Eat or Be Eaten

American Kestrel, male

I know everyone needs to eat but please don’t eat any of the sweet birdies I feed, Mr. Kestrel.

Orange-crowned Warbler

And this is what I feed “my” birds daily:

  1. Suet Cake (1)
  2. Orange (1~halved)
  3. Grape Jelly
  4. Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS)
  5. Thistle
  6. Sugar water for the hummingbirds (4 feeders)

The Orange-crowned Warbler (above) really only eats the jelly anymore.

Abert’s Towhee

The towhees eat everything but the thistle and hummingbird food.

Curve-billed Thrasher

Same for the thrashers and they seemed to be working on a nest the other day although I couldn’t locate it.

Anna’s Hummingbirds, males and female

Bugs and nectar for these guys.

Northern Mockingbird

Mockingbirds are bold, aggressive birds yet they seem shy around the food. They will eat everything but the thistle but I don’t see them come to the feeders very often at all. They watch and wait before they come in to have a bite.

White-crowned Sparrows, adults and immature

These guys eat nothing I put out but do like mulberries. It will be a couple months until we have mulberries, though, so we’ll see if they stick around. There seem to be 4 of them.

Gila Woodpeckers, female and male

These woodpeckers love the oranges but will also eat suet and BOSS. I don’t think I’ve seen them in the jelly yet. But the male is so loud when he arrives, announcing to everyone that he is here, and the female sneaks in without a chirp. Many people I know say they drink from their hummingbird feeders but I’ve never seen them do that in our yard.

Verdin

Pretty much oranges only for the Verdins now that the only hummingbird feeder I had that they could drink from broke.

Eurasian-collared Dove

These doves are hogs, especially in the BOSS feeder, knocking all the seed to the ground. When they leave in the summer, the White-winged Doves show up and they’re just as obnoxious. Oh, yes, we have pigeons, too; same for them, obnoxious.

House Sparrow, male

Everyone’s favorite invasive species eats everything I put out except the thistle. They’re raucous and plentiful but I don’t really mind them much. This guy was after peanuts which I put out once in awhile for a special treat.

House Finch, male

The finches eat everything, including thistle, but they’re so pretty, I enjoy them.

European Starling

I guess I’m lucky because some people complain that starlings, another invasive species, are feeder hogs. We have a few starlings but I’ve never seen any eat any of the food. I do enjoy the sounds they make; it sounds like a happy circus when they’re around.

Lesser Goldfinches, males and females

And these little cuties, so different from the House Finches, eat only thistle. I love that they like the swings. They sit on them while they wait for an opening on the thistle socks.

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The Festivities Begin…

thrasher-antlersCurve-billed Thrasher (being a Grinch)

santa-verdinVerdin

says-phoebe-ornamentSay’s Phoebe

Everywhere I go, the birds seem to be really getting into the holiday spirit this year…that’s a good thing.

Starlings in Cactus with ornament_edited-2European Starlings

Christmas Mocks psNorthern Mockingbirds

Lovebird with lightsRosy-faced Lovebird

Let It SnowCosta’s Hummingbird, female

DSC_8054_edited-2Verdin Nest

We, on the other hand, have yet to decorate our tree, although it’s up. Most presents are bought and sent, most Christmas cards are out…still a few things to do but it always gets done in the end.

Hope your holiday season is going well so far…

cardinal

September at the DBG

verdinVerdin

One morning last week I volunteered at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) and walked the garden afterwards. It was a gloomy day and a little cooler so I thought the birds would be out in full force. Wrong. I didn’t take one photo. Fortunately, I had been there the week before, though, and did get a few pictures…on another gloomy day.

verdin-2

And it was beginning to look autumnal…

queen-3

queen-4

queen-1

queen-2Queen Butterfly

These particular butterflies were all over the place. And so were the Lesser Goldfinches in all sorts of acrobatic positions:

lego

lego-usd

2-goldfinches

2-more-goldfinches

bee-sign

bee-hive

gila-wpGila Woodpecker

green-tailed-towheeGreen-tailed Towhee

hum-lantana-2

hum-lantana

hum-dbg-3

hum-dbgAnna’s Hummingbirds, female and male

gallCreosote Gall (with midges inside!)

starling-silhouetteEuropean Starlings

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Where Birds Go By…

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DSC_1210

Northern Mockingbird

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Great-Tailed Grackle, female

DSC_1191

Sparrow 4.17.15

House Sparrow, male

Verdin 4.17.15

Verdin

Grackle

Great-Tailed Grackle, male

Starling

European Starling

Orchid Tree

DSC_1239

Finch 1_edited-1

House Finch, male

Lovebird 2

Rosy-Faced Lovebird

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DSC_1386_edited-1

Curve-Billed Thrasher

1
Sometimes in the open you look up
where birds go by, or just nothing,
and wait. A dim feeling comes
you were like this once, there was air,
and quiet; it was by a lake, or
maybe a river you were alert
as an otter and were suddenly born
like the evening star into wide
still worlds like this one you have found
again, for a moment, in the open.

2
Something is being told in the woods: aisles of
shadow lead away; a branch waves;
a pencil of sunlight slowly travels its
path. A withheld presence almost
speaks, but then retreats, rustles
a patch of brush. You can feel
the centuries ripple generations
of wandering, discovering, being lost
and found, eating, dying, being born.
A walk through the forest strokes your fur,
the fur you no longer have. And your gaze
down a forest aisle is a strange, long
plunge, dark eyes looking for home.
For delicious minutes you can feel your whiskers
wider than your mind, away out over everything.

Atavism, William Stafford

My current favorite poem.

Abuzz and Abloom

Cactus Flower and Bees Everyone and everything was abuzz and abloom the other morning at the Desert Botanical Garden. It seemed to be The Happiest Place on  Earth. Click on photos for more detail.

Isn’t this guy the epitome of happiness?

Starling Happy_edited-1

European Starling

Thrasher

Curve-Billed Thrasher

Finch Boy

It was a flying finch frenzy.

Finch Girl

House Finch, male and female

Desert Spiny Lizard

Desert Spiny Lizard

Sparrow Fly

House Sparrow, male

Dfly

Blue Dasher

CW 3

Cactus Wren, the Arizona State Bird

Quail

Gambel’s Quail, male

And I got 2 lifers!!!! This little posing bird:

Gnatcatcher 3

Gnatcatcher

Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher, male

And another lifer, that I’ve been searching for:

Phain Boy

Phainopepla, male

Phain Girl 3

Phainopepla, female

Gila on Saguaro

Gila Woodpecker

Squirrel Eating

Antelope Squirrel

Yellow Cactus Flower

Bullfrog

Bullfrog

Cactus Color

The desert is glorious in spring and the best is yet to come…