Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Birds

And I Do Have A Cold

I was tempted to write "Birds flew" as my title, playing with the words "flew" and "flu," but since I don't have the flu--better not, I've had a flu vaccine--I decided against it. Darn it. I love puns.  In do have a potentially nasty head cold. Hopefully I'll be able to shake it soon.

At any rate, it really doesn't matter much as far as doing anything outdoors is concerned as the cold wave has hit us full force.  It is only around 24 F with a wind making it feel more like 8F.  The Boys are just hanging around by the barn, I guess using it as a wind break.  They do have their winter blankets on, and I gave them some extra hay this morning, so they should be fine.

The grackles were back this morning. I think the whole flock is grackles with a mix of male and female. I only say that because there are a lot of the shimmery iridescent black birds and then a lot of the smaller, dusky colored birds mixed in. Could be some starlings, but I suspect the smaller birds are the females.

I took a few pictures but they are not great for a few reasons. The main one is that I took them through the windows of my house and the windows have screens on the other side of the glass, so the mesh interferes with a good picture. The second reason is that, at least on my front lawn, the leaves are still so deep  that a lot of the birds kind of vanish against them.  At any rate, this flock covered my front and back lawns and my Aunt's lawn next door.

This picture shows them in my yard and in the next picture, if you look off and up to the right, you can see them swarming across my Aunt's lawn.
This last picture shows a thick group of grackles at the bird feeder. Needless to say, it's pretty easy to tell where all the bird seed went this morning. 

The grackles are really noisy too, both with their vocal sounds but also the rustle of their wings as they take off or land en masse.  It's amazing when I can hear it inside the house with all the doors and windows closed. 

Now, of course, I still wonder if they eat the stinkbugs. Research on the Internet isn't too helpful, but I did see a few references to the fact that the birds do prey on at least the local stinkbugs--the brown mamorated ones have been accidently "imported" from China and Japan.  

I also have to admire how opportunistic the birds are. When I looked out just now, there were four of five of them perched on the horse's water trough.  I guess everything else is frozen, so if they want a drink, that's the only option. 

I just put some Cheerios cereal out there at the feeder and now it looks as if a flock of starlings is after that.  I just hope some of the bigger, more aggressive birds like these leave something for my little sparrows, chickadees, and the cardinals. 

Nature has her ways.  

5 comments:

  1. It's always amazing that such small creatures can stay at a livable body heat in such weather. Cheerios probably help:)

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  2. Might be a few cowbirds mixed in there too, and even some red-winged blackbirds. We get those huge mixed flocks too.

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  3. That's a lot of birds. I always wonder too, how they stay warm when they are so small. You should see the geese we have at the farm, they are so annoying, noisy and messy. I keep waiting for them to fly south, but then again maybe to them they are south since they're Canadian geese! Feel better.

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  4. 24 is cold, especially with wind. It is December though so cold is to be expected.

    Take care of yourself!

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  5. Oh but no snow! Lucky lucky you ^-^ I wish you to get better soon. IO am still fighting against my flu.

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