Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wrapping It Up

When I first put up a bird feeder, I was pleased with the variety and number of birds that showed up. I started taking pictures, and couldn't wait to put them online. Looking back, it's hard to pick out the best. The grosbeak only showed up once, so that stands out. I always liked the cardinals because they look exotic. I had a difficult time getting my first pics of them, they would see me and fly off before I could get a shot. I guess a favorites would be this one, because of what it suggests. The juncos stand out because they were difficult to capture as well. I had a number of small, blurry pics before I finally got a good one. I was so taken with the downies, that they had their own cam for awhile. For some reason, they do not eat the suet this season. I still see them on the corn cob, and occasionally at the seed feeders.

I enjoy watching the birds in my yard. I find it relaxing, and they are amusing. The problem is, I got tired of looking through hundreds of pictures a day, to find one or two unique pictures a week. I will keep the birdcam online, and if you capture an interesting shot, feel free to email it to me. Subscribe to the RSS on the pics page, I will post any new pics there. Here is the birdcam, settings- user: nhpa pass: birder
Also, if you have a favorite picture, please leave a comment. Don't forget the original blog, find it here, the first post goes back to October of 2007.

A couple of favs, here and here, and a couple of vids here and here. And one closing thought, do not forget Earth Hour!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Storm 12/19/09

We had quite a storm, around 13" of snow! All three of my web cams were busy, which limited my web site updates. I am not complaining, this is the kind of problem that I like! My weather site had 75 unique visitors, the most ever, not counting the time that I accidentally hijacked The Weather Underground radar. :) So I thought that I would post some of the snow pics. First off, here is a shot of the feeders from the web cam. Unfortunately, there no birds at the time. Here is a mocker, some finch, goldfinch, another, and a chickadee. I have been looking for juncos since it started to get cold. Some people call these snow birds, guess I know why! This is a shot of the driveway, from the web cam. The doves don't seem to mind the snow. This is a shot from my window, you can see the snow covering the birdcam in the lower left. I saw this downy today, while I was outside without my camera. Luckily, he came back. Here is a nice pic from the Wingscapes camera. Finally, I sort of like this pic, she looks lonely.

Edit- I wasn't happy with the pics from my window. I zoomed in on the downy. The goldfinch didn't get much better, though.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Birdcam 2.0

Wow, I did not realize how long it has been since the last post! But there is news. Wingscapes announced two new bird cams, The Audubon, and Birdcam 2.0 The specs on Audonbon sound close to the original Birdcam.
The original, what I use, high res is 2048 X 1536.

The Audubon:
WSCA03 Audubon BirdCam High 2560x1920, Med 1600x1200, Low 800x600. Video Format AVI files, 640x480

The Birdcam 2.0 has higher resolution, and adds a flash.
WSCA02 BirdCam 2.0 Photo Format High 3264x2448, Med 2024x1536, Low 1024x768 Video Format is the same.

Unfortunately, the one thing that I was hoping for, a rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack, was left out. The new cameras use the same as mine, (4) "D" size batteries. These are big, bulky, heavy, a pain to replace and not "green". Wingscapes does not recommend re-chargeable batteries, but I use 12,000 mAh re-chargeable, and they work fine. These are pricey, but they pay for themselves.

If you are interested in one of these Birdcams, search Google Products for the best price. They are much cheaper than what the Wingscapes site advertises. Also, I would recommend buying the mounting arm.

Here are some of my recent pics. Wish I could lose these guys. Last year I saw a lot of goldfinch. This year, not as many, but they do show up. I like chickadees, and I feel sorry this guy. Where is all the food? This is the first mocker that I have seen this season. And finally, the first carolina wren.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We had rain four days in a row, so I didn't change the memory card in the bird cam. There were 830 pics on the card when I checked it today. This didn't even make one GB, only 628 MB. I would really hate to fill that 4 GB card! Unfortunately, when I checked the pics, most of them were blurry from all the rain that we had. Of course the platform feeders were filled with mush. I washed them out, and washed the tube feeder in hot water and vinegar. If you are curious about how much rain we had, here is a rain chart for New Holland.

The forecast on Friday mentioned a chance of snow, and today we have a freeze warning, so I replaced the birdbath with the one that has a built in heater. This is the middle of October, right??

The other day I had a birder moment. I went walking around the corner, towards the tube feeder, and saw a male HOFI sitting on the perch. I stopped within ten feet of him, and he just sat there looking at me. I whistled at him, and he chirped back at me. We repeated this routine a few times, I whistle to him, he chirps back. After a bit, I smiled and decided to let him be. I feel like a hypocrite! I do not wish for them to get too used to people, but I do enjoy when they let me get close, and even feel like I am interacting with them. I often whistle to the chickadees, and they always seem to respond. Guess this is the payback that we get.

