Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!


The photos on this blog are all taken by me. If there is any picture you might want to use for any other than personal use, please drop me a line to the email address shown in the sidebar on the right.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Juvenile Song Thrush

Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos

As I arrived in the garden at Rehabcare, i spotted a bird hopping about at the raised planters. At first I guessed it to be a young Blackbird due to the mottled rusty colour on its back, and because it was too small to be a juvenile Robin, the only other bird whose young would have a similar plumage. Besides, there are lots of Blackbirds (and Robins) about the garden.

It was foraging below the hedge, and as I started taking photos, it turned and showed its breast; showing its true identity immediately> it was a young Song Thrush. And indeed, one (or more) Song Thrush has often been calling or singing whenever I would be outside, taking pictures of whatever I saw or fuond about me.

I love this picture; that typical and innocent look of the young birds.

House Sparrow fledgling. Dad just vanished out of the picture.
It kept fluttering its wings, out of the picture or not. Dad, I want food!

Dunnock, Prunella modularis
I'm hoping I'll get tos ee young Dunnocks some time, this summer.

Magpie, Pica pica

Magpie, Pica pica
brothers in black

There are 3 Magpies now, but 2 of them always stay together.

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula
juvenile in its 1st summer.

I'm told that a Treecreeper has been spoptted in this garden. I haven't seen it yet. I'm afraid that it will be in a tree situated off the path, and out of reach. The story of my life!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Magpies and Jackdaws

Magpie, Pica pica.

A few months ago, we first spotted a young Magpie, which needed more flying practice and had to improve on its land and take-off techniques.

They'd hang about the school yard (next door) and the front garden now and then. Unable to take any pictures there, .

Seeing it with another Magpie more and more often, I assumed it would be one of the parents. how wrong I was.
Yesterday I spotted two in the planter (birdtable) at about 8pm, and saw them taking away the pieces of apple I had put out for the birds. I know the Rooks and Jackdaws like them, and after they have been raiding the food for the little birds, I get them to change their diet for a bit of fruit, later in the day.

I got only one picture of both birds in the planter. One was out of focus, but I was able to see enough of its beak for me to see that this one too was a juvenile. Juvenile Rooks and Magpies have a black little ridge which slowly gets flatter and ten to disappear totally in spring the next year.
I remember seeing them being fed on the rail of the fence, very early spring. There would always be something in between me, a good picture, and the birds.

They might be young; I'm not convinced they are OK. Or at least this one.

I have had many of my Jackdaws which have gone bald, disappeared and probably died.
Jackdaws are particularly prone to this disease in which they loose their feathers.

Last year we had an individual which was very badly affected with it. Neil Hatch, (Birdwatch Ireland told me that he had often seen Jackdaws with this disease. As they are wild birds, there is nothing really that we can do for them.
Now, this is what I don't know. Are Magpies, which are related to Jackdaws, also perceptible to this disease? I will email Neil tomorrow, to see what he knows about this. In the meantime, let me know if you can tell me more.

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

It is so sad to see these Jacks suffering from the (quite rapid) featherloss. And know that I am powerless to help. If only....

Touble is that, as social birds, and feeding in flocks, the disease can spread very easily from bird to bird. Those Magpies, like the Hooded Crows, do feed with them and the Rooks. This way, they could have picked it up also.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The dining table etiiquette of the House Sparrow Fluffer.

House Sparrow, Passer domesticus

While I was tryting to capture the Swallow fledglings being fed by a parent, this youngster caught my attention. Its father had left it inside a bit of shrub along the edge of the garden. With the way levels/inclines, slopes and descends work in this part of the 'woods', the garden's edge turns out to be at control panel and armrest height in my world.

Getting into position..

I have no idea of what this action means.

Trying out the typical wink of the showbiz world.

Dad is arriving! Wings out, and perform that fluttering which always get the parent into feeding (and/or mating if it is the female of the couple, this time of year) mode

And open up that pointy thing, sitting up front of my face somewhere.

Fledgling Barn Swallows, again.

Barn Swallow fledgling, Hirundo rustica.
Notice the big Bluebottle Fly it has in its beak.
These were still waiting for their own meal from the Swallow parents

Sometimes it takes awhile before it is your turn again...

But there is always something to see in this wide and wild sky, so you need to be alert too.

Look at the short tail of the fledgling, and then at the parent's tail streamers:

I am trying to get a film clip of the Swallow parent feeding the youngsters, but for that I need the road to be very quiet. So early morning might be best, I guess.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fledgling Swallows.

Barn Swallows, Hirundo rustica
I love the stern expression of this fledgling.
I took these photos next to the house where the nest was, and I counted 4 of them. All equally hungry for Flies, Moths, or anything else like this.
Here you can still see some of its down feathers on the back.

The parents kept flying to and fro, with any of the Insects they can find here.

Also waiting for a meal at this location near us, was this juvenile Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba.
one of the parents forages down at the village shop, usually; and the other parent, up here at the council estate and the school playground, where we live. The youngster had itself positioned right in the centre of this t

The nest is nearby, at the back of a house I pass as I go down to the village shop for the Irish Times, and a few other bits and bobs.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Grass....gorgeous Grass! Growing Grass for the birds?

In 2008, quite a few of the uneaten birdseed in my Fennel planter (aka birdtable) germinated into what looked like Oats as you can see below.
One of part of the -eaten-germinated seed

The House Sparrows especially loved tis extra treat, and the seeds were eaten in quite comical manner. The Birds would hang from the Fennel stalks; with my Fennel growing around the (free) birdfood, they would really hang into all directions, and fight off any other bird which was coming too close.
In my attempt to treat the Gang (my House Sparrow colony) to these seeds again, in 2009, I spread the seed around the Fennel on purpose, from spring. no luck really.

This year, many seeds must have been dropped by the birds themselves and I see "Grass" (which can be anything) everywhere; in my Azaelea pots, in the Fennel planter, and underneath the planter and shelving. As I loved to sketch Grass, I took the camera to it, this time.

Growing in the planter and in about every pot at my kitchen door are these;

I am sure that my birds are going to love these seeds!

Here you can see the Fennel fronds and the grey stalks. And the fat grass seeds growing right in front of it.

On the outside of the planter is a lot happening too. Tgis picture is from the beginning of June;
A Common Vetch (the purple flower) has found a way in, also.

By now, 10 days later, this plant has grown coniderably and I have no idea what I'm dealing with here. Has it anything to do with birdfood at all?

These leaves are quite thick.

These yellow flowers are part of it/them too, I believe.
As long as the Bees are happy with it.
I hope these leaves/plants will produce bird food too? Perhaps it comes from those little "pea/lentil"-like seeds?

Female Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs.
My little Chaff doesn't care really what or who is growing here; as long as she can still find food!
The same for my Blue Tits.