|Our Feathered Friends- June 13|
|Friday, June 15, 2012|
I never thought that I would enjoy the antics of a starling till this past Sunday Afternoon. There was a juvenile starling and a young cowbird feeding together in my back yard as if they might be brothers and sisters. Myself, I've never seen a cowbird compromise a starlings nest. Why would they want to? You remember the old saying, like "Mutt and Jeff," these birds were inseparable. I will look for them tomorrow and will try to get a photo of them.
Update on "my" Tree Swallows. I am afraid that the young might take off any day now. Mom came flying into the nest box with a Crane Fly this afternoon, mostly legs and not much nutrition and would you believe it, my camera was at the ready. I am not bragging on my prowess as a photographer, but if you shoot enough you can get lucky sometimes. There was a distance of only five feet between mom and myself. Like the old saying, "even a blind Turkey will find an acorn every once in a while." Since the weather turned cooler, it takes mom and pop a little longer to find lunch for the little ones. The other day the parents were returning to the nest every couple of minutes, and now, the trips are lasting at least five minutes.
Well, my fears are true and my Tree Swallows have moved on as I am having empty nest syndrome. It would have been great if the parents had kept them in the large hay field behind the house to teach the young Swallows how to catch insects on the wing.
There is only so much room here for species to nest. If the Purple Martins would show up next spring, that would be something else to write about. I have been lucky to have Eastern Bluebirds nesting so close to Tree Swallows. When either one of the Bluebirds took a rest on top of the basketball goal, in the back yard of the Carvers’ house next door, they were dive-bombed by the Swallows. It was all for show as when the Swallows dived at the Bluebirds, all the Bluebirds did was nod their head to get out of range. Such a simple move would draw a chuckle from me each and every time.
Across the hay field behind my house are the trails of the Don Fox Park, and I see potential for putting out a few more Bluebird boxes on some of the smaller trees. By putting these houses out it would improve the possibility of getting more Tree Swallows to nest here. When placing out Bluebird boxes there needs to be daylight above the box. Most people that walk the trails would not interfere with the birds nesting, but there is a small percentage that couldn't keep their hands off them.
If I can get some donations from some of my "OFF" readers, we could make the trail even more enjoyable to walk. You can purchase cedar blueboxes at Lowe’s for just under $10 apiece. Being made of cedar, wasps will not build in them and raise havoc with the other occupants. I will be sticking my foot in my mouth as this is the first time that I have mentioned money in my 200 plus articles. It's just a thought and a way to give back something to the fine people of Lebanon, as long as the Don Fox Park powers that be will not mind this undertaking. By having some of the boxes on the trees, it would have to be made snake-proof before I would chance it.
Also for my friends that read the Our Feathered Friends article on our website under the blogs section. I just want to eat some crow from a misspelling of the word "Huge" instead of typing “Hugh.” The grasshopper was not named "Hugh" but it was a "Huge" beastly insect. It was printed correctly in the newspaper, but snuck by in the on-line article."MY Bad." My computer has no spell check, but I do have access to an old 1968 Webster’s New World Dictionary and Student Handbook.
The Black Bear in last week’s article was sent from East Tennessee and represents the trouble that a bear will go to find food.