Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Neither Wings nor Beaks

 . . . . possibly food for a large bird?? We found this spider on the front of our house next to the garage door. I'm not sure what kind of spider this is, but it sure was huge!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stink Bug

I'm not sure what the scientific name is for this little guy. He is really enjoying the sun on the wind shield of my car!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Honey bee on my basil

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bird feathers

Samuel: how do you identify the bird feathers? I found these in my yard today and think these may be from a mocking bird.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Saturday, September 4, 2010

More Hummingbids

Yesterday, I sat outside in my front yard watching the hummingbirds. I was armed with my camera, and I was able to get a few good pictures (and lots of mediocre ones). The time I spent just watching the birds was the most relaxed I've been in about a month. The irony is that I was watching the tiny birds fuss and fight and zoom all around the feeders and each other! Another part of that irony is I like the pictures of the hummers in motion, the ones with their wings stretched out, so much better than the ones where they are just sitting.
August was a tough month in terms of emotions and time. Both my little girls are in school this year: My oldest started kindergarten, and my youngest started preschool. I can't believe my babies are that old, and what does that say about my age? :) My sweet babies are not really babies anymore. I thought I would have more free time, and I have less. My husband tells me that I need to prioritize a little better, and I think he might be right . . . just this one time! There have been lots of changes in our house, and taking time to watch the birds was just what I needed! With a few hours alone several days a week, I need to make bird watching/relaxing a priority.

Monday, August 30, 2010


They are everywhere. And they are fearless!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Female Red-winged Blackbirds

We've had some regular male red-winged blackbird visitors at our feeders in the past couple of years, but we hadn't ever seen a female before last week! I looked out and noticed something a little larger than the "regulars," the house finches. Once I started noticing all their features, I became very excited! Female red-winged blackbirds! The male was also close by, probably watching his territory. I wasn't able to get a picture of them on the feeder, but I was able to catch them on the trees behind our fence. I saw another female on the feeder today, but I didn't get to my camera quickly enough. I'm hoping for a next time!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Indigo Bunting

Last spring and summer, I started seeing a little solid blue bird come to our feeders. He was pretty shy, so it took a couple of visits before I realized that he was an Indigo Bunting. I was so surprised that what I think of as an exotic bird would visit our feeder, I confirmed his identity with a quick email to the Cornell Lab. When I see him, I always feel like it's a little reminder to me that things in life are good. I just have to have the right perspective on life. I'm so glad he visits regularly, so I can have that reminder often!

Last week, I had a new surprise from the little bird. He brought his girl friend with him! I was able to get a very quick picture of her before she flew off. She looked right at me! It was quick and blurry, but I was so glad that I had my camera nearby. She is quite a looker!

Baby Bluebirds

We haven't had any more action in the bluebird nest box in our back yard since the hard frost at the end of April. I've been disappointed that we haven't even seen any interest from the many bluebirds I see flying around. I'm not sure what I might be able to do to entice a little romance in the back yard, but I'm all ears for advice someone might offer. On bluebird romance, that is.

We were lucky enough to see a couple of juveniles visit our feeder and bath last week. They are really cute, and I love how they seem to be right in between baby feathers and adult feathers. If we can't have a nesting couple in the back, at least we get to some of the babies! It's been super hot outside, so the little bird below has his mouth open. He appreciated a little water!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


We still haven't had any other bluebirds in our nest box out back, but in mid-June, I saw this female on our deck. The picture is horribly fuzzy, but I'm hoping she has found a home some where! It looks like she has nesting material in her mouth.

We also had a little excitement with a non-bird critter in our yard. I think he was after my garden! I haven't seen him in a while, and I'm hoping he has found a new home! I tried to chase him away along the fence with a stick, but he only teased me by running back and forth. (I hope my neighbors didn't see me as I'm sure I looked like a crazy woman. The stick was really a steam attached to a dirt ball I grabbed from the compost pile.) My husband was thrilled that we had some other wildlife in our yard, but I was more concerned about damage to my garden. I'll be doing more chasing if he comes back.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Red-winged Black Bird

This bird gets spooked so easily! These are some of the best pictures I've ever gotten of him. We can usually hear him at our feeders before we see him as he has a distinctive song. When I grab my camera and he sees movement, he most often flies away. I love the vibrant red and yellow colors next to the black!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


In early May, I was lucky enough to see a Killdeer! John, the girls, and I went on a walk around our neighborhood, and we spotted a bird that we hadn't seen in this area before now. As we continued our walk, we discovered that one of the birds had a nest in one of the empty lots on our street! It was very exciting! I grabbed my camera and went looking for a picture. The birds became concerned and I started to hear the male and female "talking" to one another. I think they may have been trying to distract me or possibly were plotting an evil attack.

