At the end of June I made a transport for Raptor Center of Tampa Bay. Injured or lost baby birds were still coming in and needed to get to a rehabber in St. Pete. This one was a small load. A baby mockingbird, a sick kestrel and 2 loud baby crows made the trip. Those crows were cawing the entire ride to St. Pete.
The 4th of July was going to be a stay at home and relax kind of day but the call came out for a much needed transport. I left Brett watching sports on the couch and headed to Brandon. Those baby opossums were so cute! She was holding the smallest “runt” of the litter, checking to make sure it was warm enough to make the trip.
Nancy from Raptor Center posted this on the Facebook page with the stories of what happened to these babies.
A week later I was at Moccasin Lake Nature Park waiting to take a baby kestrel to Apopka. The Avian Reconditioning Center in Apopka is a great place for lost baby raptors to grow up and get released. They had just received another young one so the one I was taking would get a “sibling” to grow up with. While I was waiting on the kestrel I walked around for a few minutes and checked out some of the permanently injured birds that live there. The eagle was found with a bad wing injury and is not able to be fully flighted. I was surprised to see the swallow tail kite there sitting on the perch at the front of the cage. There were 2 in the exhibit as well as a Mississippi kite (which is a rare bird around here).
The baby kestrel was ready to go and I stepped in the kitchen for a minute and got to see the meals going out to all of the injured birds. Doesn’t that look yummy (don’t look closely at the bowls if you are squeamish)? I looked away from the cart and noticed an adult kestrel sitting on the desk. I’m assuming he got his breakfast first.
This tiny baby kestrel was making the 2 hour trip to Apopka. This was my first trip to the Avian Reconditioning Center. It’s a huge place with big barn size flight cages on the property. I wish I had taken some pictures but it was so hot and they were busy so I dropped of the little one and left.
It was almost the end of February and I was still struggling to see the babies. The parent was just dropping off food now and the babies were eating on their own. At this point they still had some gray fuzz on their heads.
Things were still quiet at the nest. The oldest was screaming for food in the mornings before Dad dropped it off. Mom snoozed on the top of the tower when she wasn’t screaming at the opsrey for flying too close.
There are a lot of loud annoying birds nearby as I sit and wait for the baby eagles to wake up. There are a ton of mockingbirds and blue jays. The blue jays were gathering sticks for a nest.
The oleander bushes had started to bloom.
When I first got to the eagle’s nest I saw this squirrel popping in and out of this hole in the utility pole. I’m sure this hole has been used by many critters to nest I. I have also seen red bellied woodpeckers in here.
I hear this screaming behind me and turn around and see this nanday parakeet looking in the hole. I think the squirrel was still down in there but I couldn’t tell for sure. The parakeet was trying to get in there but kept backing out.
Now the parakeet was on the wire and joined by his mate. I got up off my chair and turned around thinking I might spook them away but they didn’t move. They were looking at me like “Yes, we see you but we’re not leaving”.
They stayed for a while, preening and mating several times. I guess that’s why they really want to use that hole in the pole for a nest. I’ll have to check back later to see what ended up using it.
Usual critters in the backyard in late October into early November. Bambi was still hanging around the backyard. Her spots were completely gone by this time.
Another visit from the usual winter visitors. A black and white warbler, bluebird, red bellied woodpecker and a house finch.
I saw this pine warbler hopping around our patio, mostly hiding under the chair.
Another visit from an immature indigo bunting. Maybe they like my backyard. It would be nice if they would come back in April when they are all blue.
Doves don’t get a lot of attention but they do have cool pink feet. And, they always pose so nicely for me.
Visitors at the feeder include a red bellied woodpecker, bluebirds, chickadees, a downy woodpecker and blue jays.
Sitting outside staring up in the trees, looking for birds. I don’t sit out here often because the birds disappear when I go outside. Only the titmouse and chickadees will come to the feeder if I’m out there. Also the mosquitoes will attack even with bug spray on so until this recent cold spell it’s been really buggy out there.
We’ve had some beautiful skies in June. This was looking across the fairway before the storm hit.
Later I was peeking out the window and caught this lightning with my phone.
Sunset across the street.
These were all blooming on my neighbor’s wall. We share a courtyard.
I was coming back from the mailbox and this bunny was in our yard. I couldn’t believe he was still there when I went in and got my camera and came back out. I’ve been seeing one every couple of days. I wonder if it’s the same one. I call him Peter.
The usual visitors in the backyard. All taken through the window.
I finally got a shot of a great crested flycatcher. I’ve been hearing them calling for months but they always stay high up in the trees. One morning I was sitting outside and had my camera with me and was able to catch him.
Baby bluebird was yelling at Mom to feed him (or her). Taken through the window, they were far out on the golf course.
We had a bad storm one night that formed a small pond on the other side of the golf course. Early the next morning I saw a turkey hanging around the newly formed pond. I grabbed my camera and ran out before the golfers came through. These were taken with my 400mm lens and are cropped up a little but she didn’t seem to mind me standing there. She just went about her preening and strutting around.
A limpkin stopped by while I was shooting the turkey.
The usual birds were coming through the backyard in early May. I’ve been seeing the brown thrashers pretty regularly now.
The baby bluebirds were old enough to cruise around the area. They nest in my neighbor’s nest boxes (several doors down, the neighbors have been living there for years so I think the birds are use to using their boxes). This young one was sitting on the feeder pole in the rain.
Another visit from an armadillo and I always take a shot of the squirrels if they are doing something cute. This time he was just sitting back and relaxing.
I was out watering my hanging baskets and saw the inchworm. I had to run in and get my camera and macro lens. Later that day I saw the green lizard and ran out to get shots of it. We have a ton of brown lizards and it’s rare to see a green one.
