Sunday, May 29, 2016

Bird Watching

Last spring we were excited to have a pair of turkey vultures, more commonly known as buzzards, nesting in an old deer blind.  Unfortunately, some predator (likely a raccoon) was able to get into the blind and destroy the eggs before they hatched.  This year, the same buzzard is trying again.  She has taken over the deer blind and has deposited two duck-sized eggs on the floor.  It's not much of a nest, but it's roomy and dry.  What more could a buzzard want, except maybe road kill?

When we were at the farm last week, she was on her nest when I climbed up to have a peek.  She hissed at me a couple of times, then hopped to the windowsill and soared away.  We hope that this year’s nesting will be more successful, and will keep you posted.

But buzzards aren’t the only birds we’ve been watching.  Last week, Owlivia, our eastern screech owl, spent several days sitting in the oak trees in our backyard keeping watch on the owl house where her owlet(s) were preparing to fledge.  Often she watched as we went about our chores and yard work, 

sometimes with great interest.

Other days she spent much of her time napping.

We had hoped to see the babies sitting in the door of the owl house as we did last year.  We knew they were almost ready to leave the nest, because Owlivia and her mate, Owliver, kept calling to them from the trees.  Unfortunately, the little ones (they are all named Chicklet), stayed inside until time to fly.  We only know that they had gone because Owlivia left as well.  We will look forward to seeing them next winter when they set up housekeeping again.

We have also had tufted titmouse nests in the bird house on the back deck, and a nest of bewick’s wrens on the upstairs deck.  The upstairs nest is right outside  my study, and the entrance faces the house, so I’ve had a great view of the rearing of these babies.

Both mom and dad wren share the feeding chores.  I don’t know which is which, but you can see that one has a dark patch on his/her rump and the other does not.  Both are diligent, though, and bring all sorts of tasty treats for the youngsters. 

This one for a moment looked satisfied, but turns out that wasn’t the case.  I don’t think they ever fill up.

But it sure makes for great bird watching!

1 comment:

  1. Nice to be able to do such good bird watching in your own back yard.