One of the birds started moving a little closer to what must have been her nest. As I moved closer, she started acting like she had broken her wing and hobbled in another direction. That's when I was certain I had spotted a Killdeer. I didn't look very much for the nest as I was sure the birds were very concerned at that point. I was just happy to have seen a new bird in our neighborhood!

I did manage to get a couple pictures: Left - bird feigning injury, and right - one of what I think is the bird sitting in her nest.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Baby Mockingbird

This little guy got stuck in our cedar tree for several hours. His mom was not happy with me for getting so close! She made sure he was safe and fed during his time in the tree. He finally was brave enough to fly back to the nest behind our fence!

In other news, the baby bluebirds froze to death the last week in April during a cold snap. The mom and dad removed them from the nest, and I found them in the back yard the next morning. It was terribly sad. I'm hoping another pair will nest in the box soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Female Northern Cardinal Pictures

I've been trying to get a good picture of a female cardinal for a long time. Of course, I only get a chance when I'm in between cooking and being with the girls! But last week, she landed on our feeders and didn't get spooked when I brought out the camera. Hooray! I love her earthy colors next to little bits of red and her vibrant beak.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eastern Bluebirds: Doc and Betty

John checked the nest this evening, and there are 4 eggs. Poor Betty was scared to death as he checked, and she flew quickly out of the nest when John got close.

A little later on, we were all still in the back yard. Betty was sitting on the girls' swing set and watching all of blow bubbles and tend to our garden. I saw Doc in another yard, and all of the sudden, he dive-bombed a Brown-headed Cowbird. He was protecting his territory, his woman, and his babies! Betty was watching, and I'm sure her chest puffed up as Doc ran off the bigger bird. Oh, I wish I had pictures!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


These pretty, acrobatic birds have been flying all around our house. They've occassionally landed on our feeders, but they stay pretty busy flying around. I think they are Northern Rough-winged Swallow. I took some pictures of two that landed on our fence next to the Cedar Trees.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Betty and Doc Have Eggs

John was able to get a quick picture of the nest in the nest box on Saturday. To our delight, there were three little blue eggs in there!
In other bird news, the brown headed cowbirds are all over the place! They are scaring other birds away from our feeders. One pair even tries to scare off another pair from the feeders and bird bath. I'm wondering if a pair might try to lay an egg in the mockingbird nest behind our fence in the back yard. We are enjoying their song!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nesting Birds

We have two sets of nesting birds in our back yard! We were so thrilled last year to have nesting bluebirds, and we have another pair this year. We have named them Doc and Betty. Betty has built a great nest in the nest box, and we're hoping for babies soon. I'll do my best to have John take a picture of the nest. Below are pictures of Betty on the arm of the feeders off the kitchen window and of Doc sitting on the deck. It's always amazing to see their beautiful colors up close.

A mocking bird has also decided to take up residence in the back yard. She is getting a little territorial, and every time we get a little too close, she flies out and gives us "the look." I can't quite get a look at the nest because I'm short and the fence is tall. Maybe we'll get to see the babies at the feeders one day soon. I'm sure I'll get a picture of the mocking birds soon! They have been at the feeders and the bird bath a lot lately!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cedar waxwings

Yesterday when the girls and I were leaving Chick-fil-a, Emma Rose told me to look at the pretty birds in the tree close to our car. When I looked, I had such a nice surprise! She had spotted a group of Cedar Waxwings! My goal is to attract these birds to our yard, and we planted red cedar trees in our yard about a year and a half ago just for them. I'm encouraged that we might actually see these beautiful birds from our windows. I have big spring time plans to add more vegetation to make our yard more enticing for them.

I took a picture with my phone, and it's not wonderful. But it helps me remember my goal!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


We interrupted his lunch with a friend!