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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bird News

Here's another shot of a fledgling cardinal having lunch with dad. There are plenty of cardinals around these days (as usual.) In addition, I've definitely seen a blue jay feeding a chick & a cluster of 5 tufted titmice, 2 of which were fluttering for food (note that it's rare to ever see even 2 titmice here at once.)
We still occasionally find leftover mourning dove feathers in the feeding area, evidence of their demise by hawk, cat or what have you. It's not unusual & as they say, nature's red in tooth & claw. The other day, though, Charles found some unusual feathers in our driveway. Further research revealed the owner to be a red-bellied woodpecker.
I'm definitely more sentimental about "our" woodpeckers than I am about mourning doves (which are the most prolific birds in the U.S.) Red-bellied woodpeckers were the first birds to come to our feeders. We've always enjoyed watching them & their progeny over the years. Young woodpeckers need to be taught how to peck & their first efforts are humorously clumsy. There are few birds who seem to retain their prehistoric heritage to the degree that woodpeckers do. Watching them land on a tree is like watching a magnet thrown at the fridge. I'd noticed recently that I hadn't seen the adult male lately. Nor have I seen any young yet this year. Regardless of who we might have lost, it's not "just another dove" this time.
Far worse than the loss of "our" woodpecker, this article regarding the carelessness of contractors cleaning up the oil spill makes me sick to my stomach. I suspected that brown pelicans would end up back on the endangered species list & if the "care" taken by the cleaning crews trampling these nests are any indication, I'm probably right.

17 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, I really hate that it's one of our woodpeckers. Fortunately, the red bellied ones are fairly common in the area. but they sure are cool, too.

Merisi said...

So nice to see that at least the Cardinal still make an attempt at having dinner together! I guess mom's late from work .... ;-)

The fate of your woodpecker saddens me. Do you think there is a feral cat out there?

Cloudia said...

hang in there, Gulf Goddess!





Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Tabib said...

I don't mind if that Red-bellied Woodpecker was killed as natural food chain. But, those bird killed by oil spill are unnatural.

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; Yeah. It kind of sucks.

Merisi; Unfortunately very few people in our neighborhood confine their pets (dogs OR cats,) in any way. We've chased of dozens of them over the years.

Cloudia; Trying...

Tabib; I hear you. The woodpecker was a bummer, but rest assured that what's happening in the Gulf is killing my very soul.

Erik Donald France said...

I'm also a fan of woodpeckers, got to see a bunch in NC a couple weeks ago, as well as hummingbirds rotating by at high rates of speed.

The Gulf impact was already reaching as far as the Cajun place in Hillsborough . . . must have an impact on migrations of all kinds. Sucks.

Maalie said...

Sorry to hear about your woodpeckers, they come to feeders here too, I catch quite a lot for ringing (banding). Yes, sickening news about the oiled birds. I hope that some, at least, can be cleaned up and released.

Lana Gramlich said...

Erik; Migration time's through, fortunately. UNfortunately it's nesting time, & I can't stomach what the contractors are doing to the brown pelican chicks.

Maalie; I'm even MORE upset about the contractors trampling nests & chicks, myself. The oiled birds are a horrible, awful accident, but the trampling's apparently on purpose.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Lana,

God, that is horrible! Trampling nests? This is truly vile. I try to remind people that when Anne Frank wrote people are basically good, she was working in a satirical vein. Seriously.

Rick said...

"Watching them land on a tree is like watching a magnet thrown at the fridge."

I've thought this for a while, Lana, but the way you phrase things you should really try your hand more at writing. You have truly a gift with words.

Barbara Martin said...

Cardinals are great to catch as they tend to be quite shy.

troutbirder said...

I can't even stand to watch the news from the Gulf anymore. What a catastrophe.

mick said...

It's sad when any bird is killed but the gulf spill is particularly tragic.

Lana Gramlich said...

Michelle, troutbirder & Mick; Yeah, freaking sad. It hurts so badly. I can only think about it in small doses. :(

Rick; Shucks, hon...You're too kind. I leave the writing to pros like you & stick to my visual arts. ;)

Barbara; We have so many cardinals it's hard NOT to see some, to be honest. We joking call our backyard the "cardinal emporium." *L*

Larry said...

Sorry to hear of your Red-bellied Woodpecker demise. Cats are the main cause of over a Billion bird deaths each year in the USA alone! Check out this Audubon article on keeping cats indoors.

The gulf oil disaster is so depressing, I truly hope that the trampling of the nests and eggs is simply wrecklessness on the part of folks who don't know what they're doing and not intentional.

If intentional, that would be a crime, literally. That would violate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

On a happier note, I love the shot of the male Cardinal and the juvie!

eileeninmd said...

Lana, I am sorry about your Redbelly. I have to agree that it would be ok if it was a food chain thing but a cat would be very upsetting to me. I too am just sick about the gulf oil spill and the poor birds and wildlife. I hope no one would trample nest and and eggs on purpose. Now they are saying that the fall migration could be disaster for the birds stopping over in the gulf area.

Lana Gramlich said...

Larry; Unfortunately where I live 99% of the people just let their cats AND dogs roam free. Time to reload the BB gun, I think. We once had a strange dog sleeping on our deck for 3 days before we went over to the neighbor's to ask them to please control their freaking pet! As for the trampled nests, chicks & eggs, I can't imagine it being much better than complete, willful carelessness. I mean, if I saw chicks in a nest, I'd know not to stomp it--mama taught me better than that! As for the cardinal young'ns, we love 'em. I always enjoy this time of year.

eileeninmd; I'm trying not to think of the migration, personally. It's all far too horrific without thinking about that, to be honest. It hurts so bad...

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