It’s Turkey Prime Time

It’s been Turkey Prime Time for a month or so now with our local bird, Tommy, putting on quite a show. Unfortunately for Tommy there aren’t any hens watching his show. Too bad. He’s quite a handsome Tom! The neighbors tell me they see them roosting a few houses away from here in the oak trees. Maybe he’s found a friend or two there.

Frosted Cardinal

This cardinal – he apparently noticed me trying to take a picture of him – seems a little frosted.

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Colorful banquet

Most of the birds visiting our tube feeder are kind of boring to look at but this cardinal showed up a few weeks ago and just wouldn’t leave. In the sun the red feathers were glowing.

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Tommy’s Thanksgiving

Tommy, our local turkey, enjoyed his usual meal of mixed grains and sunflower seeds this Thanksgiving. I think he’s grateful that the locals didn’t put him on their Thanksgiving tables. He’s a pretty smart turkey having now figured out how to get into the hanging basket feeder. Occasionally he cleans up some of his mess under the two feeders. What a guy!

I hope all of you had at least as nice of a Thanksgiving as Tommy. :-)

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Tommy has figured out how to eat from the basket feeder.

 

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Tommy’s also pretty comfortable picking seed out of the little cup on this small birdhouse.

Flying blue pigs

When I hear the phrase “flying pigs” these guys — blue jays — come to mind. They are voracious peanut eaters and not too shy about stuffing two or three at a time down their gullets. It’s sort of like the bird version of kids and chocolate. It’s fun to watch these beautiful, talkative birds. I wish the photos weren’t quite so soft. The light was kind of low that morning and these guys were moving fast trying to carry away as many peanuts as they could before the squirrels got there.

Longtail’s long day

Ol’ Longtail had a very long day on Monday. Imagine, raspberries to the right, sunflower seed to the left, after a while you’re just bushed. Ladybird Lane is a fine place to be this summer especially if you’re a squirrel or even a turkey for that matter. This morning I got up about 5:30 and went to the kitchen, raised the blind and there underneath this feeder Longtail found so comfortable was a big tom turkey cleaning up the spilled bird seed. Unfortunately by the time I could run and get a camera he was gone. This guy I was able to photograph through the kitchen window so the photo quality isn’t all that hot.

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Kissing chickadees

Chickadees are fascinating and fun birds to watch. They’re pretty aggressive and highly individualistic, from what I have observed. Monday morning we were sitting at the breakfast table watching them dart around between the spruce trees and the cable that runs between our house and the line in the back of the yard when we saw something unusual, one chickadee make an offering to another chickadee. In the photo the chickadee on the right was perched on the line when all of a sudden the one on the left landed on the line and quickly shuffled over to the other one and offer whatever that green thing in it’s beak is (worm?) to the other. The one on the right seems surprised. It must be mating season. Anyway, even though the photo is bad I thought it would be interesting to show.

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Noisemakers at Olbrich Gardens

I made it to the East Side of town yesterday to have a look at Olbrich Botanical Gardens for the first time this year and this guy and his fellow noisemakers were really active. If you’re in Madison and have a couple of hours to kill this is a great place to do it. What are these blackbirds? The call at times sounded a bit like a red-winged blackbird but the stripe on the wing was barely noticeable. I also thought maybe a grackle or a Brewers blackbird. Any ideas? And how about your favorite bird identification resource?

Oh, there he is!

He’s never alone, at least on a sunny day. This was pretty early in the morning so there were some nice shadows as our friends cleaned up the deck.

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Peanut? What peanut?

It’s not just the squirrels and the humans who love peanuts here at Ladybird Lane, it seems.

One morning I was watching as birds flew in and out. Two cardinals flew in, the female landing under the table away from the peanuts and the male near the peanuts. The male took one in his beak and hopped over under the table to the female and shared it with her. It was so cute.

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