Beau January 24th, 2009
Woke up to 8-10 degrees F this morning, after a few warmish days. Even the bees came out to stretch their wings earlier this week. Okay, my spring thoughts are early- can you blame me?! There’s about 25 Juncos and other birds darting around the feeders. Our little cat Princess just had to go outside yesterday evening to explore, and darted out as we were coming in… so she got to spend the night somewhere very chilly. The dogs are in the garage when it’s this cold, and while letting them out this morning Princess runs back into the garage, “Meeowwww!” she says, asking to come inside the laundry room.
The other day my wife and son found a little woodpecker on the patio at the base of some windows. Presumably it was stunned from flying into them- she just picked it up off the ground. But I came in that evening to find it wrapped up in warm blankets in a little box, blinking its eyes at me and turning its head. As I looked at it the lab stuck his nose at the little bird and up it flew! It was a male Downey Woodpecker, and was hanging on near the windows, then flew over to the brick on the fireplace. I simply reached up and gently grabbed it, prying its little claws off the brick. It didn’t even fuss very much- I don’t know if it was just not afraid or what. Here’s another one near the feeders.
It was dark outside by then however, so we put it back in a box to keep through the night. The next morning after the sun came up, they gathered to watch as I took it outside and opened up the box. The little woodpecker grabbed on to my fingers with its feet- and didn’t seem to want to let go. Finally I pushed it towards the edge of the box, and it looked around for a bit- and then flew up to the top of an oak tree. Cute little guy- hope he made it!
Here’s a nest I found way up high in another oak tree. It’s deceiving, but this is a pretty big nest- probably close to 10-12 inches in diameter on some large branches of the tree. What do you suppose it’s from? It’s not Mourning Doves- they make messy stick nests. This one is quite nice and tidy looking, but I have no idea what kind of bird made it. Will they use it again? Interesting things you can find in winter. One of these days I’ll get a nice spotting scope to help get a better look at wildlife and such.