Mallard Ducks love a hand-out just as much as the Grey Squirrels do! I was only a bit surprised when I saw this drake Mallard Duck under my backyard bird feeder on the very cold afternoon of December 27, 2010. I’ll just bet that this Mallard Duck was one of the bunch that were here under the bird feeder during this past summer. I recall that the Mallards were the beneficiaries of the spilled bird seed that had fallen because the Grey Squirrel was up on the feeder. I had put out some Purina Squirrel Chow mix for the Grey Squirrels, the Mourning Doves, and the Chipmunks. Apparently the Crows, and the Ducks love it too! It is probably the corn and sunflower seeds that the critters love so much. My husband told me that he had seen two hen Mallard Ducks fly quickly away from the backyard just moments before I had looked out with the camera. I took these pictures on 12/13/10 (Crows), 12/26/10 (Doves), and 12/27/10 (Mallard) from the window in my basement. Note that I am not intentionally feeding the Ducks. By they way, the lake is still quite frozen today. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
Posts tagged ‘Mourning Doves’
I woke up this morning and discovered to my great surprise, that the 101 acre community lake where I live, has frozen over! The Ducks have gone else-where or are hunkering down on the shoreline. I did see the Canada Geese and Greylag Goose fly by low to the ice, looking quite bewildered! We do have a larger lake in our private community here that usually does not completely freeze. As far as our frozen lake – last year the lake froze about two weeks later in the year than it has this year. Old time residents here remarked last year that it had been the first time that this lake froze in the past twenty-one years! So, I don’t know if this is the new normal or if this spate of very cold (for TN) weather is just unusual. The backyard was just filled with birds this morning, too!
I saw a Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker, a Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker, a Blue Jay, several White Breasted Nuthatches, several Tufted Titmice, several Mourning Doves, Crows, and many Junco’s and Sparrows! Quite the morning for bird watching! We also have the usual pack of Grey Squirrels and several resident Eastern Chipmunks! No Ducks, however have shown up. I took these pictures just a few moments ago (literally right out of the camera) on 12/20/10 at about 9:20 A.M. Central Time. Note the Crow walking on the water! Well, frozen water anyway! That single Crow was the only one of the birds to venture out onto the ice. Guess that Crow must have been thirsty or curious. The birds must be highly confused about the frozen state of the lake. It is making for great bird sightings, though. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo!
It’s been bitterly cold here with some snow and a stiff breeze for most of the day. I have about 3″ of snow on the ground in my yards as I write this on 12/13/10. The birds and Grey Squirrels are getting extra treats of Purina Squirrel Chow and Purina Bird Seed mixed together. Lots of Peanuts and Sunflower Seeds are included in the mix (no I don’t get any discount for mentioning the brand, I just like it). I have been scattering the seed in the backyard and putting seed in select spots on the patio and front yards for the ground feeding birds and the Grey Squirrels. I have also had Woodpeckers in the backyard trees. I felt a little bad as the Pileated Woodpecker tried to use the backyard bird feeder but was too large for it. It likely was attracted to the suet I have put in recently. I will see about getting a larger Woodpecker friendly feeder to use in addition to the present feeder.
I took a lot of pictures of Carolina Chickadees, Crows, Northern Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Grey Squirrels, Dark-Eyed Juncos, Goldfinches, a Hairy Woodpecker, a Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Wrens, Tufted Titmice, and Sparrows. I will be posting these pictures in the next few days here. I have been using my new point and shoot digital camera, a Panasonic Lumix FZ40, to take these pictures on 12/13/10. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
Song birds and waterbirds were the visitors here in my yards on a very snowy Sunday! I had a lot of birds come to the bird feeder or immediately under it. I try to offer birdseed and yes, squirrel chow to the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks that come to the yards. I took pictures of Pied-Billed Grebes, Carolina Chickadees, Mourning Doves, a Sparrow (Song or House???), a Northern Cardinal, and a Carolina Wren. The birds were very hungry and cold. It was 19 or 20 degrees out when I snapped these shots from inside my house through the window. It also was quite breezy and it was snowing. I think that the actual wind chill was about 9 degrees when I took the pictures so you can see why the birds were happy to get the food hand-outs! I took these pictures on 12/12/10. The one picture of the Mallard Ducks was taken at a tiny lake that is about a half mile from my home. I actually got out of the car to take the picture. I was on the way home from the grocery store (have all-wheel drive car). Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Mourning Doves are such easy-going birds. They are here as a small flock of five birds. They swoop down with rustling wings and just graze under the bird feeder. They are happy to eat the fallen bird seed, preferring the ever-so-popular black oil sunflower seeds. The Doves have been pretty quiet with no cooing happening. They have been in and out of the backyard depending on if the Crows are here or not. They tend to watch the movements of the Chipmunks and Grey Squirrels. When the Chipmunks or Squirrels are around the bird feeder, the Doves feel that it is safe to also be there. Of course, when I go outside and make any noise, all of the Doves and the Chipmunks scatter! Sometimes the Grey Squirrel stays because he feels no threat from me. I took these pictures over several days recently and all were taken in my own backyard. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
