Amazing nest box camera video of a female Blue Tit assisting a chick to hatch by nibbling away at the shell and even lifting the whole egg and chick out of the nest cup.
She removes the bottom half first then returns to remove the top of the shell that is stuck to the chick’s head. These tiny eggs are only 16mm long.
With thousands of bird feeders, bird houses, bird baths and accessories to choose from, finding the perfect gift for someone who likes to attract birds to their backyard garden or patio can be a daunting task. Here is a top 5 list of gift ideas that are sure to be a hit with your backyard birder.
Squirrel proof feeders can be fun to watch
Squirrel proof feeders are fun to watch, and effective.
Unique Gift Idea #5: Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders
Squirrels can be a huge nuisance to a backyard birder. They can quickly destroy an average bird feeder as they gorge themselves on premium bird seed. Luckily, there are bird feeders designed especially to prevent squirrels from feeding from them, and that provide hours of entertainment as the spurned squirrels stubbornly try to get to the seed (see squirrel obstacle course video).
Our best-selling squirrel proof bird feeder is the Yankee Flipper. It has a motor driven, battery powered, weight activated perch ring that allows the birds to eat and twirls squirrels off. It holds 5 lbs of seed, and is durably constructed of stainless steel and non-yellowing polycarbonate. The Yankee Flipper link above includes a video of it in action.
Also, a squirrel proof baffle can be added to a favorite bird feeder. For an automated spin, our Twirl-A-Squirrel baffle sits above an existing feeder and uses a squirrel’s weight on the feeder to activate a motor which gently spins the squirrel to the ground.
Heated Bird Bath
Heated Bird Bath
Unique Gift Idea #4: Heated Bird Baths
If the fall migration has left your backyard birder’s garden devoid of birds, adding a heated bird bath is the perfect solution to draw in an amazing variety of winter birds looking for a source of unfrozen water.
There are a number of heated bird bath options available, including deck mounted bird baths and pedestal style bird baths. Some backyard birders choose to protect the pumps of their favorite fountains by storing the fountains over the winter, and placing a separate heated bird bath or basin close to a window or vantage point.
Also, if your backyard birder already has a fountain in their backyard, heating elements (some thermostatically controlled) can be added to deice the bird bath during the coldest winter months.
Bird-Song-Audio-From-New-England-BirdhouseUnique Gift Idea #3: Bird Song Audio Learning Devices
The enjoyment of watching birds in your backyard is dramatically increased, when you can identify bird songs and bird calls. Being able to identify a bird based on its song is now attainable through technology.
Devices such as the Identiflyer, store and playback a recording of wild birds’ calls and songs, and can even be used sparingly to attract birds to the area. Bird song scanning wands use bar codes that can be placed in bird watching field guides to scan and playback recordings of bird songs in the field. There is even a singing alarm clock that wakes a sleeping birder with the call of their favorite bird. The convenience and simplicity of these devices, make them a terrific resource for kids interested in backyard birding.View full post
Mark your calendar: on September 17—20, 2009, the Midwest Birding Symposium (MBS) is returning to Ohio for the first time in a decade. The charming Victorian Chautauqua community of Lakeside will repeat as the host site for this year’s event. The MBS will feature presentations by North America’s leading experts, an extensive vendor area with nature products and information, birding at the area’s top birding spots, and the opportunity for both novice and experienced birders to network with fellow enthusiasts.View full post
All winter long, a bird’s most difficult task is to continually forage enough food during the day to provide the calories they need to keep warm at night when they aren’t eating.
Cold winter wind saps energy and warmth from birds, and this is especially so at night when their reserves aren’t being replenished. And if a bird’s energy reserves are compromised during the night, it makes the next day’s survival that much more difficult.
Many people provide birds with food and water during the day, but we can go one step further. We can help birds make it through long, winter nights by providing shelters where they can escape freezing winds and icy temperatures.View full post
Think of topiary and you may envision a whimsical ivy sculpture of a Mickey Mouse or Cinderella at Disneyworld. But the art of topiary has been around for ages and was actually practiced in early Roman and Greek gardens and courtyards. Shaped wire cages are sometimes employed in modern topiary to help guide pruning, whereas traditional topiary depends on a trained eye, skilled patience and a steady hand.
Latin for an ornamental landscape gardener, topiary is the art of creating sculptures using clipped trees, shrubs and plants. The shrubs and plants used in topiary are evergreen, have small leaves or needles, produce dense foliage, and have compact and columnar growth. Common plants used in topiary include boxwood, arborvitae, bay laurel, holly, myrtle, yew, and privet. Shaped wire cages or frames are used in modern topiary to guide plants. Wire frames can be homemade by bending wire to form shapes, or purchased commercially in many unique styles and sizes.
Using frames for topiary, or American Portable style topiary, was introduced to the US at Disneyland around 1962. Walt Disney helped bring this new medium into being – recreating his cartoon characters throughout his theme park in landscape shrubbery.View full post
More than two dozen albino ringneck doves were found clinging to life in a group of trees in a Queens, NY park. The non-native doves had presumably flown there after being released following a wedding. Volunteers from the Wild Bird Fund helped capture about 15 of the birds. About 25 doves remain, some too weak to fly back up into the trees after falling from branches. It’s believed that the doves were bred to be pets, and have no experience in foraging for food or living in the wild.
The only type of birds that should be used for dove releases are well trained white racing pigeons. These birds are trained by professionals to return home after being released.View full post
Learn expert tips for photographing wild birds in your backyard or garden patio from professional photographer Andy Langley. A great resource for backyard bird watchers, Andy discusses different considerations and examples for staging a backyard photograph including a discussion of composition, lighting and backgrounds. Tricks and tips include using juicy live mealworms to attract wild birds, adding a flash to fill in dark spots, or disguising the camera with a scrim or piece of dark material.View full post
A Boston vacation is a mesmerizing trip through the nation’s past and a celebration of its future and center of learning. Here in one …View full post
As I write this, I can look out my window and see a busy house sparrow going from the birdfeeder, to the suet feeder, to the blossoms of the pineapple guava bush. The sparrow eats a few sunflower seeds, takes a few pecks from the suet, and then yanks on the sweet fleshy petals of the red and white guava flowers (Feijoa sellowiana).
Bees and other insects seldom visit the guava flowers and they are pollinated almost entirely by birds. As the bird yanks on a petal, the pollen is shaken from the stamens onto the pistil and fertilization takes place. I first noticed this with mocking birds, and then with Hooded Orioles. Today is the first time I’ve seen a sparrow doing this work. The sparrow may not know it but he (she?) is making sure that I’ll have a good crop of guavas this fall.View full post
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The rule implements federal protections provided by the ESA for the Cantabrian capercaillie, Marquesan imperial pigeon, Eiao Marquesas reed-warbler, greater adjutant, Jerdon’s courser, and slender-billed curlew.
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