Friday, May 29, 2009

Bob-tailed Grackle

No, not the rare and difficult to find “Bob-tailed Grackle”…just a bird who probably thanks his lucky feathers all he lost was a tail!

How humiliating…at first I thought I saw a light-eyed starling when I walked by the window. He seems to fly okay, but I hope he doesn’t have any migrating to do soon. A missing tail can’t be a good thing during long trips. I wonder if it will grow back.

On a lighter note, while Black-headed Grosbeaks continue to visit, they're here in fewer numbers. The Evening Grosbeaks are still here in droves. Several many Bullock’s Orioles still visit regularly; I’m thinking drilling out half the ports in all the hummingbird feeders was a great idea! Well…and keeping the grape-jelly station well-stocked; those guys love their jelly! Who knew the Black-headed Grosbeaks occasionally indulge?

I still see lots of brilliant finches, including the occasional Lesser Goldfinch and Lazuli Bunting…but this time of year it seems most are not relying on feeding stations. Having said that, the Pine Siskins are bringing their newly fledged youngsters here...probably greatly relieved to get a break in 'on-demand feeding'. Ha...the babies still demand and resort to begging. They'll learn.

What I am happy about is that while they’re still around, the Eurasian Collared Doves are not here in the great numbers they were…and have allowed the much smaller Mourning Doves to visit more often. The last few mornings I’ve seen as many as four at a time picking through the chicken scratch I toss in my yard. They make me smile. Have you ever seen one up close?

And while dozens and dozens of Brown-headed cowbirds hang around, as well as two or three Red-winged blackbirds, I've not seen a Blue Jay in weeks. Even the woodpeckers, who do still show up, seem to be too busy to visit regularly. I rather like it that there are several Black-billed Magpies who drop in several times a day. They like the homemade suet I hang, even though feeding on those tiny little holders must feel a bit ungainly. Magpies and Grackles both seem to enjoy the kibble and peanuts-in-the-shell I put out for them, too. As I've said, I love the big guys...but they're the only ones my dog runs off. He does not like to share his marrow bones, even when he's already gotten all the marrow he can reach and chewed them down to nearly nothin. Funny dog...

Dove photo from Wikipedia

2 comments:

scienceguy288 said...

Interesting fact about Magpies. I read in Smithsonian that they are one of the few animals which have sense of self (can identify themselves, like in a mirror). Very intelligent birds.

Beverly said...

LOL, it is likely I read (originally) something about that on YOUR blog...but I did read about that too.

For those who are interested, here’s a link to the first one turned up on Google:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14552-mirror-test-shows-magpies-arent-so-birdbrained.html

...it includes a clip of magpie in front of the mirror.

I'm tickled pink to be helping at least one breeding pair; they bring their youngsters here and show them my feeders include chunks o' suet and kibble, too.