July 2, 2020 at 2:01 pm #8505
I just put up new feeders on our deck for the Hummingbirds and Goldfinches in the trees around our house. I had finished watering some container veggies and flowers on the deck this morning when this female Goldfinch showed up. I got my camera and took the picture just as this male Red-Necked Hummingbird flew into the picture.
ps: A Tufted Titmouse also showed up at the finch feeder.
Stafford, VAJuly 2, 2020 at 4:37 pm #8506
Cool pictures, David, as usual. Aren’t those hummers amazing? We do have some goldfinches here but I do not have any seed feeders out. I have seen the Baltimore Oriole a few times at the nectar feeder again this year.
One reason we do not have seed feeders out now is because we have a next-door neighbor who has chickens (5 I think), which love to trot over to our yard and scratch for any seeds on the ground, AS WELL AS then going into our flower and vegetable garden and scratching around and chewing on things. We had to resort to putting chicken-wire around my perennial garden to keep them out. About 1/2 of our vegetable garden has 6′ high fence around it to keep out the deer but still about 1/2 of the garden is not fenced off yet and therefore available to these critters.
We found something else the storm left – apparently lightning hit our huge oak tree close to our house, knocked the bark off one dead limb to the ground then the strike went to the ground and left some big holes around the tree trunk – thought at first it was a critter digging, but the holes are too big and deep and it blew dirt from these holes about 15 foot. We are just so lucky it did not actually hit the house and start a fire – God was looking out after us. Sorry for the mixed up, long post.July 2, 2020 at 5:03 pm #8507
Nice pictures David! Goldfinches vary in numbers here, sometimes I have a few, sometimes 30. Just depends on the time of year, right now they are off nesting and I just have a couple pairs.
Carol, that is frustrating about the chickens. We had some way back when and I loved watching them, but they really can do a number on flowers beds and gardens. I had no clue about that back then, another lesson I learned the hard way. ;)
It is so hot here again today, I’m glad most of my boxes (maybe all, I haven’t checked today) have fledged. I’ve been keeping busy running outside and refilling the birdbath and water dishes – that has been a popular spot in this heat.July 2, 2020 at 7:58 pm #8509
Jamie, yes, we learn the hard way some times AFTER the fact. Definitely very hot today, my lone BB baby in the nest by himself is due to fledge Saturday, but he has grown so fast he may fly the coop tomorrow to get out of the heat. Hope all yours make it out okay. Where are you located, Jamie?July 2, 2020 at 8:22 pm #8510
Gee, Carol. That must have been quite a blast to have done that much damage. Glad that you were not hurt and that your house is okay. I only have to deal with wandering deer in our neighborhood although I haven’t seen them since the “at-home” started 3 months ago. Maybe they are staying put also.
Stafford, VAJuly 3, 2020 at 10:31 am #8515
David, yes, lucky this storm did no damage to our actual home, although we have not gotten on the roof to check that yet.
By the way, tell your deer to tell our deer (of course via electronics) that they need to stay out of our yard. They have actually ventured now into our actual front yard and eaten some of my flowers there, as well as along the garden in the back area! Pretty, yes, but mostly a big pest.July 3, 2020 at 10:57 am #8518
Carol I’m in north central Ohio. The last 2 TRES babies, and last 2 BB babies did fledge this morning, so all my boxes are now empty. I went around and cleaned, added a light coat of Vaseline to the inside roofs, and put the new guards on the two boxes that fledged. I’m hoping the blues will start another nesting. I had 4 pairs of blues, and 5 TRES nests this year. Very low number on the TRES this season, very unusual. Typically, I have 4-5 blues, and about 8 TRES. It will be interesting to see if the bluebirds choose the boxes that I’ve added the guard on to re nest in, or if they change boxes and go for the ones I can’t refit with the guard.
I also had a barnswallow nest on the front porch. They nested there for the first time last season and successfully raised 4 babies. It was awesome to get a front row seat watching them from in the house. Unfortunately, after their 4 eggs hatched this year they fell victim to the murderous blue jay. It was one of the heartache moments for sure. I actually saw the jay at the nest, but it was too late. I’ve been racking my brain on trying to figure a way to protect that nest, but I just can’t see a way, not against avian predation anyway.
