Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bird Nesting Success Stories

The Northern Cardinals and many of the other song birds have been prolific this year. We are beginning to see the female Cardinals feeding fledglings, so that means that this is the last brood. Some of the pairs have raised 3 broods this year. Other success stories include: Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Wrens, Eastern Towhees, Eastern Bluebirds and Prothonotary Warblers. To see photos and read more about Northern Cardinals visit our Squidoo lens, The Cardinal's Nest.

A pair of Carolina Wrens has been keeping us entertained with their nesting antics. Their first nest was in a Christmas Wreath that was not taken down in a timely manner. The second nest was in a hanging basket a few feet away from the wreath and the third nest is on the window ledge in the small space by our emergency a/c window unit. As I type, I can hear the babies cheeping as the parents feed them. Our Squidoo lens, Carolina Wren's Nest has information and recent photos of all of the nests.

Today we transferred the more recent blog posts from our Little Tchefuncte Hummingbird Hill web site to here at Blogger. If you'd like to read some of the pre-Katrina posts, here's the link to our old Blog.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Linda and I resumed our weekly Ruby-throated hummingbird banding sessions on July 8th. We had stopped banding during the month of June because numbers were so low this year, much below normal, and they always plummet while the Mimosa trees are in bloom. We caught 9 hummingbirds and only a couple were returnees (that had been banded in previous years). Most of the ones that we banded were immature birds that hatched this year. Numbers have been down ever since Katrina and the post Katrina debris removal fiasco which damaged the breeding habitat here.

The hummingbird garden is full of flowers and looks beautiful. We're waiting for the annual "gathering of the males" that usually occurs around July 4th, but we have yet to see many adult males or much of an increase in numbers. Something is definitely wrong. We wonder if, in addition to the habitat destruction, that all of the pesticides that are being sprayed to kill mosquitoes because of the West Nile disease are killing the the small flying insects that provide the hummingbirds with needed protein during the breeding season.