Thursday, August 13, 2009

Late Summer Morning

The other day, I was watering some of the new plants in my garden. It's been quite hot here of late, but the evenings are cooler already; the mosquitoes are not such an issue. If there is one in the finds me and feeds. Ugg..

But this morning...oh my, it was lovely, cooler and sans blood-suckers. Hummingbirds were all about, and to my surprise it seemed they were following me as I watered various new shrubs and trees. This behavior is not unlike my dog's, who will follow me until I drop the end of the hose down to the grass, so that he can drink the cool, flowing water. I've read and seen video clips showing hummingbirds like to bath on wet shrubbery and in a fine mist.

So...I changed the nozzle to a wider, finer spray and aimed at one of the larger shrubs. Sure enough, a couple of hummers darted in and about the spray and landed on branches where they rubbed their heads on the wet leaves. They were bathing! It was way cool and I repeated this behavior for them…and so did several of the little birds. I was nearly late for work! LOL

While I wolfed down a little breakfast, I watched the birds out the huge kitchen window. I just love the sweet ‘peeps’ and ‘trills’ that the Evening Grosbeaks make while calling back and forth; whenever I hear that sound I know they’re in the yard. I watched as a male feed two fledglings, nearly as large as himself, begging and fluttering wings just a few feet from where I was sitting. It was magical…

This morning, I watched from the same place at the same feeder where a young Black-capped Chickadee fed. This little guy’s cap and bib were quite black, but it’s back and wings were lighter and it still had the slightly rufus down along its flanks and back; obviously very young…he was pretty fuzzy!

Funny, so are nearly half a dozen young Black-billed Magpies that frequent my yard. These big birds look so comical with their fuzzy heads and begging attitude.

I’m just tickled pink I can make life easier for the birds here. One of these days I’m going to apply for, errr, purchase that Wildlife Habitat certification and sign. I understand it’s a good thing that might encourage others to do the same.

I think my next post will show the various foods I have planted for the birds and bugs. There’s a lot already ripe and more to come. I think the plantings are half the attraction; bird feeders make up only about a quarter of a bird’s daily diet!

Video from YouTube
Photos from Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

Magpies! So much superstition surrounds these birds: One should make sure to greet magpies when they are encountered in order to either allay bad luck or encourage good luck as related to the number of birds and therefore their place in the Magpie poem.

Connie Kogler said...

Such great birds and an Evening Grosbeak to boot!

Beverly said...

Hmmmmmmmmm... 4 and 20? No, that was blackbirds. [heads to Google]

Oh my, this is what I found:

In the spring, large numbers of Magpies often gather to resolve territorial conflicts and social standing. These gatherings, called parliaments, probably gave rise to the many nursery rhymes and poems about Magpies, such as:

One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil's own sel'.

Or more commonly:

One for sorrow, two for joy;
Three for a girl, four for a boy;
Five for silver, six for gold;
Seven for a secret, never to be told;
Eight for a wish, nine for a kiss;
Ten for a bird that's best to miss.

Awwwwwwwww... a scientist into poetry! Neat!!! Anyway, I like's the big corvids.

Beverly said...

Ya know, you and I are just about 4 hours from each other; isn't it amazing the difference in birds we see? Perhaps it is more the difference in altitude. I'm at just over 7000', you're at almost 5000'. I remember when living at the cabin (nearly 9000') that even 1000' makes a huge difference in weather...which must impact habitat hugely. I read Bosque Bill's stuff and am amazed at the difference in the birds he see's too. Of course, he is about 5 hours south of me and at about 5300'. I think it's all facinating as the dickins.

Good birding to you and thanks for stopping by! One of these days I'd love to be able to make one of your Birds & Brews get-togethers. You do good work!!!