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Tag Archives: Chickadee

Success! ūüôā

As promised, I re-created the edible birdhouses with stronger eye hooks and hung them in a different location (high up in a tree far back in the yard).

Within minutes, the Black-Capped Chickadees were feeding! Granted, they were the only brave ones that first day but it didn’t take long for the White-Breasted Nuthatches to catch on by the following morning, with the¬†Dark-Eyed Juncos snacking happily below (they are ground feeders).

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I’m not saying the squirrels didn’t try but they just couldn’t get to the houses so they had to settle for what scraps the birds allowed to fall to the ground.

Aw, poor babies. ūüėČ

With the voracity at which the birds are feeding, I suspect by the end of this week, the houses will be stripped clean and the process will start all over again.

Oh, my. What have I gotten myself into? ūüėČ

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"Not a Good Sign"

While the concept of the edible birdhouse is sound, it would appear the installation needs some work.

I should have realized the beginning of the end when I woke up yesterday morning and saw this:

(Apologies for the poor focus quality of this image as it was shot with a long lens through a not-so-clean window).

Nervously, I watched the grey squirrels for quite some time throughout the day and though they were able to access the pinecones, they appeared to be completely baffled as to how to get to the birdhouses. 

Relief! ūüôā

"Chickadee... Check!"

 
 
I even felt a surge of hope when I witnessed a visit by an actual bird!

Yippee! ūüėÄ

(Again, apologies…long lens, dirty window¬†= blurry-ish image).

After this shot was taken, I moved the camera to our sunroom where I could shoot more clearly. However, not much activity at the houses by either fur or fowl occurred during the rest of the day so I let things be and resumed my regular daily activities.

Fast forward to this morning.

"Appetizer"

 
The ‘Fruit & Nut Villa’ was now¬†on the ground and being fought over by several grey squirrels while another¬†was up high feasting upon what I now call¬†the ‘Appetizer’. ūüėČ

See that dangling string on the right? Yep, that is where the villa proudly once hung.¬†Upon closer inspection,¬†the small¬†eye hook was still attached to the string so it clearly wasn’t strong enough to withstand¬†the weight of a¬†plump grey hurling itself onto the roof. The house must have dropped like a hot potato.

Sadly, it didn’t take long for the ‘Skylight Villa’ and ‘Sweetheart Cottage’ to meet the same fate.

"Main Course"

While some of you might have¬†erupted in anger¬†over¬†such an outcome, I found¬†it quite comical to watch the squirrels devour the houses. They really¬†are persistent little beasts! I do take some satisfaction, however, in imagining them now, back at their nests, holding their full tummies and moaning like a group of middle-aged men after an indulgent¬†night of pizza, wings and beer. ūüėČ

When it was all over, each house looked like this:

"Picked Clean"

So, it is back to the drawing board. I already have a new batch of edible glue prepared and ready to go. The houses can be reused (they clean up easily with some hot water and a scrub brush) so¬†another attempt is forthcoming.¬†I simply under-estimated my critters and made it way too easy for them.¬†Yes, they may have won the first battle but what they don’t know is I’m in it for the long haul and it’s time to put my engineering degree to good use.

I just hope they¬†don’t start calling me Wile E. Coyote… ūüėČ

Ozzie

“Ozzie” (American Goldfinch, Male, Summer Plumage) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/80s, ISO 640

Whenever I’m out shooting with any of my¬†larger lenses, I invariably end up photographing some of the birds as they make their way about the landscape, snacking on all the free food. Yes, it’s a pretty sweet deal for them. ūüôā¬†

Early this season, we added a thistle feeder with the hope of attracting the goldfinches we’d seen sporting about (those bright yellow feathers are hard to miss!)¬†It took awhile, but I’m happy¬†to report that several families¬†visit the feeder daily and they have gotten used to us so¬†they are no longer¬†spooked¬†by the camera.¬†With their stunning golden plumage, they are not only delightful to watch but¬†always make for a nice subject.¬†

Harriet

“Harriet” (American Goldfinch, Female, Summer Plumage) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400m w/1.8x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/50s, ISO 640

I typically prefer to capture birds in a more natural setting (e.g., sitting on a branch or tucked into the trees), but sometimes, you take what you can get. ūüôā

Since they habitually land on the curved part of the bracket that holds the feeder before making their way to an open perch, I naturally aimed my camera there. As usual, first to arrive was the male to scope out the situation before calling to the missus, who shortly followed suit. 

Recently, the black-capped chickadees discovered the wonders of the thistle feeder and have been giving the finches a run for their money! Fortunately, all seem to get along. It simply means the feeder gets emptied quicker!

Above the Curve

“Above the Curve” (Black-capped Chickadee) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/50s, ISO 640

This little chickadee seemed to be egging me on and with so much personality, I couldn’t resist!

Mr. Red

“Mr. Red” (Northern Cardinal, Male) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/200s, ISO

I didn’t even realize I had actually captured one shot of the male cardinal until I looked through the media card! Although I do¬†like the natural setting here, it still isn’t quite THE image I’ve been striving for.¬†

In any event, the cardinal¬†does seem rather pleased with himself, doesn’t he? I think he enjoys this game of tease and fly! And, I suppose, a part of me does as well because, what is the fun of the capture without the thrill of the chase? ūüôā

One Chickadee Sitting

“One Chickadee Sitting” (Black-capped Chickadee) Nikon D300, 400mm, F/4, 1/160s, ISO 640

 
While the weather is “warm” I’ve been determined to get outside with my larger lens to capture whatever wildlife has decided to hang about the yard.¬†

The squirrels were in numbers (again) but I really wanted to concentrate on the birds today, and specifically, the Chickadees. 

These little guys are tough to catch in one spot! Especially when they are well aware of a certain feline creeping around (yes, Cleo is enjoying these warm days as well). 

Here is the best shot of the day.

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