Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today's Spring Bird List

I've spent quite a bit of time at home this past week and I have to say this place is hopping, bird wise that is. Early in the week I discovered a fledgling Lesser Goldfinch on the ground under some bushes. I decided to intervene and managed to capture him/her in my hand. At the same time I realized there was another one in the bush flapping and trying to learn to fly. I decided to place the bird in the hand in the bush and watch to see if the parents were anywhere to be found. First mom showed up and fed them both and then disappeared. After a very long wait the male showed up and fed them and then he took off and I didn't see either of them again for hours. I had to go out for a few hours and decided I would check them on my return. When I arrived home they were no where to be found and I was left to wonder if something bad had happened or if they had flown away with mom. Two days later I was getting the mail and there they were in the mesquite bush next to the mailboxes apparently in fine health.

Fledgling Costa's Hummingbirds

I have also noticed an increase in the number of hummingbirds in and around the yard engaged in what can only be described as an intense territorial battle. Before moving on I would like to explain that I provide one hummingbird feeder that I put fresh food in every three or four days and I also provide fresh water via a bird bath on the ground. There are no other feeders. I also do not use weed killers or insect poisons in my yard and I do the weeding that needs to be done by hand using a hoola hoe.
Although an exact count is hard to do I believe there are at this point eight or more hummers in my yard daily. Today Nan discovered the two fledglings in a Texas Ranger next to the driveway.
For reasons that I can't fully explain hummingbirds don't seem to mind my presence and I have had individuals land on my hat and try to pull hair from my head for nesting. I have had them land on the feeder while it was actually in my hand or when I am standing right next to it.
Today as I was watching these two young birds I walked out to see what they were up to and a male had one of the fledglings pinned to the ground on it's back kicking it's feet to protect it self. I know that the animal world can be cruel but I have to admit I intervened and drove the male away with an assist from the mother who took up the chase. She has spent most of the day feeding her young and chasing away intruders. Both of these young have learned to fly but still seem to need or want the assistance of their mom.
Today in the yard I have seen the following birds: Cactus Wren, Northern Cardinal, Curved-billed Thrasher, House Sparrow, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, Hooded Oriole (male and female) Costas Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Possible Rufous Hummingbird, Pyrraloxia, White -winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Gila Woodpecker, Turkey Vulture, Eurasian Collared Dove and Gambels Quail.

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