Monday, June 23, 2014

As They Say, The More You Know

As a bonafide city kid, one can note that I have taken to certain parts of country living well. Open space, farms, wildlife of all kinds, hiking trails, nice parks. Others, not so much. Sidewalks. We need sidewalks in my town dammit! And a Trader Joe's. Petty issues yes, but I can complain a little can't I?

One thing I really love about where I live is the constant sounds of birds. All types of birds. It is sort of amazing how many different songs one can hear in an hour in the morning.

As you can see by the photo, I have a cute little nesting box on my garage. Currently a family of bluebirds have taken up residence there. I put the shepherds hook there awhile back when I realized they were moving in and figured it would gave them a place to sit, observe and protect.

I used to have bird feeders but the squirrels and deer were too aggressive with them. One morning I went out and my suet cake holder was gone. I looked everywhere and never found it. Bear, deer, raccoon, who knows what the hell took it so that was when I decided to just provide clean water and sunflowers for the birds to have fun.

Since I am ignorant to birding as a whole I have begun some research. One of the first things I was interested in doing was getting more birdhouses. I started to look up what types of boxes I needed and lo and behold I came across the fact that we have two very aggressive species in NJ that will kill, yes kill, my pretty little bluebirds to nest in the birdhouse. The House Sparrow and European Starlings are considered invasive brutes and we can humanely euthanize them if we catch them because they are such a threat to our native species. (See here.) Personally I am not killing anything, but I will do what I can to prevent the little buggers from screwing with the current residents of the birdhouse. I am happy to say I have only heard the calls of these particular birds and not seen them in my yard, but one never knows. I have witnessed the bluebirds fighting off other small birds, but not the House Sparrow or Starling.

On another fun note, I have a house finch nesting in one of my hanging plants. She has about 4 eggs in there so I am letting her be and trying to water the plant best I can. I do think it is sort of cool to have them there though so I see no reason to make a fuss.

Thanks to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I am hip to all things birds.


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