Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The Red Winged Blackbirds were at the feeder again this morning.  Very cool.  Although they are one of the most common birds in the US, they generally live along ditches and swamps in rural areas, and until last year we had never seen them in the city.  I love their songs, so when Ron mentioned last year that they appeared to be nesting along the pond on the nearby college campus, I went over to see them.  To my delight they started showing up in our neighborhood and would sit on the wires and shrubs to serenade us.  One of the females sits with the sparrows and finches at a feeder now, though the short perches make it a bit hard for her to hang on.  Her mate sits on the wire and sings.  Lovely!

When I came home at noon yesterday, Ron mentioned that a Bald Eagle had flown right down our street that morning as he came back from walking Josie.  Not very high above the ground either, so I suspect it was watching for roadkill squirrels or hopefully a live one.  We could use a few more squirrel catchers/eaters in this neighborhood!  Who would have thought that Bald Eagles and Turkey Vultures would ever be this common in the city? I often see them when walking along the river with Argus. And Red Tailed Hawks sitting on phone poles are an everyday occurrence.  Nice.

We've been relocating squirrels for the past week as the neighborhood and especially my yard are absolutely infested with them.  They drive the dogs crazy by sitting on the privacy fence, eating from the bird feeders (which are NOT squirrel proof), and drinking from the birdbath on the deck.  We've caught five of them now, and will try for a few more.  I know we can't eliminate them (unfortunately) but reduced numbers for awhile will help for awhile, and perhaps keep the dogs from going through the patio door.  I particularly object to them digging little holes all over my yard - looking for last years acorns?  With our boulevard Oaks large enough now to produce bumper crops of acorns now, squirrels are worse than ever.

And rabbits!  But there seems to be no way to catch rabbits.  Where are the coyotes that supposedly live in the city?  One rabbit in particular hangs out in my yard and dashes under the deck when he sees the dogs.  When he sees humans he acts like a pet rabbit and holds his ground until you almost step on him.  Rabbits were a big problem last year and we had record numbers.  The mild winter probably allowed more of them to survive too, so this year may be even worse.  Rabbits are such buggers about damaging plants - but at least we don't have deer!  Yet.

Facebook Friends often post "cute" pictures of deer.  All I can see is roadkill.  They are such pests.

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