Birds


As was the case in Albuquerque, you can’t swing a cat here without hitting a bird. That’s one of the many things we love about this place.

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This rooster house was kitchen decor in Albuquerque. I couldn’t find a place for it here, so I stuck it up on the wall just outside our kitchen door. I never thought anyone would actually want to live in it.

Wren2

Looks like I was wrong. This little house wren has definitely claimed it as her own.

Wren3

From Whatbird.com:

  • House Wrens are fiercely territorial, they have been known to destroy bluebird and other cavity nester’s eggs by piercing them, and then often removing the eggs from the nest.
  • There have been occasional reports of House Wrens killing young nestlings (4-5 days old) or throwing them out of the nest.
  • House Wrens live up to 7 years in the wild.
  • A group of wrens has many collective nouns, including a “chime”, “flight”, “flock”, and “herd” of wrens.
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Spring

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I haven’t done Saturday Parts or Saturday Stuff in a long time, so I figure now’s as good a time as any to share pictures that I don’t know what to do with or don’t fit in a post of their own.

The ducklings. Back when innocence ruled and they all sought each other out for comfort. I think this photo was probably taken sometime in June of last year:


This jack used to live on the other side of the alfalfa pasture behind Morning Bray Farm:

Sadly, he was alone and brayed a lot, especially after Gracie came to live with us. We called him the “donkey in the distance” or DITD (Diddy). Later, because we believe that all donkeys deserve dignified names, we named him Eugene and called him E. Diddy. We walked to visit with him and give him scritches every weekend. He’s gone now; we don’t know what happened to him.

And last for this week, a nest in our barn. I’ve never seen a “sideways nest” and am wondering what kind of bird this might belong to. Sparrows, maybe?

Irrigation day in the pasture:

Interesting facts about cattle egrets from whatbird.com:

  • It has been estimated that Cattle Egrets are able to gather 50% more food and use only two-thirds as much energy when they feed in association with livestock as opposed to feeding alone.
  • The Cattle Egret did not exist outside of Africa until the late 19th century. They likely flew from Africa to South America and since have extended their range through Florida and then further north and west.
  • They have been observed along side the runways of airports waiting for airplanes to pass and blow insects out of the grass. They also follow farm equipment to catch insects that are disturbed.
  • A group of cattle egrets are collectively known as a “stampede” of egrets.

We had a surprise snow goose visitor here a couple of days ago. She was palling around with a pair of Canada geese:

According to whatbird.com, a group of geese has many collective nouns, including a “blizzard”, “chevron”, “knot”, “plump”, and “string” of geese. We often see large blizzards of snow geese here over the winter, but they’ve been gone for several weeks now.

It was when I saw the two together that I realized the significant size difference between the species:

Wherever the pair of Canada geese would go, the little snow goose would follow:

Snow geese migrate north for the summer and breed in the Arctic regions of North America and eastern Siberia. I can’t help but wonder how our little surprise visitor was left behind.

No matter now. I’m sure her friendly Canadian cousins will take care of her until she’s reunited with her snow goose family.

3/1/13 update: Our surprise visitor wasn’t a snow goose, but rather a Ross’s Goose. http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/293/_/Rosss_Goose.aspx. Thank you, Patrick C!

A couple of weeks ago, I arrived home to hear a familiar and favorite sound. It was the melodic sound of turkeys chirping next door.

Oh, how I’ve missed that sound. So has Mister Turkey:

Our new turkey girl neighbors are incredibly friendly. Most evenings when we call to them, they come running over to say hello:

Many of you know of my overwhelming need to name everything. I’m very thankful to our wonderful neighbor for allowing me the privilege of naming his new girls.

Welcome, Gabby:

And welcome, Babette:

Remember the part where I mentioned how friendly they are? When I sit on the fence, they fly up and join me most evenings for a chat. They’re not shy:

And we really do chat:

 

It’s a blessing to have such nice neighbors, don’t you think?

Babette is a bit smaller than Gabby and has a beautiful line of black feathers going down the center of her back:

And a lighter colored face and wattle:

Gabby is extremely outgoing and very outspoken:

And has taken to roosting each night on the gate between the goat and sheep runs here at Morning Bray Farm:

Welcome to the neighborhood, ladies. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for lots of turkey babies this spring. ♥

This April will mark Don’s and my fifth anniversary at Morning Bray Farm.

Every year between October and March, we’re inundated with Sandhill Cranes:

One special crane has visited us every migratory season since October 2007:

What we named her isn’t very creative, but it’s how we’ve always identified her.

Meet Limpy:

 

She definitely walks with a limp. I believe the pain is in her left knee:

We’ve become quite fond of Limpy. She’s a very pretty bird:

She even has a heart on her head:

We don’t know how old Limpy is, but we do know that the average lifespan of a Sandhill Crane is 20 years. We might just be seeing Limpy for many more years to come.

♥ ♥ ♥

Glimpses from our Saturday afternoon walk:

Heading back toward Morning Bray Farm:

Sunset from Morning Bray Farm:

 

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