Sunday, January 30, 2011

Found Another Dead Titmouse...

...on my front door welcome mat. I was so mad at my cat. I had to spank her butt. But then I thought that maybe it had flown into the window like the other Titmouse and died and my cat just "played" with it. I'm thinking that's what happened since I don't think my cat would be able to get most adult birds, being that they're just too fast and alert, and spend a limited amount of time on or near the ground. Still sad, though, to see a dead Titmouse.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Latest Woodpecker Video

This is my second woodpecker video. I combined all the videos I had taken into one video. Most videos are of the Red-bellied Woodpecker, which visits my birdfeeder almost daily. I also took one video of a Downy Woodpecker in my birdfeeder, which visits occasionally. One video is of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, which is technically a woodpecker. The last video is a distant, not-so-great recording of an awesome Pileated Woodpecker. I believe it lives in or close to the neighborhood or forest. It is a beautiful woodpecker with a big, bright red head with black and white throughout. It's huge, too! The wingspan is very wide, being nearly three feet. The main call/song it makes is so cool; it makes me think of something I'd hear in a jungle. And the drumming it does sounds cool and can get a general idea of where it is when it drums and calls. That's the only way I knew something unique was nearby and eventually found it with my binoculars (it looks AWESOME close-up in binoculars), then got my camera, went outside and started recording. Unfortunately, my camera's zoom isn't very good since it's a point-and-shoot pocket camera (Canon SD 1100 IS) but I hope to soon get either a bigger camera with a good zoom, a wireless outdoor camera, or both.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Relocating Your Birdfeeders

In the beginning I had all of my birdfeeders in the front yard, but it wasn't very private, so I wanted to move some of them to the back yard and deck where it's more private. I was eventually able to do that, but not without a little time and patience. So, I wanted to make a post about how others could do the same.

You have two or three options here.

The first and most recommended option is to put food out in both the old and new location. Now, the new location might not get any "hits" on it for a while, but I think eventually the birds would discover it just flying around or foraging.

The second option would be to just take all the food to the new location and hope they find it. The only temporary problem with this option would be that the birds wouldn't know where the food is or went. I doubt you would lose your regular bird visitors, but it's a risk I didn't want to take.

The third option is a mix between the first and second options. This option is to gradually move your birdfeeders to the new location, a few yards/meters at a time, until it's at the new location.


I did the first option, and now all of the birds come to the back first thing in the morning, not the front like they used to and not even go near the back.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pileated Woodpecker and Cedar Waxwing

I saw both of these birds yesterday, and I took a distant video of the woodpecker, which I'll post below soon. It was so cool to see the woodpecker through the binoculars, up-close and personal. I heard the call I always hear but never know or can see what kind of bird it comes from, until yesterday. I looked around for a bird and saw some movement and, what do you know, it's the Pileated Woodpecker I've read so much about and I believe I've even seen it once before in my front yard. The call and drumming is very cool to hear, and now I know what bird makes that cool call. The Cedar Waxwing surprised me on the railing of the back deck. I had no idea what kind of bird it was, until I looked it up on this very good site listing all the birds of Tennessee.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blue Jay Talon/Toe/Foot/Claw Injury: Part IV

I possibly have some very good news to report. Although not confirmed completely yet and being cautiously optimistic, I see a Blue Jay with a curled up talon/claw, like it's gripping onto something but not. It's possibly the injured one I have written about that has a foot injury. I will have to wait and see and make sure I don't see a Blue Jay with the same bent toe/claw injury. My immediate thoughts were that a new set of toes/claws were coming through when I saw it. Please, please be the case!

Update - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It was not the injured Blue Jay it turns out, unfortunately. I saw it yesterday with the same injured foot.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blue Jay Talon/Toe/Foot/Claw Injury: Part III

Yesterday I saw the injured Blue Jay again. As it was eating a female Red-bellied Woodpecker went over to the area he was eating in and started trying to peck at him. I felt very bad for him. He was trying to peck back in defense, then eventually he flew off. He has a little harder time taking off and flying away than the rest of the uninjured Blue Jays because of not being able to push off with both feet.

Update - 9:37 A.M.

I saw the injured Blue Jay about an hour ago. Luckily, there were no other birds around when he came to the feeder. I watched him fly off and perch at a few trees before he flew off into the distance. He didn't seem to have trouble perching on branches, which is good news. I still wonder how it affects things like building a nest, breaking open seeds, foraging, etc. I'd assume they could still be done, just probably a little harder than normal.


I saw my first Northern Flicker today.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To Know a Mockingbird: One Mockingbird's Tale

I have one, yes, only one, Northern Mockingbird that visits my feeder. Beautiful in a subtle way. The black bill seemingly flows onto the head by way of two black streaks fading passed the eyes. A subtle gray beauty with a ton of personality and character, not to mention incredible dominance and extreme aggression. It is, by far, the most dominant and aggressive bird I currently feed, not afraid to go after and scare away a same size or bigger bird, like Blue Jays or Mourning Doves. He had the cutest and meanest look on his face one time when there was another bird on "his" feeder, a staring, getting-ready-for-battle look. Usually he'll run after them, which I find kind of funny, as I envision that's how a dinosaur like T-Rex may have ran after its prey. Well, I love when he visits the feeder and am so happy to be able to feed and look at him everyday.

