PDA

View Full Version : A BIG visitor to the bird feeder



awatkins
08-27-2006, 02:27 AM
Early yesterday morning I was making my first cup of coffee when I spotted something BIG coming in for a landing on top of the 4x4 that our bird feeders are mounted on. Before it registered with me what was going on, an enormous hawk dropped down and perched on top of the post!

That thing was easily a foot tall, if not bigger. I've seen it several times cruising through the yard looking for a quick snack, and I've seen it miss and land in the yard empty-taloned (I've also seen it and its friends hunting in the fields and snatching up little furry critters). But that was the first time I've ever seen it sitting on top of the feeder post!

The funny thing is, my husband had mounted a flat piece of lattice work on top of the post. It's a roof of sorts, to hopefully protect the little birds from being attacked while they're eating. Looks like that plan worked really well at scaring away hawks. :D

DeborahM
08-27-2006, 02:37 AM
I love watching hawks!

One time Fred and I drove up to Gainesville, from Flower Mound (between Dallas and Denton) to see about the families cattle being sold at the fall auction and I counted 31 hawks on the trip up!

There is a hawk nest in an old oak tree in the nw pasture and we loved watching the little ones learning to fly.

awatkins
08-27-2006, 03:44 AM
Oh, I would have loved to see the little ones learning to fly! ;)

Guess what? The hawk came back a few minutes ago. It landed on the power line that runs to the house and sat there looking at me through the window! That was cool. It was close enough so that I got a real good look at its face--the yellow band of skin across the beak, the markings on its head, everything. Cool.

Maybe Joanne (jdkiggins) will drop in and tell us about the hawks she sees. There are tons of them around her place!

DeborahM
08-27-2006, 04:12 AM
That is soooo cool! To be that close!

One time my mom was having her morning coffee at the table by a big picture window and a red headed woodpecker, sat on the sill watching her and pecking at the window. She talked to it through the glass and it would peck back at her until it got tired and flew off.

She went out and put more birdseed out and it flew back to eat while she finished her coffee watching.

awatkins
08-27-2006, 04:18 AM
That's amazing! The woodpecker was communicating with your mom. It must have worked--she put more birdseed out. lol!

Wild birds are so smart. Whenever 'ours' run out of favorite seeds in the feeders, or if somebody is hogging everything and won't let anybody else eat, one or more will come tap at the windows until I go see what they need. They even come to the right room and peck at the window nearest me!

Hmm...that might not be a good thing. They know how to find me. :D

DeborahM
08-27-2006, 04:23 AM
Imagine, a pea sized brain and able to communicate as they do with you, I and others.

I feed doves. During January I can count anywhere from 60 to 70 flying through and stopping here for food! Can go through 3 50# bags in 2 weeks before they take off again.

It should be inspiring for those with larger brains for what they can accomplish!

JennaGlatzer
08-27-2006, 04:37 AM
Oh, how neat! Hawks are so cool. Only weird thing that ever ended up in my bird feeder was a RAT that shimmied up the pole somehow a few years ago. Yeesh! (I've never seen another rat anywhere near my property.)

Hang on... I'm going to go get a photo that is probably silly and pointless, but I think is cool...

awatkins
08-27-2006, 04:46 AM
:eek: You know, I think rats can get just about anywhere! I watch them through binoculars sometimes and they're kinda cute, in a weird sort of way. (Where's Rattitude?? I know she loves rats! Did we lose her in the last blackout?)

Deborah, the funny thing was, when the hawk was on the power line awhile ago, there were THREE doves on the line, too! Must have been a cease fire or something. :)

Jenna, can't wait to see your picture!

JennaGlatzer
08-27-2006, 04:50 AM
LOL. I hope you weren't too excited about it, because I'm probably just silly.

We were on vacation in the Catskills, and there were tons of eagles and hawks flying around the lake where we kayaked. I took so many pictures and none of them came out well because my camera doesn't do close ups well. This one, though... if you look closely at it, you can see the eagle's head (lower left, and upper right). It's flying through trees, and I sorta like the artsy motion!

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e382/unbreakmychart/eagleweb.jpg

awatkins
08-27-2006, 04:55 AM
OMG! I can make out the head pretty well! In the upper right, I can see the white of its head and the shape of its beak. Cooool.

I don't remember ever being that close to an eagle. How awesome. And artsy. :D

DeborahM
08-27-2006, 05:03 AM
A - there is a time where they decide to get along and that sounded like one of them.

Jenna - I can see it! That is really cool looking, all you have to do is let your eyes rest and it pops out at you!

Speaking of rats...ugh!

I looked out my kitchen window to my spa which cascades into the pool and there sat a baby rat. I thought it was dead, and had thoughts of having to add a whole lot of chlorine to the pool, as I walked outside to check on him.

