yesterday while I was refilling the feeders I saw a wasp land on one of the feeders. So, I put my left hand out and extend my index finger and kind of wave to him with my finger. You could tell he was looking at me and my finger, turning his head, etc. After I waved to him, he raised his right-front leg and moved it up and down a few times, similar to what my finger was doing, and waved back. It was so funny and cute.

Then after a while he took off directly at me and I got scared and jerked back and spilled some of my black-oil sunflower seeds from my bucket. Ha.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dead Titmouse Aftermath and Two New Bird Species

It's been a few days since the unexpected and shocking death of a Titmouse from a window collision. Just sad times for me. For some reason, from time-to-time, I would still think that he could regain consciousness and wonder where he was. Just wishful thinking, really.

On to other things now.

I've seen a couple new birds species recently. After the mysterious yellow bird I made a post about several days to a week ago, there were two new birds I haven't seen before.

One I believe was some species of woodpecker. It had kind of like a female House Finch-looking head and upper body, which was a striped brown and gray/cream, and, if I remember correctly, the gray-/cream-colored lines went around the eyes. The flight feathers and back were a checkered black and white. This is what led me to believe it was a woodpecker, since a lot of them have this characteristic.

The other new bird was a solid brown/light brown with the flight feathers and back having black tips. It was at the Finch feeder, so I assumed it might have been some kind of finch. I looked the description up on the 'net, but haven't been able to positively identify it. The closest bird it looks like so far is the Desert Finch, but since they are apparently not found in the Eastern U.S. and a bird of the West, I can pretty much rule it out. But it's the closest-looking bird I was able to find.

I will try to use my binoculars w/ built-in camera or my Canon next time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dead Tufted Titmouse: Part II

Later that night, I was thinking about all of the times in the past I spent watching and taking video of Titmice, sometimes first thing, very early in the morning at sunrise and other times at midday and the afternoon. So, later that night I just stared at the little tree where they all perch on while they peck at and eat the meat in their seeds. I was thinking how this one Titmouse would never be able to do that again, and that it was gone forever, never to fly to that little tree, or to any tree, ever again. He came and went, just like I and every one of us will. The little Titmice and all of the other birds give me a reason to get up early every morning just before sunrise and watch them eat their first, long-awaited meal of the day, and to watch them grow and maybe watch them show their little offspring and future generations how and where to eat, too, just like their own parents did, and just see them all be happy little birds, with the best life possible. The next day I saw a couple Titmice and, of course, the regular bird visitors, so it was such a relief to see happy little birds again, and happy, alive Titmice. I was really sad later that night off and on after I found the dead Titmouse. Just to see it still holding onto a black-oil sunflower seed in its bill was so, so sad and to know it would never be able to finish it. I wrote a poem of sorts. Not sure what you call it really but I will post it below. But the day after was a lot better. Not quite as sad and depressed and loved seeing them eat and being outside with them while I was refilling the feeders, trying to respond to their calls the best I can. It was a great relief and happy time for me to see happy little birds again. And here's that little something special I wrote up the night I found the Titmouse:

You'll Never be Able to See Me Looking at You from Below Again
You'll Never be Able to Hear Me Trying My Best to Communicate and Make Calls with You Again
You'll Never be Able to See Your Mate or Family Again, and Never Get to See Your Future Family Grow Up
You'll Never be Able to Perch On Another Branch Again
You'll Never be Able to Fly Again, or Fly to Another Tree Again
You'll Never Make it to that Little Tree Reflected in the Window
You'll Never be Able to Perch and Sit in the Little Tree Where All the Feeders Are Again
You'll Never be Able to Build Another Nest Again
You'll Never be Able to See the Sun Rise or Go Down Again
You'll Never be Able to See Another Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring Again
You'll Never be Able to See the Leaves and Pretty Flowers Come Back in Spring Again
You'll Never be Able to Feel the Warmth of Summer Again
You'll Never be Able to See the Leaves and Pretty Flowers Fall and Go Away in Fall Again
You'll Never Have to be Cold and Freezing or Feel the Harsh Winter Again
You'll Never Have to Worry about Another Cat or Predator Hurting You Again
You'll Never be Able to Quickly Fly to a Feeder, Get a Seed and Fly Back Up to the Safety of a High Branch to Eat Again
You'll Never be Able to Peck on and Eat Another Black-oil Sunflower Seed or Peanut Again
You'll Never be Able to Have Another Piece of Seed Meat Again
You'll Never be Able to Call or Sing to Your Fellow Titmice or Chickadees Again
You'll Never be Able to Dominate and Scare Off Another Chickadee From a Feeder Again
You'll Never be Able to Eat Another One of My Peanut Butter Sandwiches Again
You'll Never be Able to Feel the Wind as You Fly Again
You'll Never Have to Worry About Where Your Next Meal Will Come From Again
You'll Never be Able to Finish that Seed in Your Bill
You'll Never be Able to be a Happy Little Bird Again
You'll Never be Able to Do A Lot of Things Again Now
You'll Never be Forgotten

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dead Tufted Titmouse...

As I went outside a few hours ago to refill the bird feeders I found a dead Tufted Titmouse. Boy, how devastating to see one of my favorite birds dead on the ground. I immediately thought my cat had gotten it but after investigating a little I realized it must died from a window collision. I saw an imprint of the wings and body on the window, somehow, so it must have been a hard hit. I tried to wake him up at first, but there was no life left in him. It still has a sunflower seed in his bill... I cried quite a bit. So sad to see such a sweet, cute, innocent little bird dead. I've made quite a few videos of Titmice in the past, and they have, a few rare times, come down close to me while I'm refilling the feeders to get a seed. No other bird will do that, not even Chickadees.

I wanted to ask all of you birdfeeders to make your windows safe for birds, if you haven't already. I've just put something, a strip of bright yellow paper with blue tape, on one of my two main windows, the one that didn't have anything on it before and that the bird struck. The other window has a hanging hummingbird feeder on it already.

Rest In Peace, Little Titmouse. You will be missed.