Saturday, December 08, 2007

Dogs, Wrens, Worms, Hawks, whatever

It seems like it's been weeks since I posted but it’s only been a few days. Being distracted and busy isn’t very conducive to writing something sensible but I’m going to try to compose something almost coherent. Or maybe I won't try at all. This post is all over the place and is the reason for it's lazy title.


Bam-Bam sees a yellow tennis ball in Gramma’s toy chest.

Get ready…get set…GO, BAM!


“Duh, Gramma. Where did it go? Where did it go?"

The loudest voice in the choir.

Maybe because of this?

The dogs and I ran her out of the area and it's good she scampered since I was very ready to pick up sticks. (I adore cats but not ones that roam freely and terrorize birds.)

A sweet Carolina Wren was trapped inside my sunroom this afternoon - maybe an hour or just a few minutes. The screen door was open about two feet and this unlucky little bird found itself feeling hard walls and windows against its body, frantically trying to escape…



I slowly stepped into the sunroom and talked to it softly while I opened the screens wide. Then I stood back and took two quick photos. This was not the time for a photo shoot. Wren was not like the Mockingbird I held in my hands and set free last spring. I knew I couldn’t have caught this live wire in my hands, as I wished.


Doors and screens wide open, I stepped inside the kitchen and closed the door. Within seconds, it was free!

Delicious mealworms arrived from Susan at Lake Life. Not squeamish about much, I didn’t waste time opening the box but when I took the cloth pouch out of the box and heard 1,000 bionic worms creepily crawling in and out of the paper inside, the hair on the back of my neck raised. I peeked inside the pouch to see them moving so fast and freaked out! While I chilled them outside in the garage frig, a few very reliable friends gave me tips on keeping mealworms.

I bought them for the Bluebirds who visited the yard last week. Of course, I haven’t seen them since!


Yummm. An hour after I took this photo, strong winds arrived and blew them a mile away from the little dish that held them.

That was good enough reason to visit Wild Birds Unlimited. I love the ease of mounting this new feeder on the pole. It easily slides on in two seconds.

And here’s another reason I’m glad I went to WBU. My friendly salesmen led me around the corner to see a lifer.


Northern Harrier was irritated with me. It sits on the same peak for hours, watching a grassy marsh below. The clouds were thick but at least I got one decent shot out of ten.


NatureWoman said...

I saw your photos on Flickr and I just *had* to stop by before bed to see what you're up to with your live insects! Very cool. I wonder what the mail person thinks when they handle packages like this.

Susan Gets Native said...

Yay for Mary the Bird Rescuer!

*But are you sure that hawk is a harrier?*
: )

Marvin said...

Good luck on enticing the bluebirds back with meal worms.

The behavior of different species of birds when accidentally trapped is interesting. Wrens are usually good escape artist. Glad you were there to help this one regain its freedom.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Such gorgeous photos and what wonderful wildlife--even the live bait! Thanks for sharing :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have often thought I would get meal worms for the birds. I wish I could entice bluebirds to our garden. I have seen them in the neighborhood but not around our house.

Your granddog is cute as a button. That face brings out the GreatAunt in me. I just want to pinch those jowls. :)

JeanMac said...

We have so many cats around our feeders. I'm going to put orange peelings out where they lie in wait. Does anyone know if the peelings would harm birds? Cats hate the citrus smell. I put them under my tree skirt and Buddy, the cat, stays away.

Mary said...

Susan, glad you stopped by. No, I am not sure - it's a buteo and the only distinguishing mark I see relative to a N. Harrier is the white line above the eye. Bad photo. I really think it looks like a red-shouldered or broad-winged but if the men at Wild Birds Unlimited tell me it's a Northern Harrier, I gotta take their word for it, don't I? LOL!

Mary said...

Hawk IDs are welcome!

Jayne said...

You'll LOVE that cup feeder Mary! Can't wait to see the shots of your bluebirds enjoying that yummy treat!

Unknown said...

What a GREAT post! So cool!

mon@rch said...

This is wonderful Mary - I love those Carolina Wrens and I think I need to get some mealworms! Regarding your bird of prey, will have to look when I am home with my field guide! It's a tricky!

RuthieJ said...