Since I am feeling chatty... when I saw this chickadee, it reminded me of how my uncle used to entertain us as kids. He would look through magazines for pictures, then draw a chick into the picture. This chickadee looked like one that he would have drawn. He was an artist, and my mom claims that he painted chicks into all of his paintings. I thought that he only started that in his later work. I have several of his paintings, and I can't find one chick. Sadly, he isn't around to ask anymore.

Sundays are usually pretty laid back for me, and I like to watch the tube feeder. I saw this female cardinal, a chickadee, the ever present HOSP, HOFI and doves.

This male downy kept showing up at the hanging platform feeder. I still see no activity at the suet feeder. I swapped out the suet twice, thinking they didn't like what I was offering. Perhaps the downys only eat suet when it gets cold?

So here are some pics from the platform feeder. Doves are almost always present, along with HOSP. I started out seeing a couple of starlings, but more and more kept showing up. That shot is blurry from all the rain. I had bought some peanuts for the squirrel under glass, but the squirrels refused to go into it, so I started putting the peanuts in the platform feeder. The jays love them! Here is one holding a peanut. They usually grab a peanut and fly off, but here is one tearing a peanut open.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


As a follow up to last month, hanging the hummer feeders from the tree did not work. When I went to check them, they were filled with bees. Apparently, the bees could get in, but they could not get back out. That is it for these feeders. They look nice, but they do not work.

Before I moved the Bushnell Birdcam away from the birdbath, I caught one last pic of the swim party. I also moved the Wingscapes Birdcam. Looking through the pics from that camera, the only interesting ones were this one of the female cardinal and one of a nuthatch. The cardinal looks younger than the one that I had been seeing. I have been wondering all summer if there were two, but I still do not know for sure.

It is getting to be that time of year again, so I put the suet feeder back up. Last year I didn't get as much activity as years past, so I moved it back to where it used to be, which is near the tube feeder. So I checked the suet feeder today and saw no sign of activity. Later, I was looking at the web cam and spotted this downy. I have seen them at a seed feeder before, but hey!, the suet feeder is close by!

Finally, I saw this link on Birdchat, Sure They Sing but did You Know They Compose? I thought it was pretty good!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tube Feeder Back in Place

Well, the vegetable oil did not work as an ant trap. So I got some stiff wire, wrapped it around the mouth of the feeders and hung them from a tree branch. They look nice, but I still have not seen any hummers. Very frustrating! This is the second year, I don't think I'll be trying again next year.

The birds never seemed to like the new feeder too much, so I put the tube feeder back up. Of course it did not take Skip long to notice! He sent me this photo, said that I finally got the focus right. The thing with the focus is, I can either take my notebook outside and try to see it in direct light, or I can stand on a step stool and peer through the window at my monitor. Neither way works well. In other words, I got lucky with the focus. I was watching the web cam for a bit today, I saw a goldfinch, a chickadee and lots of HOSP and HOFI. I had to laugh, there was a male HOSP playing king of the hill, chasing off any other bird that landed. After a bit he got tired of it and flew off.

Looking through my recent pics from the bird cams, I saw this pair of jays. This pic shows that the bird bath is getting popular again. I am not sure, is this a juvenile male HOSP? And, what is this? And finally, this cam isn't the greatest, but it caught me on the porch.

Note, to view the web cam, go here Sign in with nhpa and the pass is birder

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Winding Down

It is hard to believe that this is the end of August! Since the grackles left, I started filling the fly through feeder, put the hanging feeder up and changed the counter weight on the anti-grackle feeder to allow all birds. It didn't take long for the doves and blue jays to notice the counter weight change.

I really haven't been getting many pics from birdbath, but here are a couple. This is a un-bird visitor, and what the heck is this dove looking at? There were a couple more pics of this dove looking into the water, so there must have been something down there.

Today when I walked out to the feeder, all I saw was wings, as a million doves flew off! Guess they like that I am filling their feeders again. I saw something fly away from the hummer feeder. I am pretty sure that it was a chickadee, since they like to drink out of the ant trap. Speaking of ant traps, someone said that ants will not cross vegetable oil. I plan to buy some this week and test that. Since the hummer's Fall migration has started, I will put those new hummer feeders back up. They are the ones that stick in the ground and look real cool to me. That is important, since I never see any hummers.

Finally, here is another 'awe moment'.