Monday, June 07, 2010

Eastern Phoebe Nestlings, 3-5 days old...

Pictures from today...the three nestlings are all sleeping with their heads lined up on the right side of the nest. I'm going to try to get some pictures in the morning of them, maybe they'll be awake!

I take these by putting my little video camera on my monopod and holding it up by the nest. The nest is under an overhang, so there's no way to lean out the window above it...


Phoebe Nest -- all eggs have hatched!

A picture of sleeping phoebe nestlings from a couple of days ago. This morning I got to see one of the adults feeding the babies, but I had no camera with me!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Phoebe Nest

Not a great video, but I just put the camera up on a stick and took some quick video each day; we're trying NOT to disturb the Phoebes anymore than we have to. The Phoebes built the nest while we were out of town for five days. I'm sure they were surprised when we started bustling about! It's a beautiful nest, with moss and grasses.

I was fascinated to learn that the Eastern Phoebe was the first bird banded in North America. John James Audubon, in 1804, wrapped a silver wire around the leg of a Phoebe to tell if it was the same bird returning each year!

I understand it takes about 16 days for the phoebes to leave the nest, I'll keep you posted and try to get some better pictures!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Eastern Phoebe Nest

We were gone to New Bern for five days. Apparently the Phoebe built the nest while we were gone, thinking she had found a nice quiet place. Cornell Lab of Ornithologyindicates they build the nest in 3-6 days, and that during daylight hours, the female spends about half the time on the nest. We're trying not to use the front door as much...

She'll fly away very quickly if she sees me, I was lucky to get this shot before she flew!
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring is here

Several pics from the last week or so. A new yard bird for me, an Eastern Phoebe. Poor pic, I know, but it was through the patio glass door, between the railings to the fence between our yard and the neighbors'. He/she was doing that flycatcher thing, and I didn't have much time to get the shot! I've seen the phoebe since, perhaps we'll have a nest near here!

It's always fun to have the hummingbirds back. I didn't have the feeder up yet, but fortunately, these little red flowers were attractive! The feeder is up now, and very busy!

We heard this little guy (no problem there!) and finally found him in my water garden on the deck. That rock and the flat water made quite an echo chamber for him. If I can figure out how to post an audio file here, I will! We had quite a froggy concert that night between our visitor and the frogs around the area!

He was back the next day, but we haven't seen or heard him since. All the other frogs have fallen silent, too, but it's been quite cool at night the last few nights. I believe this is a northern spring peeper.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Occoquan NWR part 2--Great Horned Owl nest

So, this was our goal--a Great Horned Owl nest in a former osprey nest. In a totally open field at the Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge, Occoquan, VA. My friend Renee discovered the nest this winter during one of the huge snowstorms we had. I was thrilled when she said she would take me down to see it!

Renee and another birder check out the nest.

Mama and an owlet. Another owlet is to the right, behind the sycamore branch.

We went on to see some wild turkeys (previous post). It was a great morning! Not a huge number of birds but some very cool ones. And the weather was great! Nothing better than to be out with a friend birding in good weather. (Much better weather than the last time I birded with Renee!)
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Occoquant NWR--Wild Turkeys

My friend Renee and I headed down to see the Great Horned Owl nest at the Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge. More on that later. We were driving out of the park after seeing the owls and saw some wild turkeys near the road and had to get some pictures. They were just beautiful, and there were about a dozen of them strung out along a ridge.

It was a beautiful morning with some special birds.
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Monday, March 08, 2010

San Diego Bird Festival 2010

I went on three trips on the San Diego Bird Festival this year: Birding by Bike around Mission Bay, "Local Favorites" which went to Lindo Lake, Santee Lake and Old Mission Dam, with my sister-in-law Peg, and a trip to the Camp Pendleton marine base. Here are some pics from those trips and from a trip my husband Fred and I made to Lake Murray.

Cactus Wren. This was digiscoped through the leader's scope. The coastal Cactus Wren is a separate subspecies from say, the Cactus Wren found in Arizona.

Little Blue Heron at the San Diego River from the Birding by Bike trip.

Western Meadowlark, also from the Birding by Bike trip

Brown pelican. This was also a trip by my hubby and me to the Ocean Beach pier. This handsome fellow was waiting for scraps from a fisherman.

I've got a lot more pics, you can see them here:

or here, with captions