Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Had two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks take a pit-stop to our feeders for some bird chow. Got close enough to watch the beaks work over some sunflower seeds. Amazing to see the beaks and tongue in action. A first of year for our feeders. -Harry

Clark’s Corner/Bates Creek.  Casper, WY

 

20160524 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3 20160524 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4 20160524 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 5 20160524 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 6 20160524 Rose-breasted Grosbeak

 

Juvenile Say’s Phoebe

We had a disappointing end to the Tree Swallows as the nest was raided by a raccoon. To make up for the backyard disaster, Nature awarded us a nest of Say’s Phoebes at the front porch. I was not able to zero in on the nest as the adults did an excellent job of putting the nest at the apex of the roof. I was too busy to capture photos of the adults as they brought in pounds of grasshoppers to feed the chicks. The adults would stop just before the nest on the railing and bash the grasshoppers into oblivion.Took the fight out of them I guess.

One of four Says' Phoebe
One of four Says' Phoebe

The adults where very good at bringing in the food. At times, dragon flies had to be broken in half and shared between two chicks. Other tidbits consisted of flies shared among all four. Yum!

 

Young Say's Phoebe
Young Say's Phoebe

We have cats, so we made sure they were locked up while the chicks where out and about watching and learning how mom caught the food.

 

 

Four very young Say's Phoebes
Four mouths to feed

The clothes line was a favorite place to perch while waiting for the food to arrive. These shots were taken late in the evening and just before mom herded them back to the nest for the night. The birds seemed tame as we could get within six inches of them.

Early flights proved that the fledglings were quite adept at learning how to fly. They looked like small helicopters fluttering about as they built confidence and skills. At one point, they followed mom into and around our garage. We made sure they didn’t get separated while they explored our property.

They have grown up now and left the nest. Every so often we spot them wandering around, eating more grasshoppers.

Young Say's Phoebe between clothes pins
Young Say's Phoebe between clothes pins

Happy birding to all!

-Harry at Bates Creek, 14 miles west of Casper, WY.

Tree Swallow: First Egg

First Tree Swallow EggGreetings Birders,

Here are a couple photos of the first egg in our nest box. The egg is from our latest Tree Swallows. This is our third year experimenting with a small video camera installed at the top of the box looking down. You can see the first egg and you can make out the bird as she sits on it. Tree Swallow sitting on egg

The camera we are using is from http://www.birdhousespycam.com/

It is a very small camera and quite easy to setup. Focus is a bit tricky, but with a little trial and error, you can get the focal point that you want. I have seen a similar camera offered by Harbor Freight Tools for less money, but I don’t know how good the quality is. They both have color imagery, sound, and have IR night lighting so you can see what goes on in the dark.

With some luck, in about two weeks, we should have some chicks to spy on. These pictures were taken using a 5.0 Mega Pixel camera set at 1/3 Sec. shutter speed at our TV screen, about 6 feet away.

Harry in Casper, WY