Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What is it about rain?

It seems that when it is rainy outside, the birds just go nuts! I don't understand. Does something happen to flowers in the rain? It's been a madhouse all day at ALL of our feeders. At this rate, we need to buy a sugar plantation and grow our own! This is the front porch alive with orioles and hummers.


This is the back deck and studio front, alive with hummers.


Had a good time at the Clara Brierly Festival of the Arts in Peculiar this past weekend. That group of volunteers is fabulous. A homecooked breakfast is above and beyond the call of duty! Thank you so much ladies!!!

Our next stop will be Artfest Midwest - the OTHER Art Show in Des Moines, IA.

Hummingbird fact for today: Some hummingbirds are so small, they have been known to be caught by dragonflies and praying mantis, trapped in spider's webs, snatched by frogs, and stuck on thistles.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mama is on the Nest

Feeding activity has slowed down a bit here. That's because mama is on the nest. There are probably two pea-sized eggs that will hatch in about two and a half weeks. The baby birds are tiny, featherless, and stubby-beaked. Mom will feed them a diet of regurgitated tiny bugs and nectar for about three weeks. Until the babies have feathers, however, she will not leave them for long as they depend on her for warmth. When they finally go out on their own, they are about mom's size, so it's difficult to distinguish the juveniles from the female adults. So right now, activity at the feeders is slower than it was as mom was preparing the nest.

Is this where I sit?
Nice place to sit for a spell.
I'll share it with you.
That's not to say that the birds aren't eating, because they sure are at our house! At dusk our porch looks like the Indianapolis Speedway on race day! But through the day we are seeing just a few birds throughout the day as opposed to the droves of birds we were seeing all day. The feeders on the back deck and on the studio have about the same activity level. Terrie took these pictures today of one "bully" guarding the deck feeders from her Bully Pulpit, except she didn't seem too concerned when another bird slipped in for a drink.

Earlier this month we were in Indianapolis for Orchard in Bloom. Fantastic show but we had to make a visit to the Goodwill Store for heavier coats because it turned off so cold! Following that we were at the The Biggest Week in American Birding near Toledo. Another good show for us. It made no sense to drive home in between these shows, so Terrie was able to fulfill her lifelong dream of visiting the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton. Canton is also home to the Canton Classic Car Museum (worth visiting) and the MAPS (Military Aviation Preservation Society) Museum (definitely worth visiting). We had a good time and of course added to the magnet and shot glass collections. Our final stop in Canton was the Fannie May/Harry London Chocolate Factory! Luckily the weather remained cool and we got all the chocolate home without it melting :-)

In June we will be at the Clara Brierly Festival of the Arts in Peculiar, MO. This is a WAM festival - wine, arts, and music - and we had a really good time there last year. We will also be headed to Des Moines for Artfest Midwest - the "Other" Art Show. ArtFest is offered as an alternative, affordable art show and as a complement to the downtown Des Moines Art Festival. Plus it is indoors!!!

Hummingbird fact for today: Female hummingbirds will usually have two eggs laid on different days. Even though the eggs will be laid on different days, both the eggs will usually hatch on the same day.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Back in Full Force

We left for a couple of days to exhibit at the Spring Bloom Festival in Bloomington, IL. We came home to find LOTS of hummers and LOTS of orioles! It's really amazing how quickly they moved back into the area. So of course Terrie had to start hand-feeding them.

We also now have at least three male Baltimore orioles and their mates, as well as more orchard orioles and their mates. The male Baltimores are just exquisite.

So the neighbor has been recruited to take care of the feeders when we go to Orchard in Bloom in Indianapolis next weekend and the Biggest Week in American Birding the following weekend. Then we'll stay home for a while and just enjoy our birds.

Hummingbird fact for today: Migrating birds of all kinds have adapted to the weather and wait for favorable winds. The ruby-throated hummingbird takes advantage of tail winds constantly. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Project is Complete

Daytime picture
As mentioned previously, Terrie has wanted this project completed for a number of years. So she got hummingbird spitters and a pump and a copper tub, and then I built the innards and voila! We have a fountain. The hummingbird "spitters" are from Sprinklites. They came with all the tubing and fittings we needed. The birds have an LED light that comes on at night and changes colors. It's hard to see in the picture because the flash went off, but without the flash, all you can see is the birds and no fountain. The birds "spit" into the top leaf, and then the water falls from leaf to leaf until it goes back into the tub. We still need to get the rocks around it fixed up, but at least it is now in place and working. And the neighbors are all agog!

Nighttime picture

Hummingbird fact for today: Hummers like moving water. And they like to bathe, but the standard birdbath is too deep for them. There are pictures out there of hummers bathing in fountains so we hope our little birds discover this and use it as their own oasis.

All is Right in the World

The flock is returning! This is the earliest we've had a Baltimore oriole at the feeder. We don't even have any oranges - just grape jelly! And we saw TWO hummers at the same time. It should fill up quickly now! Took these pix this morning.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Pileated Woodpecker