Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesdays are for the Birds!

I am trying something new this year for my blog.  For the rest of this year I will have some theme days to make things more interesting. I currently have "Flower Power Friday" which talks about the different flowers I photograph and most are from my gardens.
I would like now to add "Tuesdays are for the Birds" which will talk about the different species of birds that I see and photograph at my homestead. 

Over this past weekend I added 2 birdhouses in the garden.  They are just over 50 feet apart.  Which I hope is enough space.  I will see in time. I honestly didn't expect any birds to show interest in these birdhouses this year, because alot of the birds have already started making their nests, but to my surprise I saw several Tree Swallows showing some interest in the houses.  While I watched and photographed, I felt like a real estate agent trying to sell a house.  It was really exciting to watch the birds trying to decide which of the 2 houses they wanted, eastern exposure or western exposure.  As of now no sale yet!  Perhaps there is a sale pending.  I'm happy about the prospect of having Tree Swallows for tenants.  They would be a good fit for the neighborhood (garden).  Actually my backyard is quite open with a surrounding tree line and ponds near by, which suits the Tree Swallows needs.  I have read that the nesting material consists of pine needle and such and feathers from other birds, mostly waterfowl which are used to keep the babies warm.  So as I wait and see what develops with the Tree Swallows, there are other nesting birds I'm watching.

The photographs here are of the Eastern Phoebe.  They have nested on my front porch under the roof eaves for a couple of years.  I noticed they were back in town and getting a nest ready for use.  The nest is made up of mud, moss and fine grasses.  It is a pretty solid nest.  I remember that the Phoebe had nested here at least 2 other times.  The most recent I think was last year and they had 5 or 6 chicks and all left the nest healthy.  Though I was very sad to see them go and I missed the day they left.  During the nesting time we tried not to use the front door too much.  Eastern Phoebes tend to be loners making little contact for mating and roosting.  The female will chase the male away.  Eastern Phoebes have a very distinct sound, just like their name phee-bee.  A note on the nest photo.  The nest in the middle had been used in previous years.  The nests on either side of it are new.  Which she ends up with I will let you know.
Next week I will let you know if there will be a house closing for the Tree Swallows and the progress on the nest for the Eastern Phoebe.  Also I will tell you about the Sparrows and the Cowbirds and how one will benefit from the other.

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