Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekly Stroll

The garden is beginning to come alive with some color.  Here's what was going on in the garden this week.

Firecracker Plant - this will have red bell-shaped flowers that the hummingbirds love

The Silver Leaf Dwarf elephant ear is peeking through; I see that it is spreading this year, which is what I want it to do

As is Black Magic

the gladiolas came back this year

A canna getting ready to pop open


Red Yucca - the hummers love these too

Salvia came back.  I have a white one as well that I transplanted to a different spot

The Amaryllis was especially beautiful this year - a friend at work gave this to me for Christmas 3 years ago.


Monday, May 6, 2013

They've Flown the Coop

Saturday morning I was standing in the kitchen watching the finches outside the window when it dawned on me that one of them was actually one of the babies.  She was coaching him/her to fly (for convenience I'll call baby Uno).  They both left the roof edge and flew across the street to the neighbor's yard and back with that fast dipping motion they perform when they fly fast.  They turned right around without stopping and lighted on the roof again. 

Then Uno decided to take a leap off the roof but couldn't quite get the air needed and fluttered down and sat on one of my lilies.   I ran for my camera but it's not a really good photo.  Mama was right beside her on the grass for support and safety.  Uno is really hidden by the leaves, but she's there!

The rest of the clutch patiently waiting their turn.

Throughout the day I checked the nest and each time there was one less baby in the nest.

This is another one that likes to flit down onto the lily leaves.  I wish I had had more time to follow all of the goings on with the birds but I had tons of gardening chores to get done.
Late afternoon I no longer saw little heads bobbing up and down and wings flapping in the nest.  One by one Mama had helped each of here little fledglings to fly the coop.  Oh to be inside the mind of those little birds flying for the first time.  I imagine it's exhilarating.


This is the first sign that all 5 eggs had hatched. One out of the nest and four still crammed in there equal 5. I was anxious to see if there was an egg left unhatched in the nest. That would confirm once and for all just how many babies had hatched. I had trouble telling if there were 3, 4, or 5 nestlings in the nest. They were so on top of each other in that little nest. I read that the Mama usually removed the pieces of shell from hatched eggs. I would think it really hard for her to remove a whole egg that turned out to be a dud; other than maybe pushing it out of the nest. I never saw anything on the ground so I assumed there were 4 hatched birdies and one egg left. Today would be my day to tell.  I figured with all the birdies fledged there would be a whole egg still sitting in the nest....or not.

I secretly hoped that fifth egg would be sitting in the nest, left for me to claim.  How cool it would be to have such a beautiful egg.  I'd carefully blow it out and find some sort of craft to incorporate it into.  However, when I took the fern down and got a good look into the nest there was no extra egg.  I therefore have to assume that there were five healthy nestlings and today they found their freedom.

I also hoped I would be able to keep the nest.  I have read that you could put a nest in a baggie and toss it in the freezer for several days; guaranteed to kill mites, etc. the nest might harbor and you'd be left with a cute little nest to keep as a memory; to use in arrangements in the house and so on.

Take a good look at this nest.  Would you want to clean this up?  I think not.

It's been fun to watch this process of God' s handy work in nature, right down to the night we went below freezing.  Would they be able to keep themselves warm?  Would Mama come over and sleep on top of them to keep them warm?  I didn't know but could only pray for their safety.  That was Thursday night and Friday it was such a relief to see those little bobble heads in the  nest!

Now, can I put a new fern on the front porch please?????  (They don't have more than one brood a year do they?!?!?!?!!??!!??)   Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Nestling Update

Although I don't know the exact date each egg hatched, they are probably about two weeks old now.  They are growing and they are very loud, in a cute sort of way, whenever Mama or Papa comes bearing a meal.

It's still hard to tell just how many nestlings there are because I try not to linger over the nest for very long.  They have an awfully poopy nest don't they?  Whenever they have to do their business they stick their little hineys up over the edge of the nest and poop.  This is their way of keeping their living quarters clean.

Mama takes good care of her babies.

 I think I see four hungry mouths here but still not sure.  The one on the left is going to leap right out of the nest if he / she isn't careful.

Here is Papa.  He is a good help mate.  He will land on the chain or the basket and peruse the area before he hops down for the feeding.

Isn't the fern lovely?  Looks really nice hanging next to the other two that are, well.....alive.