Monday, April 30, 2007

Battle of the Birds

Let me get these out of the way so we can get to the gravy:
Fat tadpoles
Armleder Park is hosting some seriously big ass tadpoles.
They're like brown plums with tails.
Bye bye nest
Remember the mallard nest in one of my recent posts?
I think this is a sign that things ended badly.
(Excuse my dangling lens cap)
Empty eggs
I am not well-versed in post hatching egg shells. Was this a predator's work?
The female mallard was nowhere near...I am hoping that she was off teaching a swimming class with her new offspring.
Calling the Science Chimp!

Okay, enough of that.
Now to the exciting stuff...
This morning, I was watching the tree swallows go back and forth over the yard.
And soon, the male purple martin joined in, and they both ganged up and kept him from entering the gourd. (These birds REALLY like gourds!)
I watched for as long as I could, but I felt tortured.
So I went outside and took down the gourd, which was hanging from the purple martin house. I then placed it on a shepherd's hook at the far end of the yard (in the place my bluebird house was) and stepped back to watch.
The TRES then began to guard both the gourd AND the house.
I decided to give up, apologized to all three birds, put the gourd back up, put up the original blue bird house and went back in.
An hour later, I looked outside, and saw this:
male adult purple martin
The purple martin was sitting on the house!
And the TRES were flying around in confusion.
I held my breath...could I have my cake and eat it, too?
The TRES then flew to the BB house, looking like they were admitting defeat.
I don't want to jinx anything, but if things go well, I could feasibly have both purple martins and TRES.
Croaking Pmartin
I stood there, transfixed, as the PUMA did his croaking calls.
You can click here to listen to the two different vocalizations that martins make.
I will try to be up early tomorrow morning to listen for his Dawn Song.
Things are going to get interesting again.
Update: I forgot to mention that our first hummingbird showed up today. I saw him/her from the back for about 1.5 seconds, and didn't get a picture. Maybe tomorrow.

I see a bird watching Mommy bird
Cute Isabelle thing:
Isabelle makes up bird names. Today, she was using this empty paper towel tube as a scope, and she said she saw a "Picture-taking Mommy bird", a "TV watching Lorelei bird", and a "Computer working Daddy bird". I just think that's cute.


Liza Lee Miller said...

Hope the broken eggs mean good things for the Mallards. We had tragedy at our local pond. There was 1 female and like 4 males. When the babies were born, the non-daddy males kept trying to kill them. :( I guess they were successful because now there are no babies. We watched the Mom launch a vicious defense last weekend. The dad wasn't helping AT ALL. Sigh.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Science Chimp sez, I think Mrs. Mallard needs to find a better location next time. Looks like the coons got these. Rats.
Science Chimp's also delighted the name Euro stuck on your collared dove!! And she is so jealous of your martins...

Dave said...

Girl you sure have an active day!

Mary said...

What a FLURRY of activity you have going on there! I would have been out there with you, Susan, taking the goard, watching the bird playground...

I hope those Martins do well.

That Isabelle is BIRD, just like her mother!

Lynne said...

Uh-ohh, Science Chimp is speaking in the third person just like Swammi...
Our neighbor's duck nest was destroyed by coons too. The nest didn't seem to be very well hidden.
Purple martins used to be so common in the neighborhoods when I was a kid and now I hardly ever see them. I'm envious of yours. How high does a house have to be mounted? I have a tetherball pole that's not being used.

mon@rch said...

I agree with the Science Chip! Very cool with the Purple Martins! Look out Tree Swallos! And can't you get her some better optics than the towel roll?

dguzman said...

That IS cute! You're raising some great birders!

Wow--I'm envious of your yardbirds!