2019 April 1st to June 30th - Animals, Birds & Insects

So far this season, the only baby birds we’ve seen were starlings (first) and then grackles (this evening). All the other must be nest bound… or their parents have warned them about all the savory characters at Jim’s Fly-thru Buffet. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Shortly after midnight last night I watched a red fox trot down the street (after leaving my driveway). It went diagonally down the hill from one sidewalk to the other, zig-zagging all the way down to the river. Then the Canada geese all started honking away. Some flew off over the river making a wide circle before returning. Some geese remained and honked non-stop until the fox left. Aside from the fox and someone’s pet cat heading home, nothing stirred before I retired for the night (1:45 AM). I guess it’s going to be a little while longer before the doe bring their fawns down here.

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Saw this fascinating little clip of the ‘Tailor bird’ on FB, but I’ve copied it from youtube so hope there’s no issues with it :wink:

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Amazing ! Hard to believe there were four of them stuffed in there!

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A mountain lion (cougar) was spotted in the Town of Halfmoon… in the next county north of here.

My wife mowed the lawn this morning… and sucked up a lot of seed… so I have to go out and put out more seed for the birds, chipmunks and squirrels. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: “Our” chipmunk has 3 little ones that have been venturing out for almost a week now. Two of the like to follow mama to beneath the pine tree so see what she does all day long. The third seems to hang around the den entrance in the driveway, periodically taking short ventures down into the gully. Watch out for feral cats lurking down there! At least the birds and especially the gray squirrels sound the alarm whenever a cat is around - and everyone takes to the trees.

The hummingbirds have been here, but not as often as they used to. I do mix the nectar strong so they don’t have to make multiple trips to get the same energy from each stop. Besides, now there are plenty of bugs for them to eat as well.

We haven’t seen that female orchard oriole since the third day she was visiting the hummingbird feeder. We’ve wondered where she’s gone off to. Pretty bird.

Still the only birds that seems to have their little ones following them around all day are the starlings. The other birds’ little ones are still nest-bound? I got to thinking before they all start showing up with their broods, I better start buying seed in 40-lb/18 kg sacks instead of 20-lb/9 kg sacks. We seem to run out of peanuts sooner than we had been.

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I haven’t seen one this year yet. They are.here but many say not as plentiful as other years.

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I wandered down to the bottom of the garden at mid day yesterday to check how my hydrangeas are doing, and it was a lovely sunny afternoon. The two hydrangea are only 2 years old so we didn’t get much flowering off them last year but this year they’re showing great promise. As I was moving branches check for any more new growth as bumble bee or three flew under my outstretched arms; 2 to the left and one to the right. So I looked to my left to see where the one went and noticed the flowers of my blue geranium were covered in bees, so I looked to my right ( where I have a lot more along a fence) and they were all swarmed by bees too, several breeds . . . and I seemed to standing right in their flight path between the two beds :flushed: One of them managed to smack me on the shoulder in passing as though to nudge me out of the way :laughing:

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It’s a good thing they’re small or they’d pick you up and move you out of their way. :smiley:
One of “our” gray squirrels was playing with two of its siblings this morning, running back and forth across the street and up and down the trees. One got run over by a dump truck, managed to crawl over to the front walk and died. Our neighbor from across the street came over an picked it up. Donna and I never even saw it get hit through the privet hedges. The other two squirrel spent a good five minutes carrying on (chattering) before going about their business. Now we’re down to about 20 squirrels or so.

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Last night my wife casually mentioned that she saw where 3 deer had bedded down for the night up by the carriage house. And she also mentioned that at 5:30 PM a big deer walked down the driveway from behind the carriage house, cut across the lawn between the porch and the pine tree, looked at her, stopped and ate a little, then continued across the front lawn, walked across the dead end street and up into our neighbor’s back yard. After a few minutes it walked up the town right-of-way where they installed new storm water and sanitary sewer lines a few years ago. Now its their “private road” for getting from our son’s house to ours in short order. After I got out of the shower before heading up to the school to see our granddaughter (1st grade) in her school concert (chorus), my wife told me I just missed the deer again. Did the same this as the other day. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: After a long absence, now they’re showing up at dinnertime (our dinnertime) and after I drag myself off to bed. :unamused:

The first hummingbird showed up at 5:21 AM this morning. At least he doesn’t sit in the lilac tree - in the rain - and guard it all day like he did when they first arrived. :laughing:

