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Passions in Poetry

For Kit and other bird lovers

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Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


0 posted 04-21-2005 12:29 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Kit and I were conversing recently about birds and landscaping and such things, and I sorta kinda promised her some pictures. Coincidentally, my new camera arrived this afternoon, a Canon Rebel XT, so I sat on the back deck for a few hours playing with its 300mm zoom lens, and ended up shooting nearly 200 photos.

The goldfinches don't actually charge me any rent, but they clearly think this place is theirs. In truth, I don't think they're very happy with the hired help right now because I've failed to properly discourage a neighbor's cat from prowling too near their feeders. The result is that I typically have only a few dozen birds at any given time right now, as compared to the few hundred I had throughout most of the winter months. My yard was one of the few with a heated bird bath during Michigan's cold season, so this all-season resident came from near and far. From November through early March, they (and a few other winter birds) ate 100 pounds of black sunflower seeds and over 400 pounds of their favorite thistle seeds. In the past month, the male goldfinch, often called a wild canary, has molted into his courting clothes, the bright yellow tuxedo you see in these pictures.

Much to my surprise, the bluebirds who, last summer, came every day at dusk to take turns bathing in their favorite birdbath, also stayed throughout the long winter months. That's unusual, as they generally migrate farther South, but not unprecedented, I guess. I put out a bluebird feeder for the little fellers, but haven't had a lot of luck with that. Bluebirds don't generally eat seeds, like my goldfinches. They prefer meat, live wiggling meat at that, and my attempts to order mealworms through the mail hasn't met with a lot of success. Yuk. I also put up five bluebird houses, in hopes at least one pair of birds would take up permanent residence. They're very territorial, so it's unlikely I'll get more than one pair. I've seen bluebirds inside one of the houses at the far end of the property, but it's still too early to know if they'll sign the lease.

However, a pair of tree swallows, cousins to my barn swallows from last year, have most definitely claimed one of the bluebird houses as their own. Another pair is "trying" to claim a house at the back edge of the property, and still another pair is "trying" to set up housekeeping in the fifth bluebird house across the street, on my brother's property. The tree sparrows, a non-native species imported from Europe (and often called a London sparrow), keep getting into the houses, though, and are making it tough for the less aggressive swallows. I keep evicting the sparrows, who can nest just about anywhere, but so far, the swallows haven't been able to get a toe-hold.

I put up two platform nesting boxes, too, the kind preferred by robins and mourning doves, but there's been no interest at all in them. It's still early in the season, though. There's a string of wren houses back by the woods, and two chickadee boxes, even though I've seen only a handful of those at my feeders in the past year. Interestingly, I had a dump truck load of top soil deposited way in the back, for the plants I'm putting in this Spring, and I've spied quite a few killdeer wandering those parts. Killdeer are unusual birds in that they don't build nests, but instead lay their eggs in stone and gravel areas (and their mottled eggs blend right in). I don't think there's near enough stones in my top soil to interest them, but I hope I'm wrong because they appear to be fascinating little critters. Then again, I've discovered they are also very LOUD critters, with a very irritating cry, so maybe I hope I'm right.

The mourning doves and red-winged blackbirds in these pictures are very common visitors to my feeders, and there's usually a large handful in the yard at any given time of the day. Though both are too large to easily get to the feeders, they do a very admirable job of patrolling the ground for what the finches and sparrows drop. The cardinals, this bright red male and a duller female, have only come to the yard in the past few weeks, but they appear to be staying. It's still much too early in the year for my hummers to return, and though I watch closely every day, I haven't seen hide nor hair of my barn swallows either. There are quite a few birds I've seen at my feeders that didn't appear in the few hours I had my camera out today, including blue jays, chickadees, dark-eyed juncos, tufted titmouses (seems like that should be titmice, but it's not), and an assortment of long-necked and long-legged birds that frequent nearby Adam's Lake. The nice thing about these digital cameras, however, is that film is REAL cheap, so I suspect I'll be getting a few more pics in the coming months.



* For those with a faster connection and a bigger monitor, the pic above links to a larger version of the same.


serenity blaze
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1 posted 04-21-2005 01:23 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

sigh...

