2019 Jan to Mar - Animal, Birds & Insects


That was great! And the couple naming their second dog “Buck” was a fitting end. :smiley:

Edit: Today there were many woodpeckers that visited us. The first was a pileated woodpecker who began hammering away at a dead limb on a tree across the street. After keeping busy for about 5 minutes it called out several times (got a reply from over the hill) and flew off. Then a couple of red-headed woodpeckers - one in my yard and the other behind the carriage house - started hammering away… proclaiming their nesting territories? These were followed by several hairy and downy woodpeckers who seemed more intent on taking turns at the suet cakes and searching for insects in the pine tree in the front yard and the maples and butternut trees along the driveway by the gully. A couple of ravens parked themselves in the tallest Norway maple along the driveway for quite some time before flying off and being replaced by a flock of mourning doves. Several cardinals, titmice and a flock of juncos all arrived to feed at the same time, closely followed by some black-capped chickadees and our frequent visitors, the bluejays. Once the brunch crowd left, chipping sparrows and a few starlings and red-wing blackbirds came to polish off the seed that was left. (I had to put out more seed before my wife and I left to babysit this afternoon.) Haven’t seen any deer tonight (it’s 3:30 AM), but haven’t really been watching for them tonight.
When I get up in the morning I suppose I’ll have to drag the snow out from under the pine tree to put out more bird seed. These little guys make a lot of work for me… and I thought my wife was bad with her “honey do” list! :laughing:


On of the birds I’ve apparently been neglecting to mention are the sea gulls and terns at the river. Since they’re there all the time I guess I just don’t think about them. Today they’ve been flying up and down the river calling out. Not sure if they’re trying to give the Canada geese competition with the geese’s honking. It’s starting to get pretty noisy down there. :grinning:


We still just have sparrows, blue jays, and the usual winter birds. In this nice weather they will be out in force singing in the morning! Some canada geese wintered down by the open part of the river (by the power plant). The V’s of snow geese will start mid April…depending on the weather.


Several times today Donna commandeered my laptop - so she could see April the giraffe on a larger screen than her iPad. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Her secondary excuse was that having it live stream all day was knocking her battery down… even though it’s plugged in to her charger. :thinking: I’m beginning to think that she lets it discharge too low before plugging it in. Many times I hear her say, “It’s down to 13%,” or “It’s down to 10% (or less).” May be time for a new battery for her iPad. :roll_eyes: I keep on telling her not to let it get down below 40% - according to the guy who invented/developed the lithium-ion battery. His advice was to recharge it between 40% and 80% and it will last for many years. (Donna’s iPad is actually less than a year old.)


Sounds like a new battery. I recently had to replace mine on my Mac (under warranty) because it would not charge past a certain point no matter how long I had it plugged in. I tried a new cord and still it didn’t do anything.


Always find it a bit humourous when people get ‘stung’ and claim it was a bite… usually from the other end of the critter…

However the pain and shock are quite real and not at all funny.


Not where you would expect to find one…but easily transferred onto the plane on clothing…tells us how often planes are actually checked before the next flight.


For those not familiar, Bowen Island is located off of West Vancouver, a ferry ride off the highway to Whistler/Blackcomb ski area:


Some beautiful shots on here…



My wife just told me she received a news alert from one of our local TV stations - a seal was spotted on an ice chunk floating on the Hudson River just south of Albany, NY! (That’s north of us.) I guess it hitched a ride as the tide started rising and took a joy ride. I wonder if it will ride the ice back down. :laughing: Currently the river is pretty much ice free - has been for two days or more. I’m going to miss the bang, crunch and scraping sounds of the ships and barges busting through the ice on their way to the ports of Coeymans, Albany and Rensselear. :slightly_frowning_face:




I guess for my yard the sign would have to read: “Eat Here, Get Water & Worms & Peanuts & Seed (Wide Variety!)”
Why would someone want to go somewhere to eat, get gas and worms? Having gas after you eat is bad enough, but to get worms as well? No thank you! I can do without parasites! :rofl:


That’s just reminded me; last week we had loads of worms out on the drive and all the road/pavement up the street? Why is that? We thought we’d see flocks of birds having a worm fest on all those worms but no :confused:


The ground is probably saturated with all that rain you get. The worms came up to get a breath of fresh air, welcome spring. Mostly likely those were “college-age worms” and they were on “spring break” - party time! :laughing: Seriously though, when the ground is saturated, the worms will surface to dry excessive moisture off them - they breath through their skin. By the act of surfacing they also open their tunnels allowing the water to soak in and sink faster. I’m with you being at a loss as to why the birds - especially those that eat worms all summer - are feasting on the worms. The same happens here also. Very few are picked up and eaten… usually they get squashed under vehicle tires, or worse yet… stepped on! :grimacing: Maybe they don’t taste good yet and have to “age” to bring out their great flavor (for the birds). :grin:

Weird that I didn’t have any deer show up last night. Maybe they were on spring break last night - “party in the pines”?

Edit: I just remembered that for the past couple of days we’ve seen a few bees out and about. I’ll have to set a little raw honey for them to help them get through until the flowers start coming out in force. Very few at this time of the year. I don’t remember seeing the crocuses poking up through the snow in the 3-tier, crescent-shaped flower bed (when there was still snow on the back hill). Probably had too many leaves that didn’t fall until the day before the first heavy snow. I dislike very much when they hang onto their trees like that. (I’m trying to get away from using the word “hate” whenever possible… such a strong word. But on the other hand, yes I do hate it when that happens. :laughing:)


Worms can drown if they stay underground after rains. They’re bloated and need to ‘dry out’, the old drunks! I doubt birds like watery soupy worms.


That’ll be like eating overcooked pasta… soft and mushy. Euwe! Unless… the birds like watermelon or mushy, juicy grapes. Either that or the birds really look forward to the tug-o-war while trying to pull the worms out of the ground.


Ever consider the worms are already dying? Ants will carry away and eat the remains, but not birds.


As a kid I used to pick up some of the worms to use for fishing. The others I’d pick up and bring over to the lawn and watch them burrow their way back into the ground. Unless they were under water - or in super saturated earth, then they will drown… actually suffocate. They do breath through their skin.

While doing yard work today, we were visited twice by a flock of about 60 blackbirds - grackles, with their iridescent green and purple feathers (love it when the sun is shining on them :smiley:; red-wing black birds (red or yellow stripes); smaller black birds (not sure what sub-species); cowbirds (a few) and then a flock of starlings joined them. They all but forced the mourning doves and other small birds away. But there were a several mourning doves (males?) that held their ground (and seed) and refused to be bullied away. Once the blackbirds left I put out more seed and soon the yard was teaming with cardinals, juncos, titmice, chickadees and chipping sparrows. A couple of wrens showed up before we left to have birthday cake and ice cream (:yum:) for my granddaughter’s 7th birthday. And what does she want to show me on her iPad afterward? A YouTube video of a large snake killing and eating a smaller snake! :rofl: She was so into watching that, that I just sat there smiling and staring at her face. When the video ended, she jumped up and told me let’s go back into the kitchen… in a way that said, “That’s it… it’s over… let’s go.” :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Edit: 10:10 PM: My wife just informed me that the Albany Rowing Team (kayak) spotted that seal today - still swimming around in the Hudson River just south of Albany (NY). I wonder how long it’s going to hang around here before making the 130 mile/209 km trek back down to the harbor in New York City.


Happy birthday!



Ooh, ooh! Snow! :rofl:
I’ll have to snow this to the girls. I think all three will like this very much. Thank you.