No, he was just taking a nap, resting as the cool water rejuvenated him. He scampered off and I haven't seen him since. Thank goodness! I have to admit it was cute...but it was cuter leaving.

JennaGlatzer
08-27-2006, 05:14 AM
Blahahaha! Pampered little rat.

the bunny hugger
08-27-2006, 05:33 AM
I think one of my proudest moments was at a university residential college. When I moved in they totally couldn't even undertsand why I was so fascinated by rats. About three days befor I left a black rat balanced on the window sill and looked into the dining room. And everyone was quite excited and piinted it out to me and asked what kind it was. Almost 100 people all happy to see a rat ;)

I an plagued by mice at work right now. We are trying to kill them off but I am so weak. I lifted a box and found a bunch of pink baby mice. I crept off and let the mother retreive them... they always have a second nest site somewhere to tuck them away...

awatkins
08-27-2006, 05:45 AM
Hiya, ratti! Thought you might be interested in this. ;)

I didn't know that mice always have a second nest. That's pretty smart.

jdkiggins
08-27-2006, 05:47 AM
You've got that right, Anne. You would have to mention hawks when I was just about to go to bed. LOL I stayed up just for you, Anne and scanned a few photos I had taken. Hmmm You're getting to know me too well. ;)

Here are pictures of the three I caught before they flew off from the trees just above our barn.
http://home.comcast.net/~joannedkiggins/images/1hawk.jpghttp://home.comcast.net/~joannedkiggins/images/2hawks.jpg
This picture is a close up of one of them flying away.
http://home.comcast.net/~joannedkiggins/images/hawkflying1.jpg
And this picture is of one of the hawks sitting on the fence post in my yard.
http://home.comcast.net/~joannedkiggins/images/hawkonfence1.jpg

This one is of a bald eagle that flew over our campground in Florida when we were on vacation three years ago. A little blurry, but what do you want for about a thousand feet in the sky? lol
http://home.comcast.net/~joannedkiggins/images/baldeaglefl.jpg
Jenna, I loved your picture.

awatkins
08-27-2006, 05:50 AM
Hi, Jo! Sorry to keep you up. :D

Thanks for posting those pictures! They're incredible. Wow. Just wow. :)

DeborahM
08-27-2006, 05:52 AM
Jo! I so appreciate your staying up and scanning the pics into the post for us!

They are awesome!

Thanks again!

jdkiggins
08-27-2006, 06:05 AM
Since Jenna brought up the eagle, and I'm still up because Anne brought up the hawks, I pulled out a few more pics from that vacation. Thought you might like to see an eagle nest. They build them in the tops of telephone poles down in Florida. In the first one, if you look real close you can see the top of the eagle's head in the center of the nest.
http://home.comcast.net/~joannedkiggins/images/eagleinnest1.jpg

In this one the eagle is flapping its wings.
http://home.comcast.net/~joannedkiggins/images/eaglesinnest22.jpg

We must have sat on the side of the road for four hours watching them. They are such beautiful creatures!

awatkins
08-27-2006, 06:12 AM
My goodness! I'd love to see that! What part of Florida was that, Joanne?

Sorry, you can answer this tomorrow. Get some sleep. :D

Thanks for the pictures, Jo! Incredible.

DeborahM
08-27-2006, 06:15 AM
JD - awesome pics!

Those are so cool! Thanks for staying up and sharing them!

jdkiggins
08-27-2006, 06:45 AM
We were staying at the Rosalie Campground just outside of Lake Wales, Florida. There were alligators in the lake that walked right up the boat dock, nearly a dozen eagles soaring above us all day, hawks everywhere, and owls at night. That was the best vacation I'd ever taken!

I think I posted some pictures of the alligator, eagles, hawks and owl on my blog in my nature talks in November and December of 2005. I was reminiscing about my trip to Florida and North Carolina. :D

Thanks, Deborah. :)

ETA: Okay, now I'm going to bed.

oarsman
08-27-2006, 08:11 AM
I live on a lake in North Carolina and see lots of red-tailed hawks and some osprey. A raptor center in our area built some nesting platforms high on poles in the surrounding area and the osprey have taken to them. I have a photo of an osprey in one of those nests. I occasionally see one dive down and grab a fish from the lake. I have to find my osprey photos and scan them in sometime. They are beautiful birds.

A few weeks ago, I was at the NC coast and saw a Peregrine Falcon..I wish I had my camera. What a cool bird!

