|Our Feathered Friends - April 4|
|Wednesday, April 4, 2012|
By RAY POPE
Where have all these years retreated to? It seems like only yesterday that I came up with “Our Feathered Friends” as an article for bird lovers in The Wilson Post. This particular article marks my 200th entry, my contribution of knowledge to each of you that takes the time to read them. As for my bout with starlings, I am lucky to be here for this one.
It does my heart good when I can make a trip somewhere and have a story to bring back to share with you all. Since February of 2008, when this column began, my style of writing has improved as I don't get as nervous about what I have to say. In other words, I try to relate to you in simple words that I know that you will comprehend, without all that scientific mumbo-jumbo.
Does anybody have an excess of chicken feathers that I might get from you? There were two Tree Swallows hanging around my back yard, looking over some of my nesting boxes. The feathers would be an enticement for nesting. Barn Swallows are also here, especially building their nest under the bridge over Town Creek and North Greenwood Street. If you keep your eyes open, you will see them on the power lines next to the bridge. All of the aforementioned Swallows are insect eating machines looking to make your yard free from pesky bugs. Keep it in mind that the Purple Martin is our largest Swallow and that they have finally made it back to their breeding area.
Here is an early heads-up for my birding program and Owl prowl to be had at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park. The Elsie Quarterman Glade Festival will be held the evening of Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29. My bird program will start at 7 a.m. on Saturday for the birds, and it will finish later that night at dark-thirty for the Owl Prowl. Last year on the Owl Prowl, we had Barred Owls all over the place, flying just overhead of us birders. That weekend should be my 38th yearly program as I believe that I started back in 1974. This period of time should be great because our migrants should start filtering through on their way north.
After my morning bird walk, several of us will make our way over to old campground number three and call up most of our Woodpecker species. Carole Young was with me last year for my Woodpecker calling. I was tickled when she mentioned the Woodpeckers "slamming" into the trees, while watching to find the interloper that had invaded its territory. We called up the Pileated, Hairy, Downy, Red-bellied and Red-headed Woodpeckers that flew in just a few feet from us.
I would love to thank my neighbors from across the street for feeding all the Robins in the area. I had been out with Dotty Kim and her daughter Tammy Taylor. When I returned I found my garden spot already tilled and ready for some plants and all the Robins working overtime.
My family of Bluebirds is sitting on five blue eggs. Depending on the time she set her clutch, it will be 14 days till they hatch and another 14 days till they fledge.
Sheila Nichols Smith shared with me a picture on Facebook of her clutch of Bluebird eggs. She is like me, can't wait till they hatch. I finally got to meet Sheila when I was doing my bird program at Gardens on Main.