Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Week...

Yesterday, I noticed a robin's nest not far from my deck in a nearby tree. Pretty cool. I noticed it because I saw two robin's around the nest, then looked in my binoculars and spotted the large nest. If I had a decent camera with a long zoom I would take a picture of it. Unfortunately, I dropped my binoculars with an integrated (crappy) camera and ever since then the focus has been off slightly on one of the lenses compared to the other. It may still take a decent picture but I have doubts. I'm looking to get a Canon with a 12x+ optical zoom soon and a wireless camera.

Today, I noticed a Carolina Wren collecting dog hair on my deck. Pretty cute. I'm not sure where the nest is, but it has to be nearby. I took a short 5-second video but it's so out of focus it's not even worth uploading.

The cardinal has been in the nest still, off and on. I'm not sure if the eggs have been laid yet or not because I can't see inside the nest, but I'd assume it's very close or some or all have already been laid. I've uploaded a short video here:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Update on the Cardinal Nest

I hadn't seen the female cardinal at the nest in a few days, but a few minutes ago I noticed she was in the nest, this time laying in the nest, not building it. She definitely appears to be done building the nest and I assume she is about to start laying eggs or possibly even has already laid (one).

Friday, April 22, 2011

For This Earth Day...

...which happens to be my birthday also, I think we should all respect and protect nature, the environment and our planet Earth more. I've been slowly realizing how beautiful and important nature is. I plan on making a small contribution with my birdfeeding, providing birdhouses, and learning more about gardening and eventually grow some really pretty and beneficial plants. The only thing I, myself, have grown so far, or should I say my birds have grown, are some dropped sunflower seeds have been sprouting various places in my yard. How cool is that?! But I'm going to do some actual intentional planting so I can have some cool berry-producing shrubs for the birds that don't normally visit feeders and eat seeds or that just like berries, like robins, mockingbirds, etc. I have a lot of robins around here but they don't touch the feeders, not even the bird bath, yet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Cardinals

This morning I saw the male singing his heart out. It's probably the first time I've actually been able to confirm that a bird is singing territorially, because I know he's mated and has been seen chasing another male away yesterday. After I saw him singing I checked the nest-in-progress. What do you know, she was hard at work, building. Here's a video from today of the female building the nest:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I just saw...

...the two cardinals building a nest near my house MATE! The female lifted her tail high and then saw the male "mount" her, getting on top of her. After getting off of her I saw her flutter her wings a few times. I almost had a video of it but by the time I got it they were done. A few minutes later I saw her fly to the nest she's building and put more things in it.

One Year Later... The BP Oil Spill: The Most Powerful Photos

View the heartbreaking images here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Exciting and Action-packed Day for Nesting!

Well, I've discovered two cardinal mates building a nest in a conifer shrub/tree close to my porch and right by a window. The is the same shrub/tree that I've video-recorded and posted I believe the same male roosting there in the winter. It may be the same cardinal mates that used to come to my feeders first thing in the morning that used to live in the woods, or it may be the young cardinal that I watched grow and get fed by their parents. I'm not sure which it is. This is VERY exciting, though, to have an actual nest being built where I can watch it and the baby cardinals. Just awesome.

After I discovered the nest I saw a female Eastern Bluebird, presumably the mate of the male bluebird that I just saw today for the first time and that has been hanging around my yard all day. I think they're looking to nest in a birdhouse/nestbox!

I will have a video of the cardinals building the nest posted soon.

Hard-boiled Egg

I'm offering my birds a hard-boiled egg for the first time. Exciting to see if they'll peck at it right away or if it'll take some time. I had a few last night. Boy, were they good.

My First...

...Bluebird! And at around the same time I saw a hummingbird for the first time since fall! I wonder if it's the same one from last year... So, been a very cool day today and recently with all of the new birds.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Looking 4 a Home

Last weekend and ever since the chickadees have been in and out of several birdhouses. That's a change from last week and some time before where I didn't see much activity around the 'houses. They were in some old ones where they've already built a nest and some 'houses that I just cleaned and moved to new locations nearby.

