Monday, May 16, 2011

Birding at Mom and Daddy's.

Saturday Ben and I drove the hour and a half to see my parents. Even though they live pretty close, we don't get to visit with them nearly enough; life is SO busy! So we went on Saturday.

When we got there, Ben and Daddy went inside to talk while Mom and I sat on the back porch overlooking the backyard, where they have this cute little garden.

I immediately kicked myself for not bringing the zoom lens. Also, on the left side of the garden there is a pole that has a bluebird house on it. Mom explained that they have a pair of chickadees nesting in it now, and they are in the process of feeding their babies. They have a wide variety of birds, including blue jays, cardinals, and all kinds of finches.

Here's the bluebird and a purple finch:

Then she told me that there's a male bluebird hanging around who has no mate (they mate for life, so maybe his wife died or was killed), and he is actively helping feed the chickadee babies. It took Mom a few days of watching to confirm that this was actually happening, but just sitting there for an hour convinced me that Daddy Blue is really feeding chickadee babies. Mom has talked to several ornithologists who agree that this behavior is unheard of, but there it is, right in the backyard. Amazing.

Daddy Blue is like a sentinel in the yard. He's been chasing away the sparrows and blue jays and he's quite protective of the box that houses the babies. I love watching birds. Someday I'm going to have a little spot just like this. And I'll remember the zoom.

I'm jealous of my mother's irises. Mine have beautiful long stems, but no blossoms. We think it may be because they're not in full sun. Next fall I'll try moving them and see what happens. This is what I want:

Be thankful ~


1 comment:

Diane Allen said...


Have bluebirds ever nested in that box? We have found that pairs generally return to the same area over and over. It could be the male and his mate might have raised young there before and that is why he's decided to act as the uncle to this clutch. Tell you mom I'm jealous of her feeder garden. We had to give up feeding two years ago when a pair of hawks moved into the yard. The feeder became more of a hawk diner.