What an afternoon of wildlife spotting I had yesterday (10/14/10)! The day was very windy but clear here. I spotted a number of medium to large flocks of waterfowl on the lake this afternoon at about 4:00 PM. It was very unusual to see such a number of birds paddling so I got out the camera and tried my best to take some pictures of the ducks and water birds I was seeing. The main difficulty for me was that the birds were way out on the lake, almost to the far shoreline. It is very hard to see the birds but as best as I can tell, there were a big flock of Pied Billed Grebes, another large flock of American Wigeons (I think), and a much smaller number of the resident Mallard Ducks. On the shoreline in my back yard, I saw Mourning Doves, Grey Squirrels, and Carolina Chickadees. I also saw a Red-Bellied Woodpecker but did not get a good enough picture of it to post here (It was hidden in the thick Oak leaves). I have only lived here on the 101 acre community lake for a year so I do not know if it is at all unusual to see Widgeons here. I know that the Widgeons are migratory and not resident here. I have seen Grebes here earlier this past summer. We also have a small group of resident Mallard Ducks year-’round. By the way, the Ducks got spooked by a passing pontoon boat and took off flying as a flock. The Grebes just waited it all out as the boat did not come very near the birds. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
Mourning Doves are so easy-going! They perch on open branches, and on electric telephone wires. They love to eat on the forest floor under my bird feeder. They placidly peck at dropped sunflower seeds, cracked corn, peanuts and other bird seed delights. I have a couple of these nice birds that make their home in the tall Hickory Trees in my back yard. Not much bothers these birds. They tolerate the Chipmunk and all those excited Grey Squirrels. They don’t even get too flustered when the Mallard Ducks take over the area under that bird feeder. At times, I have seen a Chipmunk, a couple of Mourning Doves and a Mallard all at the same time under that ever-more-popular bird feeder! Mourning Doves eat seeds, nuts, berries, and small fruits. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Bird Feeders are extra-popular supplemental sources of food for creatures other than just birds as I have found this past year here. I have seen Grey Squirrels up on the feeder eating and shaking the seed so that it spilled to the ground. Once I had even seen a Chipmunk do the same (maybe it took note of what the squirrel did?). Amazing! Under the bird feeder, I have frequently seen ground feeding birds such as the Mourning Doves, Robins, and Sparrows. I additionally have seen Mallard Ducks enjoying the freebies from time to time. In a prior post here I documented how the Squirrel knocked the seed down and the Ducks cleaned up! Even the hummingbird nectar feeder has its share of free-loaders. I have recently taken pictures of Butterflies and Wasps on the nectar feeder. So, the hospitality extended by that bird feeder is appreciated by the wildlife. I do hope though, that the wasps find another buffet and our feeder won’t be a nuisance because of wasps. We do discourage the Squirrels each and every time we see them on top of the feeder or even attempting to climb the pole. By the way, the baffle system for the bird feeder pole really did not keep the Squirrels off so we discontinued using it. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Today I am posting photographs that I took in the past few days from my own backyard. I have had Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, a Downy Woodpecker, Mourning Doves, Eastern Pewee, Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, a few Grey Squirrels, and a Chipmunk visit the yard or the immediate shoreline. We have had very hot weather with a few thunderstorms thrown in. The Mallard Duck hens are getting bolder about coming up into the yard. I don’t particularly mind but I do hope that the Geese don’t follow suit. I think that I am reasonably safe about the Geese since I don’t have any grass in my backyard. The little bit of grain under the bird feeder won’t be enough to satisfy those big Geese. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
I never dreamed that I’d be having so many different (and very very cute) bird feeder bandits in my back yard. First there were the Grey Squirrels. Those of you with bird feeders are nodding up and down in agreement. Next there were the little cutie-pie Chipmunks. Well, today I report that I have caught the newest accomplice in bird feeder banditry, orange footed (couldn’t manage red-handed with this one I’m afraid)! Yes, the desperados are a fine pair of hen Mallard Ducks! The Squirrels climb up and bat the feeder knocking lots of goodies to the ground. Next the clean up commences. The Mourning Doves also frequently are back yard buffet guests. I even noticed one shifty looking Dove perched up on the canopy of my boat acting as the gang’s “Lookout”! I snapped these pictures of the Mallard mischief just yesterday afternoon in my very back yard under the feeders. Note that I am completely being humorous today with this post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!