How can ya not love a guy with a heated birdbath?

geeeeeeeeezus Ron.

You melt the witch.



Stunning photos, and thank you.

This wasn't even on my cheer-me-up list, but it helped.
timothysangel1973
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Never close enough


2 posted 04-21-2005 01:33 AM       View Profile for timothysangel1973   Email timothysangel1973   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit timothysangel1973's Home Page   View IP for timothysangel1973

Wow !!
These are amazing.. and all this in your back yard?

Geez... here in the South all we have are mosquitos and dirt dobbers... all of which the kids chase and try to kill..... dont ask me why.. I told them that they are doing what they are born to do which is buzz and bite... lol

But you know kids.. they see a bee and its already stung them....

Anyway, these are beautiful... especially the yellow ones !!

Great camera work

Tima
Poet deVine
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Hurricane Alley


3 posted 04-21-2005 06:18 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Love the pictures!! I bet the wildlife will be lining up at your door to have their picture taken.
Sunshine
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Listening to every heart


4 posted 04-21-2005 06:56 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Aren't these digital cameras fun? Besides excellent quality photos - the disk storage space takes up less room than the boxes of photos we still store from photos of old.

I also noted that you've some new instructions to offset the photos right and left [to borrow a serenity phrase, gleeeeeeeee../]

In my [today is moving day!] new back yard, I noted that I've a lot more butterflies of varying species, so I imagine that with a little patience and luck, I may be able to capture some of them critters later this spring and summer to share.

I'm so glad you spent some "down time" with the birds, Ron, and managed to give everyone a "lift up".
Kit McCallum
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5 posted 04-21-2005 07:40 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Ron, the pictures are great!  That camera is going to turn out to be a fantastic investment!  

Oh, I love the bluebird. I havenít had a chance to see one of those over here yet. Your goldfinches have really turned colour. Ours are just barely beginning to brighten up. They arenít nearly as brilliant as your gorgeous little fella yet. The linked picture with the swallows chasing the sparrow is priceless Ė you caught them beautifully mid-flight. What a shot!

I couldnít get the link to the killdeer to come up. They are definitely noisy little guys, arenít they? Cute as a button, and no mistaking their cry.  I love sitting outside and just listening, trying to distinguish all the different whistles and songs to try to figure out who is up and about.  

Have you got any woodpeckers there? I hadnít hear you mention them yet. Weíve got a couple of downy woodpeckers and a red-bellied woodpecker who have been back and forth to the feeder all winter.  Also, I donít think youíve mentioned nuthatches? Have you had any of those coming and going ? Weíve got one cute little guy we call the professor. He does a funny, deep ďpeep, peepĒ. Heís adorable.

Our hummingbird and oriole feeders are going up this weekend. It's a little early for us here yet, but we might catch a few early birds heading north. If so, it will be worth it. We usually get the permanent residents by May 10th or so.

OK, now about that heated bird-bath Ö what a wonderful treat!  I still canít believe the amount of seeds you went through, lol.  A birdy paradise for sure!  Iíd love to see more pictures Ron! Iíll keep my camera handy too.  

Karilea, I'd love to see some pictures once you get settled. It would be great to see what types of birds and butterflies some of our PiPs get to see from all over.
Nan
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6 posted 04-21-2005 07:41 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Tulips & birdwatching... Yeah!... I'll be going shopping for one of those weird bird-watching hats today...
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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7 posted 04-21-2005 07:53 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

*ahem*

um, yeah, Ron.

What about dem woodpeckers?



(and came back to edit too, but only to add--that first photo is a glory - the contrast of texture, color, and just the pure fragility of the moment--totally lovely and it's not just the camera, Ron--that was taken with a loving eye)

nice
NewEnglandlazurlu
Member Rara Avis
since 01-04-2002
Posts 7709
A Mountain Paradise


8 posted 04-21-2005 09:15 AM       View Profile for NewEnglandlazurlu   Email NewEnglandlazurlu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for NewEnglandlazurlu

Fabulous pictures! I have goldfinches at my feeders but not nearly as many as you! It's wonderful that they have turned such a bright yellow!

