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Posts Tagged ‘birds’

Our trip down south was short but we sure did accomplish quite a bit and the main excitement for me was getting a few baby chicks.  The farm store has a “Chick Sale” and I was surprised at the variety of chicks they had.  We had agreed that I should only purchase 3 since they will be traveling back and forth with us (yes, I am crazy) but I may spend the summer months entirely down south (still to be determined).  They seem to have adjusted with all the moving around they had to deal with …

3-baby-rir

2-baby-rir

rhode-island-red-baby-chick

Rhode Island Red Baby chickens   A video I created – aren’t they cute!

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I spotted a friend in the yard this morning – well, not so sure he will be invited over for a friendly lunch once the gardens are growing …

groundhog Baby Groundhog

I brought along the camera on the morning walk and captured some sure signs of Spring –

birds-along-path 

The picture is quite a distance so somewhat unclear, but those are geese in the background and the larger birds in front I am not sure!  I have seen blue heron and different cranes in the area, but one at a time.  There was 5-6 of these larger birds and I did video them but it is still unclear.  I need to scan my bird book!

ducks-on-path Pair of ducks

Video of ducks  I am learning how to video so it is a bit shaky – well,  ALOT shaky (I need to hold my breath and not move when taking videos!)   Another video

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I first saw and photographed the baby swans on June 8th and it’s amazing how much they have grown!

 Proud parent and six babies!

There is one white baby and the other 5 are dark grey – not sure what the difference is.

  Two baby swans

 Closeup of baby swan

 Checking each other out and this last pictures is a Great Shot of one of the adult swans, the blue heron and a couple of ducks!

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As we pulled up to our home in Southern Illinois and glanced across the pond we saw White Birds!  They were wading in the water and several were on land.  Neither of us have ever seen these beautiful birds before and I did my best to capture them on the camera.  They were very observant and once they sensed my movements they all flew up in the trees and finally they flew off as I tried to get closer to them.  They are either Great White Egrets or Snowy Egrets or something else all together!  It was a fantastic sight …

As we entered the garage we were greeted by a friendly little lizard …

Walking around the property we spotted baby birds screaming for food – they were high up in the outside corner of the barn and mother bird was feeding them like crazy!  I know I saw at least 4 of them and by the time we left to return home, it seemed they had all left the nest.  I searched the internet and I want to say the birds are Spotted Flycatchers.  The reason I think this is not only do they resemble the bird, but mother bird was actually bringing the huge horse flies to the babies to eat.  Straight up … she didn’t even eat them first!

 Baby birds

 Mother Spotted Flycatcher

 This black crawfish is only about an inch long, but sure is scary looking and the two tiny peepers next were ALL over the place!

  A hummingbird in action and the last picture is ……. The Bluebird of Happiness !

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I harvested my first somewhat successful batch of garlic July 9th and I was very lucky these grew … here is what I learned.  I planted garlic LAST spring (not this spring) and had no clue when to dig it up, so I more or less just forgot about it.  In the meantime, I purchased the book “Growing Great Garlic” by Ron L. Engeland and guess what …… Garlic should be planted in the Fall – not spring!  AND it needs to stay in the ground for 9 months before harvest!  So considering I am in Illinois I should be planting garlic in October and harvesting in July.  The reason I think I was confused with the planting time is because most stores sell garlic in early spring so I just figured that’s when it gets planted.  The few garlic that I just did harvest sent up tops and were growing along with the rest of the garden.  The tops did start to die down just recently so I decided to dig them up wondering what I would find.  July is harvest time I recalled and here is what I found!

 

I spotted a few cicadas in the new garden we dug up this year.  Last year was the year for the 17 year cicada to emerge in our area – we had very few, but other towns were swarmed.  Not sure if these newly emerged cicada are late bloomers or our area will get hit this year??

 

This is the shell they leave behind –

The Swan Family is doing very well and seem quite happy – they even acquired a new buddy … a Beautiful Blue Heron!

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I ventured outside today to trim up the lilac bush that is right in front of the kitchen window so we could watch the new bird feeder in action BUT I noticed the Cardinal pair were pretty active themselves.  They seemed particularly interested in this same lilac bush so I backed off and observed and to my delight … they are building a nest right smack dab in the middle of the bush!  I thought it was a little late in the season but I have never witnessed a cardinal building a nest and having babies…the Cardinal is the state bird for Illinois so this is really cool!  Here are the pictures I was able to capture – they were certainly flitting around like crazy!

   Mr. Cardinal and “the lilac bush”

  Framework of the nest

  There SHE is!

Some time passed and I didn’t see either of them.  I was leaving and noticed both of them in a nearby tree ……. watching

 Mrs. Cardinal

 Mr. Cardinal

Now for the update on the Swans – haven’t seen the female out of the nest for a while now but the male is sure protecting his turf from those Geese!

  In flight … he IS Serious!

I wonder who will have the babies first … the Cardinals or the Swans??  I just hope with the 4 dogs and 2 teenagers we don’t scare the Cardinals away … I need to make a Sign!

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I was waiting for the showdown to occur with the Swans and the Geese for at least over a week now.  The geese just took it upon themselves to make a home in the swan nest and the swans let them do it!  I am thinking what happened is that the swans weren’t ready for the nest and were busy scoping out the pond and such being just placed there – all the while the geese were setting up home right under their nose.  *One note I will make is that alot of establishments will use swans to keep the geese out of the area and they do DO that very effectively!  So watching this goose nest in the swans nest was puzzling to me …. Well, today I witnessed the swans making a statement and actually they were nice about it.

OK  … time to make a Statement …

When they fluff up their feathers like that …. Look OUT!  The goose in the nest didn’t move and the other half kept trying to get in the nest as well …

That appears to be an “attack mode” …  he was crusin’ after that other goose!

OK who do you think will win this Nature War?  When I finished my walk and left the scene BOTH geese were in the nest and both swans were in the attack mode ………. we can only wonder what happened.  I can make a guess here when I go on my next walk — Mama Swan will be sitting happily in that ole nest there ~ we will see

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