Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Yard birds and bathing

Paul and I spent this past weekend working in the backyard. I had brought home a new fountain from the Mesa Costco and we got that up and running. Well, Paul got that up and running all I did was say where I thought it should go! He had to till up the whole area first as I want to get my native plants in there and wanted it tilled before he put the fountain in. I didn't want to have to work around it. His poor arms are still hurting from it. Thanks Paul!! This will take the place of the pond at least for a couple of years I think. It just seemed like more work than we wanted to do right now. At least we have another running water source in the backyard so that should draw more birds in. As of this morning I have not noticed any birds on it yet but I'm sure they will find it soon. The fountain is straight, I just noticed that my picture is slanted. I meant to crop it but forgot. Oh well, just know that Paul was very careful in getting it level!
We had a several year firsts this weekend also. We got our first American Robin and our first Hooded Orioles. The Robin was eating the ivy berries (more of those later) right over where the fountain was going in. I didn't get a picture of her though. I didn't have the camera out so.....
I haven't got a picture of the Orioles yet either. I just finished sitting in the middle bedroom waiting for one to come back down to the feeder outside the window but he wouldn't come while I was waiting. He had been their twice before I got the camera and I could see him sitting up at the top of Pat's tree in front but he didn't come back down. I will never be a good nature photographer. I have no patience to sit and wait!!! I have only seen the males so far as they come in a couple of weeks earlier than the females do. They stake out their territories first.

Another bird we had in GREAT number this weekend was the European Starling. We have a great crop of the Ivy berries this year and they love those. I know most people dislike these birds as they do go in large flocks and eat everyone out of house and home but it is hard to dislike something that looks so neat and can't sing any better than I do!! Okay, they do sing some better than me but they don't have a beautiful song like some of the song birds do.
They were in flocks of 30 - 40 and they would land in the ivy between Patty's and our house and just have a grand time with the berries. (The Mockingbirds like the berries also.) Then they would all take off together and fly around for awhile and then end up back in the ivy.


The best thing for the weekend was a new yard bird as well as a new life bird!! We now have Rufous Hummingbirds in the yard. This is the first year that I have ever seen them here. They look a lot like Allen's but their backs are all the rufous or orange/rust color. I am sooooo excited!! There are at least two in the yard as I saw two on one feeder this morning. When Jim was over this afternoon he saw one on the feeder by the kitchen window. I am going to have to update my yard list to see how many different birds I have had over the years.

It is crazy the number of hummers we have this early in the season. We have at least thirty in the yard now. We have lots of Anna's, lots of Allen's (the most we have ever had) the Rufous and this weekend I saw our first Black-chinned of the year.

It seemed like this weekend was bath day for everyone. Everytime I looked at the fountain in the front there was someone taking a bath!! This black-chinned really got into the fountain more than most of the birds do. Most of them use the top to bath but he really flew right into the bottom to get wet.

Then the Goldfinches got into it for awhile. JayJay was taking one in the small birdbath in the front in the morning. It is funny some birds like one bird bath and others like another. The jays like the one in the front and the crows like one of the ones in the back. Some like the small fountain by my bedroom door but most everyone likes the large fountain in front.
This little Allen's just sat on the edge of the fountain and waited for the water to shower over him. He wasn't getting a lot of water but he was making the most of what he did get.

I have never seen any bird get as much pleasure from a bath as this little hummer did. She was sitting there taking a bath for a least 3 - 4 minutes! Now that might not seem like much for a preteen or teenager but it is a long time for a bird! As you can see from the set of pictures she really sat right down into the fountain. She would splash around for awhile then she would lay her head right down on the fountain and rub it around. I have never seen anyone doing that before. It was great fun watching her!

Well, all in all a great weekend!!

1 comment:

blkwolfnaz said...

I can't believe that she was laying down on the fountain. I love that picuture! I can't wait to see what new birds we can find in UT!