Have fun with your new camera.  hugs, Marti

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.
ĖSt. Francis of Assisi

Trillium
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Member Patricius
since 03-09-2001
Posts 12129
Idaho, USA


9 posted 04-21-2005 04:17 PM       View Profile for Trillium   Email Trillium   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trillium

Ron:  I thoroughly enjoyed all the wonderful bird pictures and the text that went along with them.  It was a real treat to see and read.

Here in North Idaho, right now, we have many mourning doves.........I love to hear them........woodpeckers and are they ever busy.  They especially like a telephone pole in front. Right now it's the downy woodpeckers but later we get the pileated too.  Since we have two creeks here, we have mallards and mergansers nesting right now and also where the confluence of the creeks lie, several pairs of Canada geese.
They are very vocal!  We have Steller's bluejays at the feeder all the time, competing with the squirrels for sunflower seeds.  We also feed a posse of masked raccoons who come in every evening and put out cob for the deer, who also come.  we have had as many as 7 feeding at a time and that is so enjoyable.

Saw my first hummer of the season yesterday and it was a rufous, so I immediately put out a feeder.  They are usually the first to come.  They nest along the creek in back so we get to see the babies when they first emerge too.

I have a digital camera too, although not as nice as yours.  I'll have to see if I can get some pictures of our wildlife.
Thanks for sharing!

Betty Lou

Betty Lou Hebert

[This message has been edited by Trillium (04-21-2005 11:05 PM).]

Mysteria
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since 03-07-2001
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British Columbia, Canada


10 posted 04-22-2005 12:25 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Your heart is showing   and it suits you.  Those were lovely pictures and thanks for sharing them.  Now I have heard of everything - a heated birdbath!  I am thinking you are going to heat the garage next and put up a big welcome sign over the winter.

As for the cat - perhaps the neighbour will put a bell on its neck at least so the birds are warned?

I hate mornings by the way if you have not heard, and I have a woodpecker that loves to play taps on the tin chimney at 6:30 every morning, and he is driving me insane!  Those yellow birds are what I have here, and all this time I thought that was a wild canary.  They hang around outside my window and love those thistle seeds for sure!  I feed them Niger seed, must be the same?

Well, have fun with the flora and fauna and sure would love to see your lilacs, and blackberries when they are ready to show themselves too?  Beautiful job of the pictures I might add, have fun with the camera. (Just in time for some lovely tulip pictures too.)
LoveBug
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11 posted 04-22-2005 11:55 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

I LOVE BIRDS!!!

My best friend is my pet zebra finch, Gandalf. I loved your pics... when it comes to wild birds, I like the little regular brown sparrows.. they like to pick on me. They regularly come near me, making me think I could maybe touch them, but nope! Away they go :P

Maybe I'm a birdbrain, eh? hehehe

Love's a lovely lad
His bringing up is beauty
Who loves him not is mad
For I must pay him duty
-Anonymous

Mysteria
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12 posted 04-23-2005 01:32 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria



I got this news from Nancy Lee this morning.  Well, okay not exactly as pictured
Alicat
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since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


13 posted 04-23-2005 06:07 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well, not many birds down in these parts except for desert critters, like the roadrunner.  We did get a smorgasborg of snowbirds though, and you're more than welcome to the entire lot.  They are raucus, territorial, blatantly aggressive, uncivil, and take up a lot of space.  Males generally spend a lot of their time away from the nest, especially if mated.  Of the genders, the females tend to be very aggressive if a male snowbird doesn't have a mate.  Those are often called 'golddiggers'.

Thankfully, most of these snowbirds have already left for their northern primary nesting area.



PS: Couldn't resist.
PhaerieChild
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since 08-30-99
Posts 1829
Aloha, Oregon


14 posted 04-23-2005 06:23 PM       View Profile for PhaerieChild   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for PhaerieChild

LOL Alicat!!!

Mysteria...love the toon!!!

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance.

Nan
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15 posted 04-23-2005 06:23 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Persnikitty one, isn't he??. I do like the fabric softener thing...
Mysteria
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16 posted 04-23-2005 07:21 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Nan?  What were those huge birds called that had their nest up high on those platforms down there?  Now that is my idea of a bird!  Sort of like dogs, there are those weenie ones and then there are the "real" dogs you know?

