Thursday, July 09, 2009

Geez, That's a LOT of birdseed, and Carol Vinzant's Squirrels of 2009

The extended Crow family makes a cameo appearance fly-by.

Triborough Bridge and Woodside Fledgling Update
(From Astoria Hawkwatcher Peter Richter)
Hello All,

I managed to find all 3 fledglings and both parents from Astoria Park nest Saturday morning. They all look well, and I saw one fledgling(possibly #3) getting fed by Atlas.

The eyass at the Woodside nest is looking bigger every time I see it. It has lost all its grey feathers, and is now sporting a peach colored chest with brown spot underneath. Only the feathers on the head look like they need to fill out more. It spends a lot of time sitting on the edge of the nest preening and flapping its wings. The father was nearby, and both birds are looking well.


Peter Richter

From: Karen Anne Kolling of Rhode Island

What do you do about the cycle of more birds, supplying more seed, more birds, supplying more seed? I don't want to raise a generation that doesn't know how to forage in the wild, plus I'm buying a lot of birdseed.

A day or so ago I decided to fix the amount I put out each day, filling the feeders three times, but, of course, they ran dry at the end of the day and a mourning dove came up to the window, cocked her head sideways and looked me straight in the eye, you are going to let us starve?

There are a lot of fledglings out there too, mostly sparrows and grackles...Are they able to find food if I do fix the amount I put out each day?


HI Karen,

It sounds like you have quite the flock going. I know the problem with the seed though. Actually I got a little more of a handle on it by the type of feeders I put out, particularly as I have 10 squirrels out there at times. Do you have squirrels--those cute fluffy tailed bottomless pits. :-) Two of my feeders are semi-squirrel proof.

But if you just have birds, what to do? Are you still using the handy glass pie plate type deals? You could use one feeder that can be set to only allow the smaller birds to feed and not grackles for instance. Squirrels and larger birds close the feeder trough when they put their weight on the perch which saves some for the little guys.

If I have to limit the amount of seed, I make sure that some is left for late in the day so that the Mourning Doves, Doorstep and Friend, are sure to get their share as that is their main feeding least at my feeder. Doorstep too has been known to come up to the door and give me "the look". She looks at me, she looks at the feeding spot, and then looks at me again. Though their three fledglings seem to spend a good bit of the day under the feeders eating and I would hate to deprive them.

The doves of course being ground feeders have the patio option here or some people use a platform feeder. Are the spaces between the wood of the deck big enough for the seed to fall through? You might be loosing a good bit that way.

As to foraging, they do learn but sometimes if there isn't anything around they have to go long distances to get food.

I've also read that feeder birds do a circuit of the neighborhood feeders if there are multiple people who feed. They used to recommend not feeding at all if you couldn't do it every day but they now know that if there are other feeders in the neighborhood the birds eat more at the neighbors if you're gone on vacation for instance. :-)

For some reason this year, except for DD and Friend, whose second clutch of the season was THREE chicks, I've had very few seed eating birds who successfully nested so far this season. (Except the House Sparrows who seem to do well no matter what.)

Spring was cold and wet and likely impacted the success rate. The turkeys didn't do well this year at all. I've talked to no one locally who has seen a single poult. The Robins have done okay, as have the rabbits. I had to put the little fence back up around the garden.
But the positive might be that the high bunny crop might bring a Red-tail back to the yard this year.

A treat from wonderful squirrel rehabilitator Carol Vinzant--

I put up the whole set of pictures for this squirrel season from when I first got Hayes to when I released him, Garfield, Chester and Tito


Carol Vinzant

HOORAY for wildlife rehabilitators in general and Carol in particular!

Donegal Browne

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Doorstep and Friend Do It Again, Turkeys in the Straw, and What About Those Fawns?

This photo should be further down in the blog. We'll be back to it. In the meantime just keep going...

The grain is about a week from harvest--

And come 6:30pm, here come the turkeys.

And let me tell you, the turkeys are...well...having a field day. (Always wondered what that meant.) Gobble, gobble, gobble.

