|Our Feathered Friends - March. 28|
|Wednesday, March 28, 2012|
By RAY POPEDon't you just love this weather? I now find the best seat in the house is in my backyard, where you can get lost, just listening to all the birds flirting with each other. Where are the Purple Martins? There was only one male visiting my yard today. On any given day during the spring, there are several wheeling and soaring about in the large hay field behind the house. The pair of Martins that I saw last week must live farther north, because I haven't seen them since. A few years ago, when I went to Canada to spend a few days with my grandsons, there were several places there with active Purple Martin condos. I guess as long as there are flying insects, the Martins will follow.
My Bluebirds have three eggs in the nesting box already. It makes me wonder if maybe these are from a different family than the ones from the last couple of years, because when I approach the nesting box they will fly up to an overhead limb instead of dive-bombing me. After the eggs have hatched, the parents will probably tolerate my presence more after I put out meal worms for them. I made a small meal worm feeder by nailing a plastic peanut lid to the top of my tomato stake. Last year, everytime I walked out by the feeder the female would fly down to see if I left her something.
My good friend Dottie Kim has moved to Trousdale County and has now set up her bird feeding station right outside her bedroom. She will get to experience a whole new set of birds. You have heard me talk about city birds and country birds, well Dotty is already finding new species that she is not familiar with. Several years ago, I presented her with a small book on identifying her favorite species of birds.
There was one bird that gave Dotty fits before she finally put her finger on it. Many of you are familiar with a Rufous-sided Towhee, but this was Dotty's first. The vocals are something, once you hear it singing. You can break it down into phonics as, “Drink your tea.” There is another call it makes, “cherwink.” The Towhee was one of the first birds that I remember from my youth. Over at our second house on Clearview Drive, we had a couple of shrubs that we called spreaders out on each side of the sidewalk. There was a Towhee that built it's nest in one side or the other for about three years.
Back in the colder months, I located several White-crowned Sparrows along the small creek where Dotty lives. Her daughter, Tammy, has started to show an interest in birds since she has her mother with her. I had given them a couple of Bluebird houses, which now has a family of Bluebirds in one and Carolina Chickadees in the other.
The house next door has a nest under the front porch with a pair of House Finch sitting on eggs. Other birds around my house include Song Sparrow, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse and my favorite pair of Downy Woodpeckers.