I’ve been seeing a lot of woodpeckers in the backyard. At one point there were 3 hanging out in different spots.
Occasionally I get a bluebird stopping by. They mostly hang out in my neighbor’s yard several townhomes down. These were all taken through the window. They are very skittish.
I was pretty excited to get a shot of a hooded warbler in the yard through the window. I saw one back in October as well but only got a blurry shot of him.I wonder if it’s the same one.
Pine warblers and northern parulas were stopping by the bird bath. I haven’t seen either in a while now so I hope they come back this fall.
Blue jays are always at the feeder.
A titmouse sits on top of the bluebird box. So far no birds have nested in it.
Turkeys were strutting by our windows in late March/early April. The first one was right in front of the window, the bottom 2 were taken across the golf course. I think these are 3 different ones since they have different face colors. I haven’t seen any in a while now. They may be nesting.
Down the street I found a juvenile night heron. Next year I’ll have to look for some nests early in the season.
I spent many mornings standing under a bottle brush tree along a fence waiting for the eagles in my neighborhood to wake up. I would go for a long walk and then ride my bike over to the nest with my camera and wait for the parents to bring in food. I saw a lot of other birds there as well. A kestral was there on the wires every time I came to take pictures. In the beginning he was very skittish and would fly away when I walked up but after a month he started getting a little closer. One morning I caught him eating a cricket.
A phoebe hung out in the reeds along the utility area beyond the fence. He was there most of February and March.
One morning a hawk landed in a tree nearby. I thought he was going to catch something when he flew to the ground but he took off empty handed.
The moon was still up early one morning.
Early in April on a cloudy morning there were two swallow tail kites that flew far up overhead.
One morning a turkey cruised by.
The usual annoying birds were always there, mockinbirds and blue jays.
A mallard flew by.
I was out there right before sundown one day and got to watch the beautiful sunset. That’s a bat box on the stick. Sometimes I could hear them sqweaking in there.
Some of the birds in the yard in late January and early February. I’m always looking out the window when I’m at home. I noticed the great egret creeping around the tree but he went behind the bushes when he caught the lizard.
I’ve seen several random turkeys roaming around the neighbhorhood and was wondering if they were all the same turkey. These were across the fairway from our house. The top one had a gray head (maybe the juvenile from this past summer) and the bottom shot has a red head. These were taken the same week.
The usual bigger birds in the backyard include a cardinal, blue jay and a crow that’s been hanging around for a few weeks.
There’s always a Carolina wren in the backyard. Sometimes we have two.
Other occasional birds at the feeder are titmouse and woodpeckers.
We had several bluebirds bouncing around the backyard one afternoon. They would catch some caterpillars on the ground and fly up to the top of the bird feeder to eat them.
We’ve had parulas up in our trees for a while now. I hear their shrill all day long. I was able to catch the male (top shot) in a lower branch singing away one afternoon. The bottom shot is either a juvenile or maybe the female. She came down to the bird bath.
A few other things in the yard. That spider looks like he has a smiley face on his back. The gardenia bush outside our front door has been blooming and it smells so nice when you walk out the door. I went out and got these with my macro lens. All other pictures where taken through the windows.
Brett was in the car, backing out of the driveway on the way to work when he called me. He says “There’s deer in the front yard”. He was afraid if he got out of the car and came back in to tell me they would leave. I went flying out of the house with my camera to see them cruising through our yard and around to the back. This will never get old.
One morning I was walking by the back window and saw a hawk sitting on the bird feeder. Ugh, well that’s not going to get me any songbirds. Again, I grabbed my camera and headed out the door. He didn’t even flinch as I walked up to the feeder. I finally waved my arms at him and he flew over to a nearby tree. I think he was trying to catch some lizards.
A few of the visitors to the birdbath in January. The yellow throated warbler has been hanging out for a while now. He will probably head north soon for the summer.
This looks like a new visitor. I’m not sure what this is. It’s a juvenile. It’s got the beak of bunting or a goldfinch. Or, maybe it’s a house finch? The yellow around the head is throwing me off.
Right before dark as I was closing the curtians I saw this dove sitting on the bird bath every night for a week. It was a chilly week so I was wondering if he wanted to come in to warm up? One night I could see the moon coming through the trees so I ran out and shot the above.
I added sunflower seeds to the feeder and finally got a bluebird on it. My neighbor has a feeder full of sunflower seeds (and one with mealworms) and he always has a lot of bluebirds.
I’m always amused at the antics of the many squirrels in the backyard. I think this one was taking a nap in the sun except he was upside down. He stayed there for a while.
Titmouse are coming to my backyard bird bath pretty regularly to take baths. I try and hide behind the curtains and take pictures through the window so I don’t spook them.
I’m also getting blue jays and catbirds but they just get a quick drink and leave.
Watching the birds fly around the trees, I saw a dash of yellow from across the yard but almost didn’t look twice because I thought it was a palm warlber. I was able to grab a shot of this hooded warbler with a bug in his beak through my dirty windows. (I have since spent some time cleaning them).
I took the shots of the pine wabler and yellow throated warbler outside early one morning, walking around the trees in the back of our home before work.
Twice I watched this red bellied woodpecker hide nuts in a palm tree. He was getting them from a feeder across the fairway and flying back over to our side and hiding them.
Usual morning birds in the back, a great egret and blue jay.
There’s a ton of squirrels in the yard. One climbed up on the outdoor chair and was watching me in the window. I changed out the bird feeder pole to a much higher one and now he can’t get to the food so he wasn’t happy (although at some point he’ll figure out a way to get up there).