Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The reward for practicing my pishing

No, that's not a typo. For all you non-birders: Pishing is a sound a birder can make to bring birds closer. While holding your teeth closed, you say "pish" over and over and nosy birds will come in for a look-see.
I was ouside tonight getting this cool shot of a new fuscia cosmos in our "prairie" experiment.
(And I didn't alter the photo at all. It looks like I ran it through Paint Shop, doesn't it?)

While getting the above shot, I noticed a male cardinal nearby.
So I started pishing. He came in closer, and it looked like he was eating. Leaning into the tangle, I saw that he wasn't eating...

...He was feeding someone.

I couldn't get very close, so I put the camera over the nest and shot this photo. It's hard to see how many babies there are, but as far as I can tell, there are maybe four.

***Note to my loyal readers: I very nearly bled to death getting this shot for you. The nest was in the middle of multiflora rose, honeysuckle and a downy hawthorn. Know why it's called "hawthorn"? Yep, full of thorns. I trimmed back as few branches as possible so as not to blow the cardinal's cover. See the level of dedication I have for you?


the bird lover's husband said...

Dedication, insanity, we all have our descriptions... either way, my wife loves birds.

Susan Gets Native said...

I won't argue the "insanity" part.

LauraHinNJ said...

Sorry you had to bleed to get that pic, but that view of the babies is worth it.

Thanks for your devotion to your loyal readers!

Susan Gets Native said...

You are most welcome.

I was just thankful that I got pictures of birds...I was getting paranoid that my "birding" blog was "birdless".

MojoMan said...

August, and the cardinals are still nesting. Thanks for teaching me something new!

NatureWoman said...

OMG those are some very precious babies! Thank you so much for almost bleeding to death for us.. Your flower is beautiful, too! I love Cosmos, as you know!

Big Bob's Dozer & Flame-thrower rental said...

After seeing the HawTHORN picture, I really must recommend you remove that dangerous plant [are you sure it isn't a porcupine on steroids?]

The best way to remove a Hawthorn is with a bulldozer and flame-thrower.

Lynne said...

The color of that beautiful cosmos must just glow at dusk! I also appreciate that you would risk life and limb to get a shot of those pretty babies to share with us. Is that a late nest for cardinals? It seems so for Minnesota anyway.

-llm. said...

Cool! Thanks for the story -- lovely. And, thanks for the info on how you pish. Seriously, I've read about it but I couldn't find a decent description of HOW to pish on the internet. I'll give it a try now. I've been sitting in my backyard -- on my newly stained deck -- studying everyday and the birds come in all around me. They are common for me but might seem exotic to non-Californians -- Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Steller's Jays, California Towhees, and multitudes of Anna's Hummingbirds. So, now I have to try pishing at them! :)

Susan Gets Native said...

Mojoman: It was new for me, too. I didn't know they would nest this late.
Lynne: I sprinkled a seed mix out in our new "prairie" and it's been fun to go out and see what's popping up. I should have some purple coneflowers and black-eyed Susan's in there somewhere, too.
llm: I had read about pishing, but had never really tried it. I am usually around people when I bird and I get self conscious about making weird sounds. :-) Those birds you mentioned seem very exotic to me. I would LOVE to see a Steller's Jay!