Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Birds Of A Feather

Every spring for the past five years we have witnessed sometimes as many as three families of Bluebirds per year nest in our Bluebird houses. One year the mother and father were no where to be seen when the babies started emerging from the nest. J.D. and I took it upon ourselves to be their nursemaids until they got the feel of flight. This was mostly to protect the little ones from a Ferrel cat that I had been feeding. This year one family nested in the Bluebird house the end of February. Now we are hosting the second family already.

It seems as if this year we may be serving as referees to the little winged critters. A Robin family has decided to build a nest in my Clematis vines. The picture above gives you an indication as to how close the two nests are. The Robin spends a lot of time sitting in one of the pear trees or deep inside of the Clematis and attacks the Bluebirds when they come to their nest. We need to keep a close watch to make sure the Bluebirds don't desert their nest. Especially if they have already hatched their eggs.

We have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of watching the birds that come to J.D.'s mountain to eat, nest and bring their own little families into the world. I remember a few years ago when Riley had come to visit us. His attention went to all of the activity going on around the Bluebird house. I explained to him how to tell the difference between the Mama and Papa Bluebird. I also told him that the reason they were flying away from the bird house and flying back so much was because their eggs had hatched and they had a bunch of hungry babies in there that they had to feed. He watched a little while longer and then pointed out the Papa Bluebird flying away. He told me that the Papa must be going to Wal-Mart to get some more food for the babies.

When we are pretty sure that the weather isn't going to turn cold again J.D. goes up on the roof and covers the chimneys for the wood stoves. He was watching a program on TV a few weeks ago and out of the corner of his eye, saw something moving in the wood stove. Taking a closer look he discovered a Starling had some how gotten into the chimney and followed it down to the wood stove. J.D. opened the door and then captured our little visitor and set him free. About a week later he heard a scratching noise in the stove pipe. Sure enough the Starling had decided to pay us another visit, only this time getting his little biddy feet hung up in one of the joints in the stove pipe. J.D. once more freed the little thing from the wood stove and after checking if it had injured itself, set it free. I think it was trying to build a nest in the chimney and kept falling down the stove pipe. After getting hung up, I think the Starling family found another location to build their nest. Never a dull moment on this mountain ridge.

(Click on collage to enlarge)
Buddy has adjusted very well to his new home. He wasn't here long when we noticed that he kept licking at his hind paw. J.D. took a closer look at his paw and found that the nail of his right dew claw had grown to the point that it curved under and was embedded in the pad by about an eighth of an inch. We used toenail clippers and cut the nail so we could pull the embedded part of it out of the pad. Poor little guy...... that had to have been awfully painful for him. He has started making up to J.D. He loves playing ball with him and when a storm pops up he spends more time on J.D.'s lap. He had his visit with the vet last week to get his shots and a good once over to make sure he is healthy. Our vet said he was just perfect. No worms, perfect weight and good teeth and clear ears. He gave us a few tranquilizers to give him when a bad storm is coming. We had a very bad storm a few days before going to the vet and Buddy was really terrified of it. He panted and paced and when we could get him to sit with one of us he was shaking violently. We were really concerned about the way he responded to the storm. Buddy being a part of our life has proven to be a joy and a blessing.

Hope that your week is filled with blessings and happiness.


Jess said...

Cute pics and glad you are taking care of those birdies...

Glad that Buddy is doing so well and that you got some happy pills for him for storms. So many dogs have issues with storms or traveling.

Hope all is well

Love, Jess

PEA said...

I so wish we had bluebirds in my area but it's not something you see around here. We do have robins, though, and they've only just arrived here about 2 weeks ago so I'm enjoying hearing their singing:-) I do hope you're able to avert the nesting crisis between the bluebirds and robins! lol

I'm glad to hear the starling didn't keep trying to make its nest in the chimney! Also glad to hear that Buddy is settling in well and that J.D. was able to find out why he kept licking his hind paw. Poor thing, as you said, that embedded dew claw must have been hurting him so much!!

Take care of YOU and Happy Earth Day my friend:-) xoxo

Laura ~Peach~ said...

love the birds and pup such a wonderful place you have there :)

BClark said...

On my very long to do list is making some Bluebird houses. They are supposed to do such a wonderful job of insect catching. We have quite a few barn swallows around and in the twilight you can see them chasing bugs.
So nice you are giving Buddy such a good home

Tracy said...

I love watching birds. How lovely that you get to watch many families come and go! Nothing is more relaxing then nature itself in my opinion.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter. May this week be full of blessings for you and J.D.


Anonymous said...

O isnt Buddy so cute luv the hair!!