Birol
08-27-2006, 08:32 AM
Bald Eagles winter on the Mississippi River about an hour and a half from me. It's a fun day trip in January or February when cabin fever has settled in to drive to the locks and dams and watch them soar and fish in the river. Once, one landed in the branches of a shorter tree right next to where I was standing to eat his catch. He was close enough you could see all the details with the naked eye and he was very unconcerned by my presence, so I was able to just stand there and watch him dine.

Eagles are amazing creatures.

JennaGlatzer
08-27-2006, 08:53 AM
Oooo, I love the shot with the hawk flying with its wings spread, Joanne. So cool!

Pat~
08-27-2006, 08:54 AM
We had a big visitor to our bird feeder, too :D ...

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j240/pb10220/Copyofbear_feeder.jpg

JennaGlatzer
08-27-2006, 08:58 AM
GET OUTTA HERE!!

oarsman
08-27-2006, 08:05 PM
We had a big visitor to our bird feeder, too ...


Pat,
You need to make the perch on the feeder a bit longer to accommodate the larger birds. :D

jdkiggins
08-27-2006, 08:08 PM
We had a bear stray into our yard years ago, but it headed straight for the garbage can. What a mess! Cool pic, Pat.

Pat~
08-27-2006, 11:13 PM
Thanks, but I cannot tell a lie...I didn't take the picture. In fact, it was not my feeder, nor my bear (thankfully!). My sister emailed me that a while back, and I'm not sure where she got it either. We have birds, but the only predators are coyotes.

DeborahM
08-27-2006, 11:17 PM
We had a big visitor to our bird feeder, too :D ...

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j240/pb10220/Copyofbear_feeder.jpg

:Jaw: My jaw's till open! Who care's where your sister got it! Somebody took a great shot! Thanks for sharing!

alleycat
08-27-2006, 11:22 PM
I asked Anne the other day if she knew what a bird I saw at my feeder was. She didn't offhand. I was hoping it would come back so I could take a photo but it hasn't.

Does anyone else know what this bird is?

"About the size of a female Cardinal; the wings were a flat leaf green, the chest was a lighter green. There was a large red batch across the top of the head but the whole head wasn't red. The throat was more pinkish than red. The beak was small and parakeet-like. The back of the bird underneath the windgtips was a bright blue, as bright as a Blue Jay, if not brighter (I could only see it when the bird was facing away from me). There was a short tail and it was more or a bluish-green. Part of the tail feathers might have been missing.

I know all the native birds of this area and I've never seen a bird quite like this. I might guess he was some kind of escaped parakeet or parrot but he seemed right at home with all the other birds on the deck. He even had that short, parakeet walk."

eldragon
08-30-2006, 11:48 PM
Oh, how neat! Hawks are so cool. Only weird thing that ever ended up in my bird feeder was a RAT that shimmied up the pole somehow a few years ago. Yeesh! (I've never seen another rat anywhere near my property.)


When we first moved to Mississippi, from Vegas, 7 years ago: I was happy to be around so much wildlife. Raccoons in my backyard - squirrels on the trees - possums, etc.

But one day I stood watching a squirrel and a rat chasing each other around the trunk of a dead tree I had hung a squirrel feeder on. (They weren't playing tag.........the rat looked mean.)


And at another house, I put a bird feeder in an old oak tree, and within weeks the tree was infested with rats. At night you could hear them up there - it was creepy and I was afraid the neighbors would hear.

Nature took care of itself, as it usually will if you let it, when a stray cat showed up to start eating the rats. Within days, he had introduced his girlfriend and two young babies to our oak tree and dwindling rat population. The daddy cat left, but he had already impregnated the mama cat again, and she delivered 7 kittens, which we spayed and neutered and kept as pets.

Years later, the mama cat died, and then we lost 4 of the grown kittens in Katrina, but we still have 3 of them with us. We moved 35 miles, and they came with us.

We have since adopted another pregnant stray cat - who had 4 kittens and earlier this week, they were spayed and neutered, too. Yes, they are staying here.

jdkiggins
08-31-2006, 06:59 AM
Does anyone else know what this bird is?



Maybe it was a parakeet? Just in case it wasn't, I'll get my bird book out of my camper when we get back from the holiday weekend. I'll check it out and see if I can find something close. (That is provided you're not joking) Otherwise, I'll just keep my bird book handy for the next question. :)

alleycat
08-31-2006, 08:15 AM
No, I wasn't joking. However, I looked in the bird books I have. They list a few "escapes", but don't try to list all the possibilities.

I'm just going to assume it was a parakeet. I haven't seen it back.

MidnightMuse
08-31-2006, 09:01 PM
Interesting. Some years back, there were a few escaped parrots here that ended up mating and building a nest on a cell phone tower, then those babies hatched and grew up, and I assume they must have mated with each other, but now they're somewhat famous here as being the Wild Parrots. They've ended up with quite a large nest, and have a penchant for chewing off car windshield wipers :D

I did see someone's parakeet at one of my feeders last summer, so it's not too uncommon, I suppose.