I LOVE the picture of Mr. Biggins going for the tennis ball and poor Bam-Bam is still waiting for you to throw it. :-D
When I worked at WBU, we used to get shipments of mealworms--10,000 per case. It totally freaked out our UPS guy. They definitely take some getting used to, but your birdies will love them.
BTW, that WBU feeder cup will also fit perfectly in your hand....

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

Mary I love the picture of Bam Bam. So cute! The mealy worms would have freaked me out too. xoxo Nita

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Sweet Carolina Wren! So happy you were able to help him out. Scary stuff for "Teakettle." I so love these little songsters. Big voice is right! You are a Wren friend!
Northern Harrier? Tough call. I looked in both the Peterson and the Sibley and could not decide.
I will look again at your photo.
Hummm.. the guys at Wild Bird should know but could be wrong too!
Mealworms!! I have done them and the Mockingbirds just become so aggressive I had to stop. I too used the little tray feeder. Now it holds seed. I hope the Blue Birds come and you get to take photos!
The girls are darling and having Bam-Bam to play with must be ever so fun for you!
Have a great week. Always your posts are fun and I laugh and laugh and laugh. Thank you!
Since you are the "Goddess of the
Endless Summer" and your temps are so warm I bet you have butterflies about.
Say, "Hi" to them for me.

Anonymous said...

The feeling I get from this bird is hatch-year red-shouldered hawk. The small bill, short toes, chunky shape, and blobby streaking on the breast all point to it. There's no plumage of northern harrier that has streaking anything like this, and the GISS is all wrong for harrier (not to mention the habitat and hunting mode!) Harriers are birds of open marshes and grasslands, and they fly almost incessantly, low over the grasses. You won't find one on a housetop. Redshoulders, though, are tame birds, especially down south in winter, and they sit for hours just watching for rodents (and in season, toads and frogs and snakes).

Eee! Eee! Eee! Nerfbat to the Wild Bird Store employees!

Susan Gets Native said...

To me, the tail of that hawk is too short to be a harrier. They have very long tails with a white rump. The face doesn't look "owlish", either.
Red-tailed hawks have light eyebrows, too.
If I had to bet money, I would say it's a red-tailed or red-shouldered.
Go back and get a better picture!

Mary said...

Yay! Thanks, Science Chimp. Shall I carry a nerf bat to WBU on my next visit?

Mary said...

Thanks, Susan. And you can bet I'll have my camera with me when I go there again for a better picture and more seed!

Alyssa said...

Bam Bam looks like the sweetest guy! I could just hug him. I hope he eventually figured out where the ball went and Who had it. Your little wren looks a lot like the ceramic figurines he was perching on. I'm glad that he was able to get back outside.
That was very interesting about the mealworm. Wriggling masses of creatures are hard to get used to--maybe because they remind us so much of maggots!

LostRoses said...

Mary, at least you had some "friends" for the trapped wren to cozy up to! You're a bird magnet, lady. As for the mealworms, yeah, they'd give me the shivers too. Cool feeder for them though, hope it attracts your bluebirds back again!

dguzman said...

WOW! Oh gees, I'm a little concerned about the bionic worms--I'm supposed to be buying some too, and just reading your description kinda eeghed me out! (sorry, just made up a word)

That "harrier" looked kinda smallish... oh, looks like the Raptor lady (Susan) and the Sci Chimp have flown in on that too....

Good luck with the wormies; I need to go order mine too!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mary. It seems we have the same birds here in Georgia that you have in N. Carolina.

I'm crazy about the birds who visit our feeders and we're lucky to have a family of bluebirds who return each year.

The picture of the hawk (harrier?) is gorgeous. I was nearly rear-ended yesterday as I slammed on my car's brakes to take a picture of this large bird who was kind enough to just sit and let me snap photo after photo!

Shooting them (camera only!) from behind the wheel is getting more and more dangerous as the addiction to birding grows.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Annie in Austin said...

Okay Mary - you got me with the Bam-Bam in the toybox photo, too. Even my resistance to cute was broken down by that one!

I love the photos of rescuing wrens and presenting mealworms to bluebirds -

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I've thought about buying meal worms for the bluebirds around here but the thought of little black bugs everywhere is actually worse than the thought of the worms.

Love your pictures!