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Old 06-06-2015, 08:17 AM
785 posts, read 615,153 times
Reputation: 3046


We have a returning pair of Barn Swallows. Their nest is on a cross beam above one of the horse stalls.

They recognize the horses and I know they recognize me. They quietly appear on the beam sometime during my process of morning feeding. I greet them, they reciprocate by going into song and making a trrrrrriillll sound that is very enthusiastic.

When we see Mr. and Mrs. Barn Swallow flying feverishly between the nest and outside, we know the little ones have hatched. They grow literally at warp speed.

One day we can't see their heads peeking over the top of the nest and seemingly in a day or two, up pops heads, skinny/scraggly/not much hair on their necks. At this point the parents are found, in between constant feedings, sitting on another beam fluttering their wings, flying on/off the beam in an obvious lesson to teach the babies what flying is.

I see three little miracles in the nest but, there could be one or two more. Last year there were five, that was a large family for such a small nest.

One had a lot of trouble learning to fly. His wings seemed to work fine and his parents were frantic at his inability to take flight. Twice I found him on the stall floor before the cats did. I couldn't get him back to his nest, up near the peak of the roof but I would sit him on a high ledge in the stall and hope for the best, while his parents and siblings continued to encourage him. It was something to watch and tearful, as the little one's entire family wanted success for him or her.

Soon they were all gone and I could only hope the weaker one learned to take flight. One day I heard one of them sitting on the overhead extension cord. I turned around to see one of the young ones seemingly looking down at me and singing/chirping for all its worth. I hoped it was the little one I had rescued twice.

That was last year's kids. This year's children will soon be ready to take flight. I hope they can all fly. My barn cats won't go out of their way to catch one but if fails in flight, it will not survive, if I'm not at the barn to intervene.

Then there are the two houses full of Purple Martins. I believe they are cousins to the Barn Swallows and also people friendly. Except when I get on the diesel tractor to mow, they all take flight, some will swoop me and have probably tried to get the Red Tail Hawk to take me out.

We think it's either the green tractor or that it's a diesel, they don't get aggravated to this degree when I use the small lawn tractor that is gas.

While the Barn Swallows will come back in the barn on occasion, their job of raising this year's family will have soon ended and they will go to -------- where? I don't know but I will miss them.
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:37 AM
4,877 posts, read 4,562,089 times
Reputation: 7268
We are moving and started the first trip (a few hours away). For the time being we will rent and this
complex has several man made ponds. As we were taking a break we saw a blue heron and then
came another male. They then began fighting over their territorial domain for about 2 minutes and
then one flew away. Never saw that before.


A while later, I'm on the deck taking a break and a male robin lands about 10" from my foot. I
guess he wanted some food. I was very surprised because since I'm no spring chicken, I have
never had a robin do that (they always take off when people are nearby).
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:34 PM
Location: Looking over your shoulder
29,745 posts, read 26,770,148 times
Reputation: 78961
While working a little in the backyard this afternoon I looked up and noticed two large hawks gliding along on the air currents overhead. They must have been looking for a quick meal. They had at least a two foot wingspan and were low enough that I could see their markings easily.
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:38 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,608,566 times
Reputation: 46993
Today Lester died. He was 21 years old. He was passed around the physics department at UNC for most of those years. For seven of those years he lived with my son.

Lester was a newt. Since he rarely moved I wondered how anybody knew he was dead. My son used to take him with him when he went out of town and he enjoyed introducting him to his friends. They made a lovely couple.
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:35 PM
Location: Gilbert, AZ
248 posts, read 215,854 times
Reputation: 444
99 Bunny Rabbits

Yep, I counted 99 cottontails on my walk/run this morning in a nearby riparian preserve. It sure wasn't like this before they removed the abandoned cats, lol (not that that wasn't the right thing to do). My walk lasted less than an hour... there were the 3 turtles on a log that promptly jumped off one by one when I jogged by. Many birds, ducks, even an egret and a blue heron and those huge black birds that make that loud, low, guttural sound... I also saw at least half a dozen field mice -- or some type rodent -- which was the first time I'd ever seen those there.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:51 AM
1,049 posts, read 584,669 times
Reputation: 1809
A family of turkeys has been walking through our yard lately. There's 9 little ones and mom & dad.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:59 AM
Location: metropolis
734 posts, read 763,182 times
Reputation: 1426
Birds do not fly away when you get near them anymore.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:10 AM
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,041 posts, read 22,775,493 times
Reputation: 119696
Two birds flew away just yesterday when I walked out our backyard gate. The birds were between the houses and startled, flew away. One flew into the neighbor's window, bounced off, recovered midair and followed its friend.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:46 AM
Location: Kanada 🍁
118,676 posts, read 13,636,894 times
Reputation: 54450
So far so good I have not seen any skunks in the garden after they were removed last summer. But DH insists he saw a fat one. Last night we heard something climbing on our fence,got up and we saw a raccoon family approaching a smorgasbord that our neighbors had left for them. Mixed vegetable,bread slices,are they out of their mind? And then people around us wonder why mice are more often in the area including occasionally in our garden,signs of holes. As cute as the raccoon is to watch from the distance I don't really care having them in my garden.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:24 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,608,566 times
Reputation: 46993
I agree Alm. Who is their right mind leaves out food for wild animals? Our old neighbor used to throw leftover off their deck and thought it was sooooo cute that a family of foxes came every night until their grandchild was frightened half insane when one approached him.
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