Unique
08-31-2006, 10:35 PM
"About the size of a female Cardinal; the wings were a flat leaf green, the chest was a lighter green. There was a large red batch across the top of the head but the whole head wasn't red. The throat was more pinkish than red. The beak was small and parakeet-like. The back of the bird underneath the windgtips was a bright blue, as bright as a Blue Jay, if not brighter (I could only see it when the bird was facing away from me). There was a short tail and it was more or a bluish-green. Part of the tail feathers might have been missing.



Maybe one of the buntings? Painted Bunting (http://tinyurl.com/mouo7)

awatkins
08-31-2006, 11:37 PM
Sunday we sat on the front porch and watched two hawks circling overhead, riding the currents and gliding along. They were gorgeous through the binoculars! Then that afternoon, we went into town and spotted two more hawks soaring over a field. Beautiful!

This morning, we were sitting in the kitchen when Allen looked up to spot an enormous hawk perched high in a tree behind the house! This one was different from the others--they had light colored chests and this one had a rust colored chest. It was a huge bird, and so awesome to see. We watched it for several minutes before it flew away. No idea how long it had been sitting there looking at us.

Joanne, tell Two Feather we're enjoying the visits. ;)

oarsman
09-01-2006, 04:09 PM
Anne,
The hawks must enjoy people-watching at your house. From what you described, that hawk could be a Red-shouldered hawk. They have long, narrow wings and long tails. The young Red-shouldered hawks are lighter on the chest; the adults have the rust colored bars on their chest. Here's some pictures: here (http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Red-shouldered_Hawk_dtl.html) and here (http://piedmontbirdclub.org/rshawk.htm) . Or, it could be something else.:)

awatkins
09-01-2006, 06:21 PM
Thanks for the links, oarsman! Yup, I believe that's what we've got, though there was some discussion here (at home) about whether or not they were red-tailed hawks. But you can see the red on those pretty well, and our recent visitors didn't have red tail feathers.

Those pictures were very clear and sharp, weren't they? But let me tell you, seeing one up close and personal is awesome. The strength in their bodies is evident just by observing them sit still, and the expressions on their faces and in their eyes--wow. I sure wouldn't want to make one mad at me. ;)

ETA: I'm afraid I've corrupted you, oarsman. Now you're beginning to sound like me.

Example--Anne: "It could be this or maybe that. Then again, it could be something else entirely."

My apologies. :D

oarsman
09-01-2006, 09:00 PM
Those pictures were very clear and sharp, weren't they? But let me tell you, seeing one up close and personal is awesome. The strength in their bodies is evident just by observing them sit still, and the expressions on their faces and in their eyes--wow. I sure wouldn't want to make one mad at me. ;)

I remember a bird watching tip that I read somewhere: "Look at the bird, not at the book!" I agree that nothing beats seeing one in person.



ETA: I'm afraid I've corrupted you, oarsman. Now you're beginning to sound like me.

Example--Anne: "It could be this or maybe that. Then again, it could be something else entirely."

My apologies. :D

If you say something is this or that or something else entirely, you are always right.....but, I could be wrong on that. :D

You ARE corrupting me!

awatkins
09-01-2006, 10:24 PM
Mission accomplished! :roll:

Unique
09-02-2006, 12:16 AM
You can never be wrong if you describe it as, 'Just like that, only different'. :D

DragonHeart
09-05-2006, 05:37 PM
I'm not a fanatic at all - I can only name 95% of the birds in my area by sight, sound, or leftover feathers. :D My binoculars and birdbook are always in easy reach, just in case I see something. (I prefer the Stokes' Guide to Birds - Eastern Region)

I've seen plenty of hawks, red-tailed mostly. One of these years I'm planning on climbing Blue Jobe again with my uncle during the hawk migration. He's seen it once before, there'll be literally hundreds of hawks circling as they gather and prepare to fly south for the winter. It must be absolutely beautiful to see.

The one bird I've always wanted to see is a Bald Eagle but there are so few in this area. :( It's kind of like my dream bird lol. I'd give anything to see one.

~DragonHeart~

threedogpeople
09-06-2006, 12:19 AM
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d40/threedogpeople/PtHardyEaglesJune06reformat.jpg

I took this shot in Port Hardy in June. There were about 15 eagles at the fishing dock and 30 or 40 in the trees nearby. Amazing! I took 130 pictures! Thank goodness for digital.

Judy

oarsman
09-06-2006, 03:50 PM
Judy,

Great picture! That must have been amazing to see all those eagles in one place. Must be an excellent fishing spot for them!