Maybe take one with you and introduce it to Ron's family of birds, and then lets see how much food they go through  
Ron
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17 posted 04-23-2005 09:11 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
They are raucus, territorial, blatantly aggressive, uncivil, and take up a lot of space.




And, as you can readily see, they chase off all the other birds, too.  


Nan
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18 posted 04-23-2005 10:30 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

OMIGOD!!! - Whassat???

Well - If you build it - They WILL come...
Mysteria
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19 posted 04-23-2005 10:34 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Got it!  Osprey?  
Nan
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20 posted 04-23-2005 10:36 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Osprey, Sharon - They're Osprey - They're huge and hawk-like.  They nest on a platform about ten feet above the water.

Yeah that..
Mysteria
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21 posted 04-24-2005 12:23 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

I found the picture of the Osprey's nest, but not the picture of the actual bird.  Now how would you care to have this bird visit your yard Ron?  Trust me she hangs over the edge of that huge pile of sticks, and I mean big sticks, not twigs!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I have to say you sure look like you are enjoying the fruits of your labor, they are absolutely incredible pictures Ron.
Nan
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22 posted 04-24-2005 08:14 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

ROTFL - This nest sits on the edge of a marsh beside the beach here on Cape Cod. We took this shot on Sharon's visit here (between shopping o-sprees).  I'll run down there today and give that lady-bird your address, Ron, so she can go scare off that white thing for you...
Kit McCallum
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23 posted 04-24-2005 09:44 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Ron, I tried to look up that bird in my book, but I canít find it anywhere. What is that big white thing, rofl?  Is that the snowbird Alliís talking about?  It looks like an albino turkey, lol???

And Nan & Sharon, I remember that one! God, that was a beautiful huge bird (and nest, lol).

OK, soooooooooooo Ö who on earth ordered the snow up here in Ontario???  Oh poor birds!!!  Weíve got about 3 inches of snow out there on the ground after being out in shorts just last weekend. Weíve got limbs down, cedar and spruce branches hanging so heavy they look like theyíre going to break, and our poor birds are scavenging out there amidst it all. We were into a specialty bird store buying a new hummingbird feeder with bee guards and ant traps yesterday, and the snow started while we were there about noon. It hasnít stopped since then!

I got a few pictures this morning. Iíll only copy a couple in here, and Iíll link the others.

Hereís our Yellow Shafted Flicker:





Hereís our little goldfinches shivering on the apple tree branches:



Hereís a few more linked to my site:

I missed a great shot of the mourning dove. She was covered in snow, but she shook it off just before I took the shot:
http://kit.netpoets.net/mourningdove01.jpg

Hereís another of the yellow shafted flicker Ė couldnít resist, heís so beautiful. He just got back about 2 days ago. Thatís snow blobs falling in front of him:
http://kit.netpoets.net/flickerys04.jpg

Weíve got a lot of Canada Geese. These 2 were out in the farmerís field a day or two ago before the snow flew:
http://kit.netpoets.net/cangeese02.jpg

And last but certainly not least (though itís not a bird shot Ron, lol) is an adorable raccoon that was peeking out over the crook in our willow a couple of days ago:
http://kit.netpoets.net/coon01.jpg

OK, off to get some cleaning done. I just wanted to share some pictures. Ron, this is going to be a great way to look back next year and remember which birds comes back and when!  Thanks so much, I'm really enjoying this!
Mysteria
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British Columbia, Canada


24 posted 04-24-2005 01:37 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Oh boy I am going to visit Snow White!  What a shame, we had that last year and the birds as well as humans get very confused.  Poor things!  Send them to Ron's heated birdbath maybe? LOL

I thought Ron's white bird WAS a turkey?  Ron, they run after you in MA no kidding!  I could not believe it!  Ours come in plastic wrap here      

I hope you all will keep this up, and here is my contribution to the birdwatcher's society here.  My resident chickadee.    Taken during our snow as well.

I found the picture of Nan's resident bird - here she is  
and also found what we love the most about British Columbia - this gal rests up at the end of my street at the little man-made pond there.  Shame they are becoming less and less.

 
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