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Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Bluebird’

An early morning photo of a Red Bellied woodpecker (a male) on a stump in my front yard; he was very unafraid and must be feeding nestlings at this time; as is the female Eastern Bluebird below; she has found a fat cricket:

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A juvenile Red-tail hawk in the yard this morning looking really fierce.  Additionally, Eastern Bluebird courtship started today (later than usual due to the cold weather). I cleaned out the birdhouses on my Bluebird Trail this morning. Also a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers searching for spiders and eating raw peanuts this morning. The Hairy Woodpecker appears to be banded:

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I took these photos about 20 minutes ago. An Eastern Bluebird and a Yellow-Rumped Warbler, and finally, a first summer Bluebird, as portraits using a Canon 7D and a Canon EF300L IS 2.8:

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Today in the light rain (it’s heavier now) this group of very young bluebirds have discovered a nest box on the corner of my utility shed made for phoebes and barn swallows. They are playing “King of the House”. Each one takes a try to takeover the platform and eject the previous occupant. Several fly to the ground to pick up and a piece of straw for nest building, as instincts take over. They are mischievous and cute:

 

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Taking their parents lead, these fledglings hatched from my trail, about 15, have taken to the water in a big way as their parents watch:

 

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Well — after two weeks of little interest in breeding, the breeding season is back as of this morning. The Bluebirds are more aggressive NOW  but so are the House Sparrows; Photos from this morning follow, taken with a Canon 50D and a Canon 400mm Lens, handheld. There are quite a few photos:

 

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Here come the Pesky House Sparrows – they can and will kill Bluebirds

 

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Took this phot with a Canon 7D and a Canon 600mm Lens which yields 600mm X 1.6 (crop factor) = 960 mm. This male Eastern Bluebird (a juvenile I think) has a landing perch from which he lands and eats. I had the camera set up 100′ from the perch and then used manual focus for a spot 10′ in front of the perch. That is  a total of 110′. I then wait for the bird and take 8 quick photos when he closes in on that 110′ spot.

Still a little out of focus and my speed was a little too slow (1/1000th sec):

 

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It’s been very dry here ! No rain for about 2 weeks now. The vegetation is really drying up now. However, its been very cool for the past 4 days with highs in the upper 70s to about 80 and lows in the mid-50s. Great weather for working outside.There are plenty of White-tail deer fawns now; in fact one has been staying in my fenced in garden-orchard under a peach tree in some very fine and soft green grass. The doe comes and feed her fairly regularly and the fawn has just began eating grass with her mom. I also have a very large a beautiful buck that visits the clover patch every evening.

I am hoping for a thundershower this afternoon.

The Eastern Bluebirds have been busy feeding Brood 1 and bathing in the birdbath with them in the mornings and evenings; and a younger pait of bluebird has laid eggs in the house on the gate-post. I did get a photo of a adult male bluebird last evening just as the sun was setting behind the west  end of Reynolds Mountain:

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I have a trail with 5 houses. I have had 3 active bluebird nests each year since 2010. This year I only have 1 nest. I have a influx of English (House) sparrows that I never had before. They have liternally taken over the place, stuffing grass and anything they can find in every hole, crack, and crevice on the property. They kill adult bluebirds and use their feathers in their nest, which is built on top of an active bluebird nest. They are ruthless ! and so agressive and persistent ! For a ten day stretch, I pulled their nesting material completely out of each house; only to find they were able to rebuild and lay eggs within 24 hours.

English sparrows have contributed greatly to the demise of native American songbird species over the past 125 years, sice they were introduced into Central Park in NYC. They are actually Weaver Finches, not sparrows at all.

My action plan: I purchased a ST-1 sparrow Live trap and am going to remove every House Sparrow from my property via relocation by June 30.

My poor lonely only pair of Bluebirds on the trail this year. They have to contstantly fend off attacks from House Sparrows.

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Well,  they are the prettiest thrush in the world, to me. My favorite. I built a bluebird trail 3 years ago and am brooding about 100 hatchlings per year now. My trail will grow by 2 more boxes early this spring. This is a file photo from last June taken with a Canon 1DS Mark II Full Frame camera and a EF600L f/4.0 IS lens with a Teleconverter of 1.4X. It is one is a long series of 400+ photographs:

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