Monday, March 30, 2015

Calliope Village

It's been a little while since my last post. I was sick so I decided to take a little time off from everything to recuperate. I also figured we all needed a little break from my bird feeder posts so I decided to visit a little place called Calliope Village. I've been meaning to get some pictures of this place for awhile, so here they are. There are lots of them.

Calliope Village is an old time village from 1860. It's not too far from where I live. It's now an outdoor museum. I did a post about Winnetoon, a very similar place, back in December. The guy who owns the old village in Winnetoon was even nice enough to stop by that post and leave a comment.

I don't really have much to say about Calliope village. I don't really know much. I'll have to ask somebody sometime, but I'm not sure who. I noticed it one time on a trip into that small town. It's a bigger town than mine. They have a grocery store, but only one restaurant. Mine has neither.

Notice all of the orbs of light in the picture above and some of the rest. Ooh, spooky ghost orbs! I'm not sure why they appeared in so many of these pictures. It was obviously the sunlight, but they were in some but not others pointing in the same direction. Maybe I'll have to clean my camera lens.

Or who knows? Maybe they could be ghosts from the past if you want to think of them that way. If you want to read something amusing (at least I think so), do a search for orbs here on my blog. I did a whole series of posts about them a few years ago. I had a fun little trick at the end of the series.

I'm still getting back into posting from my layoff, and in times like this I always have trouble writing, so I'm just going to end things here. I hope these many pictures have been kind of interesting. I thought they were. I'll talk to you later.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

More Pictures Of The Woodpecker

You'd think I would have some bird seed in the feeder by now, but these pictures are still from the first day. It was a day before the rest of the seed came by UPS. It's just that the Downy Woodpecker was enjoying the feeder so much that I wanted to share these pictures of her with you.

Above you can see a little chunk of the suet in her mouth. She really was tearing this stuff off by the chunks. She ate so much that I couldn't understand where she was putting it all. And she was so mesmerized with the feeder that I felt a duty to help her watch out for predators while she was there.

And there were indeed predators. A neighborhood cat smartly figured out that the birds had been gathering near my back porch. They are also gathering in a pile of branches nearby that I need to eventually burn. The cat came prowling around looking for the Juncos. It knew exactly where to look.

I love cats, but I had to chase this one away to keep the birds safe. Besides, the poor cat wouldn't be very safe itself hanging around here if my dog happened to be out there with the cat hanging around. My dog hates cats with a passion. I don't know why. I've had other dogs that have had no problem with them. Without the cat out there all the animals are safe, including the cat. It really was a nice looking cat. I should have taken a picture.

After looking at all of these pictures you may have noticed a chunk taken out of the right side of the suet near the bird. No, the Woodpecker didn't do that. When I was putting everything together I had the feeder sitting on the floor in my livingroom.

The dog was watching me do everything with great interest, as always. I looked over at something else for a few seconds, and when I looked back the dog was eating the suet. I don't think she wants to be a bird. I just think this stuff must be particularly delicious. She otherwise never gets into anything she's not supposed to.

I hope you found these pictures at least mildly interesting. So far the only bird using the feeder is the Woodpecker. It doesn't help that when I finally did get some bird seed I dropped some on the porch. The Juncos love it down there, and even the Cardinals are leery of the feeder so far. I think that'll eventually change. I'll talk to you later.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My New Bird Feeder

It didn't take long for me to decide what to do about the bell feeder. I needed something that could stand up to an attack from a bigger bird, so I got a bigger, more solid feeder. I still don't know much about this stuff, but this feeder seemed about as good as anything else I saw on Amazon, so I bought this feeder and plenty of bird seed to go along with it.

The feeder and the suet on the sides only took a day and a half to get here. The bird seed that goes inside will get here tomorrow. I velcroed the feeder to the porch railing because that's the only place I can put it right now. The velcro should keep it secure. I'll have to wait until it gets warmer to hang the feeder to a pole.

The really interesting part of the new feeder story involves this Downy Woodpecker. This little girl showed up to the bell feeder several times a day. Today when she came back she found the all new feeder waiting for her. So far the Juncos don't want anything to do with it for some reason. Maybe they want the other kind of seed that hasn't come yet.

This little woodpecker showed up and sat down like you see in the pictures and just stared up at the suet on the feeder for a good ten minutes. Its head would slowly go back and forth as it sat there staring. The little bird seemed to be in awe of what she was seeing.

It sat there for so long like that that I began to worry. Maybe its little feet had somehow gotten stuck under the edge of the feeder. I finally couldn't take it anymore and I went to the door and opened it. After ignoring me right up till the end, the little bird flew away. I was relieved to find out that it was just fine.

This little Woodpecker happily returns to the feeder constantly to tear chunks out of those suet blocks. The other birds still avoid the feeder. I'm sure that last part will change. I'm glad I made the Woodpecker happy though. I think I've made a permanent friend of this little bird. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, March 9, 2015

An Attack On The Feeder

 It was an attack on the feeder! I went out and found the feeder on the floor of the porch one morning. I didn't know what did it. It had a chunk out of it from the fall but it was still in one piece so I put it back up there on the end of the railing. Then after I went back in, it happened!

As I sat there watching out the back door a bigger bird swooped down in a blur and attacked the feeder! It knocked the feeder back off the railing and onto the floor of the porch. The feeder was broken in two this time. The bird had succeeded in its intended destruction.

