Our eyes and ears should be open and alert to the natural wonders that surround us every day. Take time to look out our windows to see the birds that visit us and open our windows to hear them. Walk around whatever space we have to enjoy the birds in nature. Every day, work on improving our powers of observation.
Nature happens. We cannot MAKE natural things happen (or NOT happen). We can create habitats to encourage natural things to happen around us, but there are no guarantees.
Birdfeeding comes with responsibilities to the birds and the environment we share with them. If you are unwilling to accept these responsibilities, you shouldn’t feed the birds. We also have a responsibility to share these natural wonders with the next generation.
Greetings from nature! We know we haven't stopped by your birdfeeders much lately, but we wanted to let you know we're still out there, doing just fine, and thinking of you! The weather has been gorgeous and we're enjoying it as much as you are.
The summer has given us a bounty of natural foods for the taking. There are tons of insects like caterpillars, spiders, grasshoppers, ants, and beetles out there, and we hate to pass them up while they're available to us. We're also finding lots of tree seeds and nuts, as well as fruits and berries.
So we haven't been in your yard much because we're filling up on the goodies in the wild. We did stop at your birdfeeding station last night at dusk, but we didn't see you around. Sorry we missed you.
While we're not around as much, it's okay with us if you just fill your feeders halfway. We'll use them for one last nibble before we settle down for the night or when we pass through the neighborhood. Oh, and thanks for keeping the birdbath clean and filled. Will you have that open all winter?
We know that all these natural food sources will eventually deplete. ☹ We continue to check in on your yard so that when that time comes, we know where to find a reliable quality food source and some decent habitat to shelter us when the weather turns nasty.
Thanks again for all you do for us, even when we're not around that much. We'll remember that, and will be back in your yard before you know it! You're the best!
Love, Your Favorite Birds
ps: Thanks for keeping those kitties indoors too. They're cute, but they don't seem to like us to much.
This morning we lost our buddy Spud. For however long they inhabit our lives, our pets leave indelible images on our hearts. Here's some of our favorites images of this sweet girl who was part of our lives for nearly 17 years.
This has been our screensaver at the store for a number of years
She LOVED boxes - sitting in, sitting on, just give her a box and she was happy!
The best of both worlds: a heated kitty cup under a chair!
When May hits, the migration pace quickens, so I better get my 2nd spring migration report in the books! This year, I'm learning a little more about each of these birds as they arrive and will share a fun fact or two from Pete Dunne's "Essential Field Guide Companion".
Song Sparrows seem to be a timely bird, returning on March 23rd this year. That's within 5 days of all their other return dates. They can be seen year-round in New York but I only see them during migration, even though Pete Dunne describes them as "probably not far from where you are right now"!
Dunne Fun Fact "Sings all year, though infrequently in winter. Individuals sometimes sing at night. Song is variable but simple in pattern and easily recognized. Usually begins with two to four (usually three) quick, clear, identical notes followed by a long trill and an ending that has several short notes: chee, chee, chee tureeeee, uree tee tee."
I heard the phoebe before I saw him later the same day, April 2. Don't mistake the chickadee's two-note fee-bee song for a phoebe! The phoebe's "fee-beeeee" has a harsher, sore-throatier "beeee".
Dunne Fun Fact "Has adapted well to humans and often chooses to use human structures - most notably bridges and buildings - to secure its nests."
Sorry, no celebration of their return on April 14, the same date as in 2009. So I have a NIMBY attitude with the cowbird: go lay your eggs somewhere else...
Dunne Fun Fact "Only the interiors of mature, dense, unfragmented forest and woodlands seem impervious to cowbirds." Another reason to stop forest fragmentation....
I think the Chipping Sparrow is just so dapper and I welcomed their return on Tax Day April 15. They were just about on time, they've returned anywhere from April 15-22 over the last 5 years.
Dunne Fun Fact "The combination of the bright chestnut cap, prominent white eye stripe, and mascara-fine eye-line is distinctive and easily separates Chipping from all other rufous-capped sparrows. So don't sweat the details. You want to identify adult Chipping Sparrow? Just look at the face. The expression is smug."
FUN FACT SOURCE: Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion, Published by Houghton-Mifflin, 2006.
EASTERN CHIPMUNK Emerged from hibernation early this year, on March 10, earlier than years' past.
I bought this new high-tech dry cat food dispenser that you can program to feed your cat breakfast, lunch or dinner at prescribed times in preset portions. Instructions included this wording: "Adjustment time for the pet could be as short as a day or as long as a couple weeks, depending on your pet's personality".
Within hours, Lizzie was serving herself from her own personal vending machine!
She sticks her paw up in the dispenser and anywhere from 1 to 6 pieces of kibble drop in the bowl. Not how it's supposed to work but she LOVES her new feeding machine!