LGT
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

Might be robin eggs.

containedchaos
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

I feed a lot of black oil sunflower seeds. And this year, i have sudden incursions of sunflower babies cropping up everywhere! lol
not that i mind the volunteer plants in the slightest....
and i do love watching the birds at the feeders.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

Yeah, I always have sunflower volunteers from the bird seed, but they aren't aggressive, so I just leave them.

I also have a stand of I think broom corn - looks just like corn except has seed tassels instead of ears. Gets very tall. I believe it came from a birdseed mix also. It comes back every year now and I have to keep digging lots of it out to keep it from taking over the flower bed it is in. But I figure it is probably as good as grass clippings for the compost pile.
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

TheWaterbug wrote:Image
Any guesses as to the species?


Here are Mom and Dad:

Image

If it's any clue, they're both helping out with the feeding. Yes, they've hatched :) Here's an AVI of Dad feeding the babies. I'm assuming it's Dad because of the orange on his head.

edit: National Geographic says House Finch:

Image
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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applestar
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

Great shot and good detective work :D

House finches are regulars around here as well and they typically nest in a shrub or tree in my garden, but this couple must have found this nook to their liking. I posted recently about a neighbor who had them nesting in a plastic hanging basket. So they're not very shy. They are backyard feeder birds.
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LGT
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

Thanks for the update. I was wondering how the little guys were doing. I had a nest in a hanging basket on my front porch but I waited and waited for the mama bird to return to lay her eggs. Never did. I am hoping that she found a better nesting spot and didn't die. I have a soft spot for wild birds since when I was little we would take over caring for them if the nests ended up abandoned. Looks like mama and daddy birds are doing an excellent job taking care of babies. I would just keep a far away look out to make sure they keep taking care of them and something doesn't happen to the parents so you have to step in.

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

Wow! Here's a guy with way better equipment (and skills) than I have. He has some Nat-Geo-quality photos and video of "his" house finches, who made a nest on the wreath on his front door.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

valley
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

If the birds would just eat the squirrels.

Wow, That was an elaborate set up, They got some great event by event flicks.

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

They're all growed up and gone away! My house finches fledged yesterday morning. There was one last photo/video of 5 kids in the nest, and then in the next shot they were gone. I have empty nest syndrome, in a very literal sense:

WSBC0204.JPG


WSBC0206.JPG
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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applestar
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

While I was looking out of the window, I saw a bright red male cardinal -- always a welcome backyard visitor -- swoop in and land on the arbor trellis. I've seen him around the strawberries (and I don't mind sharing) but I didn't think there were any ripe ones where he was looking, so I grabbed my bird watching binoculars to see what he was up to.

He hopped down to a tomato support stake, then down to the ground and traipsed over to the Red Russian kale growing under the tomato. Staring intently up at the bottom of the leaves, he snatched off a green cabbageworm! :D
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

Oh yay!! I always have lots of cardinals around eating the bird seed, but I didn't know they would do that. I will keep them in bird seed forever! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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applestar
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

I saw the cardinal hunting again today. Once at the SFH bed where the corn is growing this year -- he jumped into a patch of clover and garlic chives in the front of the bed and came up with something green and wiggling, then tucking that one in the corner of his beak, he went after something else and, catching the 2nd prey, took off in a hurry. Probably safe to think there are more than one chick in his nest, unless one of them was for his lady love.

2nd time, he was at the SF&H -- Winter Indoor Tomato Trial bed. Funny thing was there was a wren hunting there as well. I saw the wren hopping around on the ground, poking here and there, then the cardinal barreled into where the wren had been, chasing it off, then started looking into the same mulch and under plants. I wanted to cry, "Foul! -- Poaching!" LOL I guess they use similar "baby food".
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applestar
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

Something that struck me as particularly funny --

Back in early June, when the mulberry tree was *starting* to produce ripe berries and birds and animals that can climb were all over it from dawn to dusk, I noticed that tent caterpillars had made a tent nest on one of the top most branches.

There was no way I could get to it, not even by pressure hose, but all I could think was "What morons -- they really don't have any brains :lol:"

...sure enough, I don't think the tree lost much more than a handful of leaves to the caterpillars before the entire nest of them were dispersed. Why not? The birds stopped by for berry snacks for themselves and were able to pick up little baby food to take home. Or they came to get baby food and also managed to snatch a berry bite on the wing :twisted:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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applestar
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Re: Birds are the Gardeners best Friend.

Another look out the window :

This time a male cardinal -- yes, it was a cardinal again :D -- he was pecking at something on a tomato plant/branch. Thinking it was a fruit, I was getting ready to bang on the window in hopes of scoring it, but I didn't see any color, only green. I looked on the ground too but no sign of fruit bits or skin. It really looked like the bird was pecking at a particularly thick stub of a branch with nothing on it... Then I saw it: it was a FAT HORNWORM! :o

...I just harvested a couple of fruits from that plant yesterday, too. Never saw it. :oops:

After a couple more blows, I guess he finally got the caterpillar to let go because he grabbed it and hopped down to the ground.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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