Just so I stay honest with you, the picture above is not that big mean bird. I didn't get lucky enough to get pictures of that one. This picture is just a cool picture I got of the Downy Woodpecker that still liked my feeder despite it being broken in half.

Here's that Woodpecker still trying to enjoy the feeder even though it's broken in half. The problem is that now the feeder doesn't sit too well on the railing in the shape it's in. It's going to fall off of there. I'm going to have to make a choice on what to do next. I don't have a spare bell feeder right now.

The easy choice is to go back to the store and get a couple more of these bell feeders. The problem with that is I have an aggressive bigger bird out there that attacked this feeder. What if it keeps doing that? I don't want to keep replacing these bell feeders constantly.

Maybe I should go ahead and get a better feeder. The only problem is that I don't have a place to hang it. I plan on putting up a pole to hang a feeder from when it's warmer and the ground is soft enough to plant one. But I can't do it yet. I'll have to think of something else. So tune in next bird time on the same bird channel to see what I figure out.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Junco And The Woopecker

I've been telling you how the Juncos here have been jealously guarding my little bird feeder. My pictures today show that better than anything else I can show you. You'll want to view the pictures in order to get the right effect.

Every time the Downy Woodpecker shows up to the feeder a gang of about three Juncos comes over to try to keep the feeder for themselves. The problem is that they just can't seem to intimidate the bigger birds, so they're usually the ones that end up leaving first.

In this first picture above you can see one of the Juncos creeping up at the edge of the picture. He's moving up slowly like a little stalker. The Woodpecker seems to be happily minding her own business on the other side of the feeder.

 Here in the second picture he's just a little bit closer. The Woodpecker is still pecking away at the feeder.

In the third picture the Junco is even closer. It moves up little by little, stopping and looking for danger every second. The Woodpecker doesn't really care as long as the Junco doesn't bother her.

Then finally the Junco gets to the feeder. It greedily grabs as many seeds as it can for itself. The Woodpecker still ignores it because it wisely stays on the other side of the feeder this time. The other birds don't usually mind the Juncos sharing the feeder, but they do get angry when the Juncos get too close.

So far I've seen this Woodpecker and both Cardinals chase these Juncos away because they tried to threaten the bigger birds. These little Juncos really push it sometimes. They're lucky that the bigger birds are usually pretty tolerant.

I'll have to keep watching and maybe try to get a video of one of the bigger birds chasing a Junco away. I'm not sure if I'll get it because the Juncos will be moving north before too long. I'll keep watching though because they're pushy little guys. I'll talk to you later.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

White-Breasted Nuthatch

I'm trying to move on with the birds at the feeder quickly. I need to post other little adventures as well, as I go on. The bird I'm featuring today is a White-Breasted Nuthatch. I'm not quite sure if this is a male or female. He appears to be a male since the male's head feathers are black while the female's are usually very dark gray.

I love these Nuthatches because they like to cling to the side of trees. You'll often find them walking along a tree upside down. They routinely are walking down the side of trees. They seem to like pointing down while they eat or while doing pretty much anything else too.

 One of these future posts I'll have to show you some of the other pictures I took of this bird. These today were the best so I'm showing them to you first. The others were in a shadow so I had to fix them up. But the others show off the Nuthatch's behavior quite a bit better than these do.

This little Nuthatch showed up for just a couple of days, and I haven't seen him since. It's been well over a week without another sighting. I hope he decides to come back. I've seen other Nuthatches around here so I'm guessing I'll get more visits from this kind of bird sometime in the future.

I've been wondering how busy my feeder will be when the weather gets warm. Right now I get several birds several times a day. They usually come to the feeder more in bad weather. Maybe when there's more food elsewhere they won't have a use for my feeder. I hope they still like to come. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Downy Woodpecker

 The next bird that has come to my little bell feeder is this female Downy Woodpecker. She showed up a few days after the Cardinals began visiting, and now she comes every day. The Juncos usually arrive right after she shows up. They're still guarding the feeder closely.

How do I know she's a female Woodpecker? It's a similar thing to the Cardinals. It's the color. the male is a bit more colorful than the female bird. Right on the back of the head a male Downy Woodpecker has a bright red spot. This female here doesn't have that.

Woodpeckers are some of my favorite birds, although I have to admit I have several favorites. Ever since I was a kid watching Woody Woodpecker on TV I wanted to see a real Woodpecker. A Downy Woodpecker was the first kind of Woodpecker I ever saw. There have been a few others since then.

I have to say I took these pictures some time ago now. The problem is that I'm seeing so many birds at the feeder that it's hard to keep up. I can only post so many things at a time. I like to stick to one subject per post, and I take so many pictures of each bird that I want to show some of the best.

I also have to explain the story of the bell feeders. I may have done that already but I'll do it again. In this post I'm on my second feeder. Squirrels carried the other away and chewed at it, but I retrieved it soon after. The birds ate it down some more. But then the dog knocked it down under the porch so I couldn't get it. Now I'm on my second one.

This second feeder has an even more interesting story to tell in future posts. I'll try to get to them as fast as I can, but I can only go so fast. I've been posting more than I have in a few years now. It's been kind of fun trying to keep going and keep up this rate. It takes me back to when I had a new post every day. This is the most I can do for now though. I'll talk to you later, probably with more birds.