July 3, 2020 at 4:23 pm #8522
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Jamie.
Another new thing learned about Bluejays – never heard they would raid nests like that. You for sure keep busy with all those boxes – good luck.July 3, 2020 at 10:07 pm #8527JulieParticipant
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David, that first photo of the finch looking at the hummer is so funny! Love that. You have a lot of colorful birds to enjoy. I have only seen one hummer so far this year. THANK YOU for sharing non-blues pics!! Definitely glad you did.
Carol, I am so thankful your home was not hit! That tree damage sounds nutty. We have a maple that was struck by lightning before we moved here, and the last few years we noticed a large section of the tree center dying. I searched high and low and finally found a certified arborist who came. She trimmed, evaluated, and told us the strike led to weakness and disease development. She’s done some vitamin injections into the soil for roots to absorb, and the tree is really rebounding. I share that to say you should watch for subsequent damage to surface in that tree. If the roots were struck, that can affect the tree’s ability to take up water. They usually say to be sure to water trees that are struck with lightning to help them thru the first year. Most certified arborists give free estimates. I don’t want your tree to be unsafe and hurt your home–that’s why I’m sharing this.
Jamie, wow!!!! You have so many nesting birds! I’d need a spreadsheet to track all of that. I once lived tucked into woods, and we had carolina wrens in boxes. I watched a blue jay land on the box, cling to the opening, stick its head inside the box, and emerge with a baby in its beak!! Which it proceeded to drop as it flew away. That’s when I discovered nest guards! Blue jays are robbers.July 4, 2020 at 2:11 pm #8532
Julie, well I had never heard this about Blue Jays – like I mentioned to Jamie, another thing to learn, even at my “advanced” age. Thank you very much for the info about your tree which got hit by lightning. This oak tree is 45 years old, as it was started from a small limb which a friend gave to us right after the house was built. It is not in the best shape any way, but I would be really be upset if it completely died, as it is our biggest shade tree in the back yard, on the west side on the house. We’ll just have to watch it, again Thank you.July 4, 2020 at 3:19 pm #8533
I get as attached to trees as I do to the birds. I hope your oak survives the lightning strike.
Julie, do you use the wood guards that extend the hole out an inch (or so), or some other type of guard? My husband did say he saw a male bluebird go into a box with they new guard installed, so that makes me feel better. I’m hoping they accept the change to the boxes okay.July 4, 2020 at 4:40 pm #8537
Carol -We have a lady at church that used to have a bluebird nest box for several years but she said the Blue jays were terrible. She lost one batch of 5 fledglings to a female jay that sat on the nestbox as they fledged and grabbed them by the neck as the peered out to take flight and nipped off their heads. I don’t know why she didn’t do something after maybe the second but she said she found all 5 beneath the box. She took down the box and hasn’t tried again.
Stafford, VAJuly 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm #8539
Oh, David, that is horrible! Never in a million years would I have dreamed a Blue Jay would do this So, they are a definite threat even if they cannot get in the hole.July 4, 2020 at 7:03 pm #8540
Yes, they are a threat, to the point where I used to shoot near them with my pellet gun to keep them away from the blues. Never hit one but got close enough to get them off the fence or out of the nearby trees. I even had to target the top of my old nest box for one that was trying to look over the roof into the entry hole. That is as close as I saw them come to the birds. I ended up getting rid of that box because the roof edge was too close to the entry. I mentioned before that I took down my seed feeders because of squirrels and HOSP. Blue jay’s were also a nuisance but I had a feeder that had a spring loaded perch that I set to close when larger bird tried to get to the seeds. Worked pretty well but it still attracted the HOSP, so it came down.
Stafford, VAJuly 5, 2020 at 11:12 am #8543
She lost one batch of 5 fledglings to a female jay that sat on the nestbox as they fledged and grabbed them by the neck as the peered out to take flight and nipped off their heads.
Holy cow! and here I thought if the babies would get to a certain size they would be safe from them. It sounds like that jay was just killing them for no reason, wow.
I have lots of feeders, and lots of trees. My closest to the feeders/mature maple tree is maybe 6 feet. It is a very successful box, sometimes gets blues sometimes TRES. It was paired with another box that I moved to a more open area this season. The mulberry tree had grown over the years and seemed to crowding in on that box a little to much.
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