That is until they decided that I'd been staring at them a little too long. Turkey paranoia turns into a speedy turkey trot to the woods

Doorstep and Friend have done it again as they did two years ago. They have raised a clutch of three chicks. Ordinarily doves and pigeons only lay two eggs at a time, rarely three. But Doorstep and Friend have turned into very good parents and seem to raise three without any problem whatsoever.

Above is One. One had some seed and then nestled down over her feet for a rest. Look at her expression. She's looking a bit annoyed. Perhaps because she's all settled down and then I showed up. She doesn't particularly want to have to get up but if I come out the door she'll have to. Maybe it isn't so annoyed as a Mourning Dove attempt at a menacing look, ie. don't you dare come out!

One is in the foreground and that's Two up right. Two is very vigilant. He too spends time nestled down on his feet but he tries to be alert even when half asleep.

This is Three, the baby. (It was Three until Blogger ate the photo. And as I can't insert it back into place, I'll just put it up at the top and you can scroll back up.) Three is unhappy, very unhappy. In fact Three is downright disgruntled and even mournful. He doesn't want to be weaned. He does not want to eat on his own. And at this moment he doesn't want ANYTHING other than his parents to keep feeding him just like they always have. Today his father, Friend, had had enough. When Three came up, crowded his father, and did little baby bird wing flutters. Friend jumped at him, well towards him anyway and then chased him for a few feet. The other two fledglings were on the patio doing the, I'll peck four seeds up individually, and three will invariably fall out but sometimes the fourth one actually goes down.
(After several more bouts of being jumped at for begging yesterday, Three got hungry enough to try feeding himself today. He's up to the peck four seeds, drop two stage. He'll do just fine now that he's willing to try.)

Karen Anne Kolling of Rhode Island asked, "What's the fawn story?", in the comments section. Suddenly it occurred to me that because they were photographed through the fence, it might well look like they were in a pen.

Actually though that isn't the case. These are free wild fawns. And as young fawns are supposed to do, they are waiting, waiting for their mother to return from feeding to nurse them. The photographer, James Blank, happened to be on the road on the other side of the fence that surrounds the show grounds of the Rock River Thresheree when he saw them lying in the grass .
I thought it very smart of Mama Deer to put them in a spot where the fence kept them out of the road if they were flushed on one side and a wagon on the other to help obscure them from sight.

Looking at the sequence of the fawn photos, and the difference between the two fawns reactions, I was reminded of another pair of siblings who had similar personalities. Yes, Primus and Secundus. Primus was always--ready to show himself completely. There is no peering for this guy either.
Now look at the top fawn photos. There she is peering through the blades of grass and leaves of flowers. And who previously was peering all the time like this fawn? Secundus of course!
Speaking of whom, I looked yet again today for the Ms but as is usual of late, they'd gone off to another part of the territory. A part which I cannot observe. It does make sense though, the parents in order to keep an eye on the eyasses hunted that field very hard to feed P and S so they wouldn't have to go far afield and out of sight lines. Now as it is time to give the kids some lessons, it is smart to go to a spot where the prey base is high and likely an easier area for very young hawks to find hunting success.
Donegal Browne

Monday, July 06, 2009

More Twin Fawns and an Update on the Triborough Nest

Photograph by James W. Blank Jr.

Photograph by James W. Blank Jr.

Photograph by James W. Blank Jr.
Photograph by James W. Blank Jr.
Photograph by James W. Blank Jr.

Photograph by James W. Blank Jr.
The blossom seemingly decorating the spot between her ears, rather makes her look like a Disney deer.

Saw two Friday morning (around 7:30am) in trees at paved park (across Hoyt Ave N from their nest). Yet again I heard them yelling 2 blocks away!
This morning (around 11am) noticed one on the concrete pillar of bridge (Hoyt Ave N). Probably the 3rd pillar on Hoyt Ave N b/w 21st and 23rd sts

P.S. As you probably have noticed posting is sporadic. My apologies. Various issues including a recalcitrant computer.