Blue Jay Talon/Toe/Foot/Claw Injury: Part II

I saw the injured Blue Jay again today (didn't see him yesterday but maybe I missed him), moving around quite well for having one usable leg. It seems there is only one toe/claw facing awkardly upward in front, maybe a small stub of another toe or maybe not even that. It's very sad to see. I have premium nuts and shelled seeds out, so I hope that's helping the bird if it has trouble breaking seeds open, as they're already without the shell. He seemed to be getting only small pieces, which could confirm he is consuming what he's picking up without further cracking with the bill/beak later.

It's been snowing here off and on since Sunday, so getting quite a few hungry birds, some that don't normally come up to the feeder. The Eastern Towhees are just now beginning to come up to the feeder instead of the ground, along with the White-throated Sparrows (migrant). They normally forage on the ground, but since the ground is covered with snow, it's harder to find food. I'm glad to see them at the feeder.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blue Jay Talon/Toe/Foot/Claw Injury

A few minutes ago I saw a Blue Jay eating on my backyard tray feeder, and noticed one or all three of his toes/claws bent upward, and didn't even see the back claw, or maybe all four, three front, one back, were bent upward in front together . I saw that he was trying not to put weight on it and was on the ball of his talon where all four claws connect. It's made me kind of sad and have been scouring the 'net to see how common and recoverable this might be.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gulls ♥

(Picture from the 'net)
I was at the store a few days ago and saw a bunch a gulls flying around the parking lot. So awesome to see them. Their wingspan is so wide, and when they fly over closely you can see their heads turning and looking around. I threw them some broken-up dog cookies and they all eventually flew down. Really a beautiful bird. ...I want one! ♥

After looking online, I found out they are called Herring Gulls; migrants that are only here for the winter. I went back later in the day on my motorcycle to feed them again but couldn't find them.

Monday, January 3, 2011

WikiLeaks Cables of U.S., Japan Discussing Anti-whaling Group Sea Shepeard's Tax Exempt Status?!

Link to The Huffington Post article. This is an absolute outrage! Japan, trying to weaken the anti-whaling group and hurt them in the pocketbook, is almost as wrong as what they do, which is brutally kill whales, dolphins, seals and other marine life, and as documented in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, most are living in complete anguish and pain for minutes even after they are speared. The simple facts is that what Japan is doing is ILLEGAL because they sell the whale meat for profit. Not only is it illegal, more importantly it is WRONG.

Shouldn't they be discussing trying to decrease and stop whaling instead of trying to hurt an anti-whaling organization? Japan actually wants to hunt more whales and bribes other corrupt third-world governments into supporting whaling.

What WikiLeaks has done is expose the truth on the governments, militaries and corporations. It really is a revolution of the freedom of information, real freedom of information, not selected and still-censored freedom of information.

WikiLeaks made big news when they released the classified video of two journalists and multiple civilians being murdered in Iraq, including injuring two children in a van and killing their father who was trying to help the injured, crawling journalist, while the murderers can be heard laughing. It's disgusting. The military wouldn't release it under a Freedom of Information request. I think I know why: because it doesn't make the military look good... Lame.

Why is there not more outrage to these wrongs, only to the exposing of the wrongs? It seems like the exposing of the truth of these wrongs is considered WAY WORSE than the actual wrongs and crimes being committed. WikiLeaks has done very good work. Information should not be suppressed. I think we have a right and need to know about what's going on.

Major Hits

Boy, after posting just a simple link to an article from The Huffington Post on my blog yesterday I got some major hits on my blog like never before concerning the dead birds found in Arkansas.

Okay, I just read the updated article on The Huffington Post. It turns out they were Red-winged Blackbirds, and on MSNBC they are reporting there were European Starlings, too. And the number has gone up from 1,000 to 4,000-5,000. Boy, that's not good. I have had a Red-winged Blackbird visit my finch feeder a long time ago, back when I had just started getting into birdfeeding in spring. They are really beautiful birds, all-black with red and yellow on the wings. And I've also seen two European Starlings a couple weeks ago near my feeders when one of the big snows hit.

If this was a case of shooting fireworks close to the large roosting area it is an absolute outrage and a very stupid and wrong thing to do.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

1,000 Black Birds Found Dead in Arkansas

Here is the article on The Huffington Post.

If this was indeed people shooting fireworks and scaring the birds I think it's irresponsible to be shooting fireworks so close to so many birds. Let's hope at least there was a natural reason for it. I have a feeling they could have been Common Grackles but I really hope not since I like those birds.

Cardinal in "His" Roosting Tree

I wrote last night about this male cardinal and two other birds (White-throated Sparrows) roosting together. Well, I was finally able to get a good capture of him in the daytime. The pics I took last night turned out real bad. He had just arrived in the tree when I happened to be looking out the window for any birds in the tree, then I recorded him.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I just noticed...

...outside a window are three birds roosting together close-by in a small tree. One being a male Northern Cardinal and two being a House Sparrow. That is sooo cool! I've seen a House Sparrow roosting there one night, but never three birds consisting of two different bird species. I can't wait 'til nesting season in spring. It will be my first since being into the hobby of birds.