Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good Day for Birds

Yes, we had a good bird watching day.

We were up in the motor home this morning and noticed our resident Blue Bird couple fluttering around.  Al has built them a “house” right by the motor home and they raised several batches of babies there last year.  They were hanging around the house and trying to look inside when all of a sudden Ivan the Terrible flew in and started chasing them away.P1010049
Can’t you just see the meanness in this face?  This is a Mockingbird.  We had them when we lived in Tampa and they behaved themselves and didn’t hassle the other birds.
Once we moved here, we found we had a mean Mockingbird.  We have since found out that is characteristic of them.  They are territorial and chase all the other birds away.  Some are worse than others.  Our first one was the devil!  We called him Ivan the Terrible.  He lived up to his reputation and  constantly tried to chase all the other birds away.  Once I saw him chasing another bird and Ivan hit the Oak tree.  There were gray feathers all over, but Ivan was okay.    Once he found a wife and started raising children, Ivan was a changed man.  Mockers are very good parents and their children are very demanding and spoiled.  They keep feeding them long after they are capable of feeding themselves. Ivan and Ivana (his wife) raised several bathes of 4 babies each time.  When the babies are hungry they squall and mom or dad come running/flying :)  They would still be feeding the older babies, when they would have a new batch.  Ivan had no more time that year to hassle the other birds.  I have to admit though, I found a new respect for Ivan.  He may have been the meanest bird I ever saw, but he was the best dad :) 
Once they finished raising their babies for the year, Ivan and Ivana left and the babies stayed.  I know  that because the mockers we had left were nice birds!  We haven’t had any other mocker that was nearly as mean as the first Ivan!  It seems that the babies stake their own territory and now we have mockers all over our property.  They allow the others to stay as long as they don’t get too close.  We have been noticing they seem to be finding their mates because we see a lot of pairs fluttering around.

Anyway, we have an Ivan (they are all called Ivan) up by the motorhome blue bird house. Blue Birds are known to be extremely territorial as well. Ivan wouldn’t leave the poor Blue Birds alone, but we know just as soon as Ivan has some children, he will have no more time to bother anyone.
Here are Mr. and Mrs Bluebird sitting on top of their house.
Cute huh?

After a while we decided to go into town for lunch.  We were driving down our driveway past the first woods and saw a bunch of larger birds.  We have thousands of Chipping Sparrows and Goldfinch in our yard that are all over the place, but these birds seemed to be a little larger so we wondered what they could be.  Al mentioned they might be Cedar Waxwings and he was right.  We only see them about twice a year during migration, and we never saw any while we lived in Tampa.  I told Al to open the window and turn off the ignition and I got my camera out.  We sat in the car for 12-20 minutes watching at least 100 Cedar Waxwings feeding on some dark black/blue berries.  I don’t  know what kind of plant is is but the Waxwings were going NUTS.  They were hanging upside down, hanging sideways, and all over like they were ravenous. 
You can see the berries are just thick.
Two birds here, one is upside down!
Two more here.
See the berry in his mouth?
These are the berries they were so happy to have found.
It was a very good day for birding!

We also found a few flowers blooming..Our first Daffodil of the season!


Margie and Roger said... [Reply to comment]

I just love those blue bird photos. Yep, that was a good day to watch birds. I am jealous of your great camera zoom.