The last few days, we had temperatures in the low to upper 80s. It got warm, and the high winds are not helping today. It sucks the moisture right out of my body. But not only I have to quench my thirst. My little friend, the Mourning Dove sat in a shady spot near the bird bath and relaxed from the warmer weather. Soon, the bird got thirsty, flew to the water and took some big gulps to stay hydrated. The Mourning Dove stuck around all afternoon. At least, there is plenty of food and water in our backyard.
Soon, the Cedar Waxwings will migrate to their breeding range up to the northern US and Canada. Right now, they still enjoy the weather in their Winter range down here in the southern US and Mexico. In the evening hours, they all come in big flocks, feast on some leftover berries from last Autumn and then move on to the next tree. I can easily tell, when the Cedars are sitting in one of my trees. Their calls are very high pitched. And these little birds can be very noisy, when they communicate with one another.
After the severe storm in the morning, we had a beautiful sunny afternoon, today. The temperatures reached up to 72°F (22°C). But still it was very breezy. Thank goodness, the animals ate all the foods, before the rain came in. Everything would have been flooded. And I would have had to dump it on the ground to let it dry, before the birds and critters could eat it.
As soon as I had the feeders full, Sandy, Mr. Cardinal, and some other feathered friends sat around to have early dinner. It is always a joy to see such an abundance of birds in our yard. Sophie, the other squirrel, made a short appearance, too. She prefers the oily sunflower seeds over corn and peanuts. I haven’t seen Mr. Squirrel and Sammy for quite some time. I wonder, where they are being up to, lately. I hope, they are alright, and are just checking out a different area in the neighborhood.
This afternoon, I spent some time in the greenhouse. I wanted to plan my Spring garden. But I watched birds instead. The wind was cool. And the greenhouse protected me from the cool gusts. Today, two Carolina Chickadees came for some sunflower seeds. I’ve noticed, when they took the seeds, they tried to store them in the Bradford Pear trees for a snack, later. One chickadee tried to hide a seed in the bark, while the other one hid its seed between the flower buds. In the meantime, a Yellow-rumped Warbler got attracted by the calls of the chickadees. The warbler checked out the yard from the fence, sang a song, and flew away again. It was just enough time to capture a couple of photos of this pretty little bird.
On a beautiful day like today, I sat on the porch to do some bird watching for myself. With the regular feathered friends, we also had some “Newcomers” in our backyard. Mr. & Mrs. Savannah-Sparrow came over to say ‘Hello’, before they moved on into the next yard.
Sandy decided to check the peanut slinky feeder. When she sat on the branch, she was only about five feet away from me. For a moment Sandy kept starring at me as she wanted to say: “Ma’am, the slinky feeder is empty. Could you refill it with those tasty peanuts? PLEEEEAAASSSEEE!” Unfortunately, I’m out of peanuts. I’d love to give her some. I guess, I need to go to the store and get some unsalted peanuts for the young lady and the Blue Jays, again. 😉
While I worked in the garden, Chewbacca hung out with me in the backyard. First, he ate some grass blades. And then he looked at the birds. There were so many too watch in the trees, in the bushes and on the fence. Chewbacca prowled on a couple of birds. But they were much faster. Sometimes, the birds startled him when the whole flock flew off into another tree. In the meantime, I planted my onion slips, rhubarb and strawberries. When I was done, with my garden work, Chewbacca was ready to come into the house. It was enough adventure for him in one day.
Brrr! The moisture in the air makes the temperature feel colder than it really was this afternoon. I fed the critters and let my cats hang out in the catio for a little bit. (No worries! Joshua and Chewbacca have cozy beds with windows to look out, when the weather is yuck. They just stayed out for some fresh air, before they came back inside the house.) The Black-eyed Juncos and the House Finches found a nice spot in the peach tree, while it drizzled. When they were hungry, they swooped down to the dish, grabbed some seeds and then flew back up into the tree. The food and being feathered puffballs keeps the birds warm and dry. By Monday, it suppose to get warmer.
While the grackles are such misunderstood birds by most people, I really do enjoy them in our garden. They always come in a big flock, make a lot of noise, eat, and fly away. After that, I’m almost certain I could hear a needle drop. It is so quiet.
Grackles are colonial birds and nests in trees together. Not seldom, there can be several nests found in one tree. They are also wonderful babysitter for other birds, when these birds are out and collect food, the grackle watches out for predators or other danger. The grackle will call the birds to come back and check on their offspring.
In Spring, I find the grackles quite amusing. When it is mating season, usually several males gather around one female and show off their songs, dance and feathers in a display to attract her. Sometimes she cares less and flies off, because she’s not interested in any of them. This show can go on for days if not weeks, until a one male and one female will court and mate.