Friday, July 30, 2010


The hummingbirds are always such a joy to watch but always hard to photograph because they rarely sit still long enough.

Most experts believe a hummingbird lives "3-4 years" in natural conditions. But with artificial feeding, a hummingbird may live as long as 10 years.
I don't know how old these ones are because I have never figured out a way to tell them apart let alone how old they are.  I do know that the males have a red band on the neck and the females do not.   I remember a tale from many years ago that if you sprinkle salt on a birds tail you can catch it.  I have had many birds in my hand but never had to put salt on it's tail to do so.  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some days my photographic skills have much to be desired.  This pileated woodpecker is one of a pair that were in my old oak tree.  That tree is over 400 years old and slowly falling apart but the woodpeckers are right at home.  These woodpeckers (also known as cock of the north) are rarely seen but often heard off in the distance. 

Cool Facts

  • The Pileated Woodpecker digs characteristically rectangular holes in trees to find ants. These excavations can be so broad and deep that they can cause small trees to break in half.
  • A Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate floaters during the winter.
  • The feeding excavations of a Pileated Woodpecker are so extensive that they often attract other birds. Other woodpeckers, as well as House Wrens, may come and feed there.
  • The Pileated Woodpecker prefers large trees for nesting. In young forests, it will use any large trees remaining from before the forest was cut. Because these trees are larger than the rest of the forest, they present a lightning hazard to the nesting birds.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Birds hit the window!

Occasionally we have birds hit the windows but thankfully I also have sheer curtains on the inside that I keep closed so I rarely find a dead bird after they hit.  I did have one that unfortunately broke it's neck when it hit but usually after a short sit the stunned birds get up and fly away.  This little one managed to land in a pail of water that I was using to water the houseplants I have on the deck.  After a quick dry off it was very alert but stayed to visit for a bit before it flew off.