North Texas Backyard Wildlife In March (1)

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.

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When you see the owners dog in the backyard, drop the seed shell like it’s hot! Drop it like it’s hot! Drop it like it’s hot!

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.

North Texas Backyard Wildlife In January (8)

Lots of feathered friends came over in our yard, all day. The feeders got emptied so quick, that I had to refill them twice. Next to the Blue Jays and the Northern Cardinals, we had a Bewick’s Wren, an American Goldfinch, two Black-capped Chickadees, White-winged Doves, Mourning Doves, Black-eyed Juncos, House Sparrows and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. A couple of squirrels ran to the feeder to grab some of the peanuts, before they jumped over the fence and into the neighbor’s tree. Yeah, I have that feeling that they didn’t like the Turkey Vulture circling over our house. A nice squirrel or bird snack had been fantastic for the big predator. But not on my watch, today. There’s plenty of mice and rats in the neighborhood. They taste as good as any rodent meat. 😉

North Texas Backyard Wildlife In January (6)

Since my ribs were in the slow cooker, I didn’t have to worry about cooking in the afternoon. Therefore I enjoyed the time in the backyard, before the girls came home from school. While I sat on the patio, lots of birds and Mr. Squirrel came over for a late lunch. There were Blue Jays, Crows, Grackles, House Sparrows, House Finches, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-winged Doves, etc. I’ve got some good captures of some of the birds.

North Texas Backyard Wildlife In January (5)

After I refilled the bird feeder, one of the Blue Jays announced that the food is ready. We had quite a few Blue Jays in the trees. They swooped down, picked a peanut, flew back up and opened their “treasures” in the Bradford Pear trees. In the meantime, two dozen of Black-eyed Juncos and House Sparrows came to fill their little bellies. When the White-winged Doves arrived, it was time to share. I was surprised seeing a Gold Finch this early. Usually, they don’t come around until the beginning of February. In our yard that is. Out in the field, I usually see them all year around.

While the birds were having lunch, Sara and I noticed an unexpected visitor in the yard. A beautiful cat sat by the fence and watched the birds. It obviously looked for an easy meal. But when I stepped out on the deck for a moment, the show was over. The birds flew in the trees and nearby bushes, and the cat jumped over our fence and disappeared in the alley.

Spring Season Is Mating Season

There is some love, and also some fighting over mating rights and ‘when?’, ‘where?’, ‘how?, going on my backyard. Mr. Cardinal sings the most wonderful songs to his Love, and even Mr. Blue Jay is not screaming so loud as usual and rather helps Mrs. Blue Jay with the perfect nesting spot high in the tree. But while Ms. Mockingbird enjoys, that two males are arguing and literally fighting over her in my trees and on my roof most of the time, she still can’t decide which ‘guy’ she wants to partner up with this season.

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“Decisions, decisions, decisions!”

On the other end of my yard sits Mrs. White-winged Dove and coos to her mate from the gazebo frame: “Would you just quit the talking and get this whole mating thing started, so I still can tell Elvira (must be her friend) the newest gossip from the alley, today!!!”

I guess, these two ladies have their own struggles with their men in Spring. I hope, I’ll see some nests with some cute little mockingbird chicks and white-winged dove chicks, soon. 😉

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UPDATE: In Spring, weeks after I wrote this blog on “A Garden Full of Memories”, both ladies built a nest and raised their chicks in my yard. Here are photos of their nests in 2015:

How Wildlife Stays Warm In Winter

This morning, I watched Mr. Squirrel climb down the tree. He sat on top of his empty critter feeder, kept his tail close to his body and tried to warm up in the Sun. He was debating, if he goes down to the food dish or stays to enjoy the sun rays a little bit longer. In the meantime Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal had a breakfast of peanut butter rolled in bird seeds with their friends, the House Sparrow and Gold Finch. A Mourning Dove sat on a tree branch and watched the critter and the songbirds from the distance. Later, a White-winged Dove joint the other dove in the tree. Both looked like puffed up balls in this cold weather. Each animal has it’s own way to stay warm, when it was only 14ºF this morning. One used it’s tail and the rays of the sun; some ate a warming meal of fatty peanut butter and seeds; and a couple more birds used their feathers to make air pockets. They know how to survive what Mother Nature throws at them.