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I think there is more yelling going on than dive bombing…

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Late this morning and continuing right up the this moment (12 noon) a pileated woodpecker has been flying around from tree to tree calling quite frequently. It just now seems to be moving a little to my south - toward the woods by the mouth of the Hannacroix Creek, but is still fairly loud. Plenty of mourning doves, brown-headed cow birds, red-wing blackbirds, cardinals and chipping sparrows. A lesser number of song sparrows, robins, bluejays (usually there’s a couple dozen of them), starlings, tufted titmice and slate-colored juncos. Of course the hummingbirds have been here all morning. Haven’t seen any hairy or downy woodpeckers today. I could hear, but not see, a red-headed woodpecker in the trees along the driveway. He’s probably waiting for me to set out another suet cake. The one I put out last night is gone already. Usually it only takes about 1-1/2 hours for it to disappear. I haven’t heard any owls at night in quite some time.

Edit: 11:25 PM: After arriving home from babysitting tonight, I was down in my workshop for a little over an hour. When I came out I realized the motion light was on. When I mentioned it to my wife she told me as she was sitting on the porch a deer walked down the driveway from behind the carriage house, cut across the front yard, went out through the front walk and crossed the street. She said it walked through as though “it owned the place.” This is the 3rd night in a row, but the first two nights it came through between 5:25 PM and 5:35 PM.

The last hummingbird of the day stopped by at around 8:30 PM. It was getting dark as the skies had clouded up since 3 PM.

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I wonder if he was stunned from hitting a window or something just before he landed there. Seems strange he would stay on the car and not fly away.
This has never happened to me when I was out with my camera!

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It was probably stunned. I watched a Cooper’s hawk that was inside of an old abandoned warehouse fly into the edge of a window - blinded by the sun’s reflection I assume - and fell. It didn’t move for quite some time and was injured. We ended up bringing it home, called the NY State Environmental Conservation Dept. and told them. We were told they had no one to come and get the bird at the moment. We ended up keeping it for 3 days, feeding it raw meat. An expensive house guest it was. By the end of the 3rd day it was flapping its wings and the morning of the 4th day we released it outside in a park. It circled around twice and headed off toward the river. (It had injured its left wing. Maybe that’s why it flew in circles? :rofl:) That was back in the mid-1970s.

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Ah oh… it’s 4:24 AM ET and the first robins are chirping away. Time for me to get some sleep.
Last night at 10 PM as my wife and I were sitting on the porch, we watched a buck walk off the dead end street at the intersection and walk across our street and into the woodlot across from our house. This same buck has been making nightly walks. He always keeps his head down low and if he should have to rush across the street he keeps his tail pressed against himself - unlike a doe who will “raise her flag” when she hurries or runs.

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A submissive buck??

mew

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No, a buck keeps his tail against his rear so the white underside doesn’t show and gives himself away as he runs. I think the doe raise their tails as if to say, “Over here! Over here!” Once the bucks get their antlers, they usually walk with their tilted upward a little so their antlers are lower and closer to the backs of their necks. If they’re trying to sneak away, they keep their necks down while looking upwards with their heads. This also keeps their antlers closer to their bodies - and harder to see.

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Like I said, a submissive buck. Tuck and trot. LOL

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When I was out on my porch 25 minutes ago, as soon as I sat down I kept on hearing some faint noises that sounded like they were directly below me. Almost a minute goes by and I realize my stomach is growling. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Okay… then the motion light at the bottom of the porch steps dims. I hadn’t realized it was on bright when I came out. A minute later I hear a sound by the other set of steps leading to the walkway to the street. Looking over I see a raccoon walking up the walk to the hedges. It turned and walked along the inside of the hedges, around the pine tree and started heading back toward the big set of porch steps. As soon as I asked, “And where do you think you’re going?”, it turned and hurriedly walked across the side yard, across the driveway and stopped at the end of the gully and looked back. I just got up and quietly went back inside. No deer tonight, no fox, no opossum, no fishers, no coyotes and no black bear. Not even a feral cat! What a boring night.

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Maybe Donna moved their lawn, too? :snicker: :sneezing_face:

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I can see this is going to be like counting penguins. :neutral_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

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Ok, I’ll take go easy on you for a change Jim; I take it Donna was going to Mow the lawn. Although, if she’s that good, I’ve got a section of lawn that needs moving prior to my men laying the patio flags :wink: :grin:

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