Archive | May, 2008

Bird Season

29 May
  • There is an adult Bluebird feeding the young this morning. Hurray!
  • For the past week and a half I have heard the drumming of a male Ruffed Grouse, both across the road and in the woods up back.
  • We still regularly hear the Orioles, see them infrequently, and assume they have nested nearby.
  • We also hear wrens, and hope they have nested.
  • This morning I heard and saw an Eastern Kingbird as H. and I took a walk. They sound similar to the short buzz of an electric short: dzeet.
  • Mourning Doves are terrible nest builders. As the girl went to get the paper this morning, a nest fell apart above her and all the eggs tumbled to the ground when the dove flew off suddenly.
  • Bobolinks are back at the home farm, but I have yet to see them return to the grass fields above us.
  • The Downy and Hairy woodpeckers are still working diligently on the tallow on the feeders. There is at least one pair of each.
  • Only a few miles from the farm Saturday night we saw a large owl attack and snatch a fledgling robin from the road before us. It was either a Barred or Great Gray owl–quite large. The robin parents flew at it, but not too closely.
  • The tree swallows have settled in to one box and are diligently catching insects since their nest is finished.
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Sad Story

29 May

This afternoon while the girl was outside reading she noticed a chipping sparrow pop into the bluebird nest box. Then she saw a bluebird head pop out, followed by the rest of its body, and fall to the ground. Thinking the pesky sparrow was pushing out babies, she rushed over and picked up…a dead adult male bluebird. She rushed down to me. The bird could not have been dead that long as it had no fly eggs on it and Jay saw the male just last evening. Yet its eyes were deeply sunken, and Jay says it looked hunched and cold yesterday. We had a frost last night, but that should have had no effect on a bird in a box.

We looked in the box. There are at least two live, nearly fledged young. There is no sign of a female. No one from Lab of O has yet returned my call asking “What shall I do?” The sparrow continued to enter the box the rest of the day. Unfortunately the young are old enough they may not take handouts from strangers. We will try tomorrow if there is no sign of a female feeding them in the morning.

What could have happened? Did the female die after the eggs were laid? Has the male been rearing the young all by himself and it was just too much? It is very dry. Could he not catch enough food for himself and the young and he didn’t eat?

Memorial Day Weekend

28 May

We went to the farm. We took Hawthorne on his inaugural trip. We worked. We saw relatives. We ate. We went to Angela’s. Isabelle got eaten by crocodiles. Angela did most of the work to move the blog to this location. We ate. We came home. Lots of fun things happened at the farm, including feeding baby birds, a power parachute visit, a flying farmer flying in for a visit, the parade, eating fresh asparagus, taking flower pictures. Can you tell I do not know how to put both words and photos together here yet? More photos when I can figure out how to not lose them.

The Blog is Here

26 May

While we are here with angela she is holding my hand to move the blog here.

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