Monday, June 27, 2011

Empty nest syndrome

Our little tree swallows have left home. For the past little while, the parents were dive bombing anyone who set foot in the backyard, so we figured the little ones were ready to fledge. Yesterday, there was zero swallow activity, and the nesting box appears empty. So it was a successful year for them! (Last year, the house sparrows decided to take over the box and killed the three babies inside. I was completely traumatized.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Was almost decapitated by a young downy woodpecker this afternoon. He missed my head by a matter of inches, and only missed because I ducked - seems like the whole flying thing might be a little new to him, still.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More babies

Two new fledglings in the yard tonight - an itty bitty little baby sparrow that we think is a chipping sparrow (would make sense since we have so many of them around), and a young red-breasted grosbeak being fed by its daddy.

From the sounds of it, the tree swallows out back are going to be leaving the nesting box soon (and it looks like mom and dad are already working on their second brood of the year, based on their activities on the clothesline tonight). When we walked the puppy down the laneway/driveway tonight, I could hear the baby bluebirds peeping away in their box.

I need to play around with our feeder set-up so I can try to get some pictures of all these cute little babies before they get their adult feathers in.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Species #51

Yesterday we checked off #51 on our "Bird Species in the Yard" list - a cute little Eastern Wood Pee-wee. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Babies, babies, everywhere!

We live on a farm, so we don't have a whole lot of trees around the house. However, in the front yard, we have a large Maple and a big ole pine tree; we think the pine tree acts like some kind of birdie condo, with multiple nests at different levels. Right now, that tree is LOUD. We figure that, at the very least, we've got Grackles and House Sparrows, and possibly Starlings (yeah, I know, all pain-in-the-butt birds we could happily do without) all nesting in there.

And the babies have started to fledge.

Over the past few days, we've seen baby Starlings and Grackles following their parents around our yard, mouths wide open and demanding to be fed. We also have Robins nesting somewhere, but I'm not exactly sure where. Possibly in the barn. All I know is that our poor neighbour (we're in a semi-detached house) was traumatize when she ran a baby robin over with the lawnmower (I found the poor little body :( ).

I figure it's only a matter of time before the Eastern Bluebirds who are nesting in the box by our driveway start bringing their little ones around, and same for the Tree Swallows who have been play relay from the bird house in the backyard for the past several weeks. And the Barn Swallows will probably fledge soon, too, I would think.

I also hope that starting in July, we'll start seeing an increase in hummingbird activity. It's dropped off like crazy over the past week and a bit, which makes me very sad; we seem to have one male and one female left. I just hope the others come back. Last year, the mature males disappeared early in the summer, but the females would bring the young ones to our yard. It was like Grand Central Station for hummers during July and August, as the juveniles figured out their place in the world.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Eastern Kingbirds

We had a new bird in our yard today - two Eastern Kingbirds! We've seen them all around our place, but never actually in the yard. So that brings us up to a total of 50 different species that have been seen in our yard since January 2010. :)