Sitting outside this past Wednesday, Anthony Gray and I were enjoying the continuing antics of several of my Hummers. Even though I still have my Hummer feeders out, it doesn't keep the small bird here because of the availability of food. There are still plenty of flowers that are in full bloom all over Tennessee.
Fast forward to Sunday and the action has slowed down quite a bit, especially with all the heavy rain that came through, I guess overnight. I have been up in Seymour, Ind., where it rained all night long, and then I had to drive all the way to the Tennessee line before actually seeing some relief from the showers. Long trips in driving rain can be a bummer. After coming home, there have only been seven of my Hummingbirds enjoying less traffic in the neighborhood. All of the males here in my area have been gone for about three weeks now.
While huddled in the backyard chairs, we see an old familiar friend all dressed in blue with a redish breast. My Eastern Bluebirds have returned to their home property and are still enjoying the amenities placed around the yard. There are at least six members of the troupe taking advantage of the wading pool, making such a splash. Three of the youngsters got so wet that they had problems taking to the air.
I need to build a roosting box to place out so they can take advantage of a shelter that will protect them from the cold this winter. By placing the entrance toward the bottom, it should help keep their body heat inside. I will keep you informed about this project.
My good friend from the Lebanon Senior Center, Teresa Botts, along with her husband, Randy, has been spending the week down in Panama City Beach, Fla. Teresa had sent me a couple of bird pictures she took, asking if I could identify the species for her.
Her first one was of the Brown Pelican swimming around out in the Gulf of Mexico. Another was what looked like an immature, Ring-billed Gull. The poor thing looked as if it was missing part of its left leg. Since they swim a lot out in the water, I'm wondering if maybe a shark swam by and took a bite. Many shore birds will stand on one leg and pull the other up out of sight, but this one really looks like it's missing the lower part of its leg. Her last photo was of a Snowy Egret wading the surf area looking for something to eat. This Egret is quick to be identified, by its dark legs and bright yellow feet. She will not admit to it, but I believe Teresa is also becoming a "Bird Nerd." The photo with this week’s article is of a Snowy Egret, but was not the one that Teresa saw. I just wanted to show you the bird with the golden slippers.
Another friend from the Senior Center has asked me to put her name in my article. I told her that she needs to report some bird that she has seen before I would do that. Shirley Strong finally said that she saw a starling on the side of the road, it was dead! That makes it a good one. Alright Shirley, there you go.
Karen Franklin's mother sent her a great photo of a Barred Owl, taken in Newberg, Ind., so I wanted to share it you all.
I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087 or e-mail me at email@example.com.