I saw the two titmice this weekend again after a sudden stop in activity for a few days. They were around the main 'house I made a video of and posted a few days ago. I saw one trying desperately to get out of it and each of the three holes, trying each one fast and in a hurry, but seemingly having trouble getting out for a minute. Eventually he made it out. There may be a red wasp nest in there and that's possibly the reason, because of the wasps. I really need to unscrew the 'house and check. I'm not going to let a wasp occupy my birdhouses and ruin my potential first nests of spring since being into birds.

In other news, I've seen several new birds recently, possibly back from migration or stopping over and on their way back home to the north.

Friday, April 15, 2011

BP and Big Oil Still Killing Dolphins and Turtles

They are the worst! A year later the BP Oil Spill is still affecting and killing wildlife in the sea, and they're not doing anything about it, as this article on The Huffington Post from a Gulf resident states. Then, they have these totally lame and fake PR commercials, even on the Eagle Cam I posted last night. The last thing I want to see when looking at a live stream of a beautiful Bald Eagle is a big oil company like BP that's killed so many birds, dolphins and turtles. They can throw their blood money into a PR campaign, but all the money in the world isn't going to change or undo anything or fix their bad reputation.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

First Nests...

I've had two nests made in birdhouses in my yard so far this spring, but they've both ended in failure. The chickadee nest was the first one of the season. The metal structure it was hanging from fell over in a storm and haven't really seen them around it much since. The titmouse nest was going well last week up until sometime this week when activity around the nest suddenly stopped. I was hoping there were no annoying red wasps trying to make a nest in there as I've seen them do in many of my birdhouses. They have been a real annoyance so far, and with some of my 'houses, I can't easily see inside them without unscrewing and taking the 'house apart, which might disturb or mess up the nest a little. I have GOT to have an open-and-close mechanism on my 'houses to make sure the nests aren't being occupied by pests such as red wasps.

On another note, I've had a lack of birds at my feeders as of late. I'm thinking this might be normal in early spring. Birds may be looking for mates, claiming territory, building nests, etc. and not at my feeders as much.

Wish me luck and many visitors this spring.

Eagle Cam

You may have heard about this on the news like me. I just saw the live video feed for the first time a few minutes ago and thought you may like it, too, so here it is:

Streaming live video by Ustream

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Police Officer in Texas Pepper-Sprays Young, Baby Squirrel

I watched the video and read this article on The Huffington Post where, as the title says, a police officer pepper-sprays a baby squirrel. I can't believe anyone would do that. Absolutely disgusting, cruel and heartless. He was probably just looking for food or shelter, or something else.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Update for the Week of April 3-April 9

You know the first nest in a birdhouse this spring I wrote about in my previous post? Well, Monday we had some big storms and very strong wind. It knocked the metal structure over that was holding the birdhouse. I don't believe there were any chickadees in it at the time, but I was still very pissed it fell over. I haven't seen the two chickadees around it in several days, so let's just say the kickoff of spring and my first bird nest in my yard this season didn't go flawlessly. I want a chickadee or titmouse, or any bird for that matter, to use my new birdhouse that's attached to a dead tree. It's really a solid home for a bird. They've just checked it out, gone in and out, but haven't made a nest in it, YET. Soring has been interesting so far. It seems like there are much less chickadees using my feeder since spring started. It seems that a lot of the birds may be trying to claim their own territory in nearby areas, at least that's what I've read birds do in spring.

Yesterday, Saturday, was the first time I witnessed two Titmice making a nest in one of my birdhouses. I was so happy. They are the sweetest, cutest birds. I managed to take a video of some of it, which is below:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's Official ... First Chickadee Nest in My Yard ... Whoohoo!

I've confirmed it just minutes ago. I'm so excited about this. This is the first nest in my yard this spring, the first spring since I've been into birds, so it's very exciting and new for me. And the chickadee is one of my favorite birds I feed.