Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hey, Nellie....your buddies are back

Pick any day, and you can go about it thinking that it will be just an ordinary one.
While getting ready to take Lorelei out for the day, I glanced out the back windows, as I have been doing since March 25, expecting to see an empty spot on the martin housing.
But there was someone there:

A tree swallow.
I said in a quiet but persnickety voice, "Where the HELL have you BEEN?"

Checking out the digs TRES
It even checked out the TRES digs. They failed last year, but the year before they raised and flew off with 5 young. May we have a normal amount of rain this year. We need bugs, and lots of 'em. I can't wait until Nellie sees them. What a wuss.

A new yard bird was nice...but with a sad twist:
Female purple finch
A female purple finch. But she has mycoplasmal conjunctivitis. Dammit.
(It looks like that goldfinch is staring at her, doesn't it?)

Male HOF nic membrane
There's also a male house finch with both of his eyes nearly gummed shut. So that's three birds who are least that I have seen. Looks like it is time to take down the feeders for awhile. The most I have seen with the disease at one time is just one bird. So this is a 300% increase. Dammit.

Let's cleanse with a happy little chipping sparrow. I never get tired of looking at this tiny bundles of sweetness:
Chipping sparrow

And for your additional cleansing enjoyment, a quickie Nellie video:


KGMom said...

Susan--I have never seen birds with eye infections. Is it as infectious as human conjunctivitis? And do feeders act as a vector for spreading?
Too sad.
Love the Nellie video--obviously "hungry" is a trigger word for her. Love the head tilt!

entoto said...

I wonder if I turn my head to the left when asked if I am hungry? I'll have to check. ;-) Happy Nellie!

Amy said...

I'm hungry! *head tilts to the right* Feed me!

Seriously, thanks for the cute video of Nellie. Now please go feed her.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks to you and Nellie for the LOL video! If I said that to my dog, she'd jump up and start barking like a maniac then run to the food dish.

P.S. do you get martins in your houses too? A couple years ago I let the tree swallows start a nest in the martin gourd and they chased the martins away once they finally arrived. Now I have to leave the martin gourds closed up till the tree swallows move into "their own designated housing". I'm still trying to establish a successful martin colony and have learned something new every year.

Anonymous said...

Bummer about the gunky eyes. :(

Glad your swallows are back -- poor Nellie though. She'll get no peace now.

dguzman said...

So far, no eye disease on the finches around my house. I hope it stays that way. Sorry your guys are looking so rough.

Mary said...

Susan, every time I get near a house finch I look closely. I hope the disease doesn't get worse there!

The video of Nellie the wuss is adorable. And I thought Bostons had expressive faces!

donaldthebirder said...

I have a female Purple Finch with conjunct at my feeders too. Been here for a while (about 3 weeks). It has been a bad year for it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We just put up a couple of martin houses. I would love to have tree swallows as well or instead. As long as there aren't any house sparrows or starlings that move in.

That Nellie is a smart doggie. Of course I don't know any dog that wouldn't eat again and again. She is a sweet dog.