Sunday, July 28, 2013

Great Crested Flycatcher: Who Is Looking at Whom?

All pictures on this blog are taken from our backyard.
Why is this significant?
We live in the city, yet on the edge of what once was country, and now is wooded suburban land.  So while away from home we may see many different bird species in many differing habitats, at home is much more limited.  Every time I see a "new to the yard" species, I get excited.
Which brings me to the great crested flycatcher.  I've never seen here.  Several days ago, much to my surprise, I heard "reap, reap" coming from the tall trees bordering the back yard.  I'd heard this before - the song and calls of the great crested flycatcher, sometimes described as sounding like "weep" or "preet".
This bird is a woodland bird.  Hearing him here again confirmed to me, it doesn't take much woods some times, in terms of acreage, to attract these birds.
I searched high in the trees on woods' edge.  I found him!  He sat in the highest tree bordering the yard, a white pine.  This first day I had no camera and was frustrated to get no picture.
Following days I had the camera handy, and each night at dusk I heard the "reap" again, but could not find him.
One of these nights, as I scanned the woods, I found him.  I was looking at him, and he was looking at me!
great crested flycatcher
I had to laugh, we really were eye to eye.  I got one ok picture, not great.  I was shaking laughing, so the image came out blurry.
A couple of nights later, I saw why I had been having such a difficult time finding this bird.  I was walking the neighborhood and saw our back yard from a different angle.  The flycatcher was sitting high in a tree nearby singing, but blocked from where I usually scanned for birds by other trees in the backyard.
great crested flycatcher tree top one
So I made my way out and took a few more pictures, but the light was so faint, and the distance so long, that these just show outlines really.  You can still see the crest and some of hints of the yellow on the breast.
great crested flycatcher tree top two
These are the last I've seen of this bird.  If I do manage to get any more pictures, will update.
great crested flycatcher tree top three

great crested fycatcher tree top four
Enjoy the day -

Saturday, July 6, 2013

House Wrens Leave the Nest

I didn't know how long it would take for the house wrens to fledge.

house wrens in the box

The second morning after I first caught sight of the babies sticking their heads out for food, I started to see signs that this could all happen very quickly.

first wing out house wren

First one of the nestlings stuck his wing out of the box and seemingly stumbled as he reached for the adult bird.  He quickly pulled himself back in.

house wren gets a wing out

A few minutes later, this bird stuck his wing out and looked down, as if to say, "that first step doesn't look too bad."

house wrens happily begging

The birds looked more active and daring at the nest entrance.

 house wren a foot and a wing out the door

Here's another bird, or maybe the same as the first, he has his foot and wing out the door, but pulls back again.

house wrens beg more insistently

At the same time, the babies continued to beg for their parents to feed them.  They insistently stuck more and more of their bodies out the door, impatiently waiting for their parents.

house wrens crowded

I kept laughing, the birds were getting so crowded at the entrance.  These two seem to say, "it's getting awfully tight!"

Then I noticed the parent birds did not seem to come as often, and then for a few minutes I did not see them at all.  I thought perhaps it was time for everyone to take a nap as it was getting into the heat of the day, late morning.

I took the opportunity to take my eyes off the nest box to get some food for me!  Big mistake - because when I came back in twenty minutes, it was all over!

The birds were out of the nest!  I was sad I missed the exact moment it happened, but so happy to see the baby birds in the tree right above the nest.  They were beautiful!

house wren welcome to world

house wren new to world

 Enjoy the day - Cheerily