More baby critter rescues

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.

Busy morning at the eagle’s nest

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.

BLUE MONDAY BADGE

an image of a red sport car with a lady caricature going at Vroom Vroom high speed

The usual visitors in the backyard

More shots of the single young doe that’s been hanging around our yard for several weeks. She has lost her spots but still seems so tiny. Several times she takes a break under the big oak tree next door. I even caught her sleeping one afternoon. She usually lays there for about half an hour nibbling on the grass and then moves on.

All of the usual birds stopping by in early November.

This is the first time I’ve seen a bluebird at my feeder. They stop by the bird bath but I’ve never seen them on the feeder. They usually eat at my neighbor’s feeder. He uses mealworms.

Four of the seven turkey family walking across the golf course in the backyard (the other 3 were down in the bushes).

My neighbor’s muhly grass looks beautiful in early November. The native grass blooms pink in the fall. It made me miss the ones we had in our backyard in Tampa. We thought about planting some outside of our new (ish) townhome but there isn’t a good sunny spot to put it.

Sunset in the pond across the street. This was in late October. We haven’t seen orange skies since.

Inspire Me Monday

Waiting for eagles to wake up.

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.

SkyWatch FridayFriendship Friday

A quick stop in the backyard

I’ve had so many birds stopping by in the backyard for a quick bath or drink in early December. Titmouse are regulars. Mockingbirds, cardinals, catbirds and pine warblers have all stopped by. I’ve only had one chickadee stop by (that I’ve seen),  

There’s always a lot of pine warblers coming through.

The Carolina wrens stay on the ground most of the time, digging around under the leaves.

I’ve seen a few downy woodpeckers in the big oak tree outside the window.

This is a dangerous place for a squirrel to take a break. I’ve seen a hawk sitting here twice.

Critters in my new backyard

Behind our new townhome is a tree lined golf course. There’s also a small pond a few homes down. The first week we moved in I went for a quick walk early in the morning before work along the tree line.  I’ve seen several limpkins in the pond so I’m hoping for limpkin babies next summer.

Right outside our home, I found an ovenbird deep in the bushes.

There’s always noisy mockingbirds anywhere in Florida.

Is it Thanksgiving yet? My second turkey sighting in the neighborhood. When we were doing some work on the home before we moved in, we could see several turkeys across the golf course. The week we moved in they were right down the street so I ran and got my camera.

Little birds in the trees. I think these are palm warblers.

A great egret out my back door (taken through the window)

There are palm warblers everywhere. The golf course is full of them on the ground if there are no golfers playing.

A parula out the back door (also taken through the window).

My Corner of the World

Yard birds in May

Doves sleeping on our fence. Taken through the kitchen window.

This night heron was hanging out on our dock, staying busy preening.

An ibis flew in and landed on the same dock.

The night heron was not happy with the ibis near his spot and chased him off. I just happened to be walking out of the side of the house to sneak around to the back to take pictures of the heron when I caught the ibis landing.

A few minutes later the night heron flew down to the water. It was an extreme low tide and you could see some of the rocks exposed. He was looking for tiny crabs on the rocks.

A mockingbird was eating something off my neighbor’s bottle brush tree.

A red bellied woodpecker in the tree.

Not an exciting bird but the house sparrows nest nearby and I always get a lot of them at my feeder so I consider them “my” birds. They are not skittish at all.

I was hosing down the front porch early one Sunday morning when I looked down the driveway and saw a duck couple drinking the runoff water. I know they want a handout but we don’t feed the ducks here. On one side it would be fun if they nested in our bushes but on the other side, our driveway would be covered in piles of duck poop.

My Corner of the World

Tiny critters in the flowers and the trees.

Lots of tiny critters in the flowers at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

The squirrels were busy eating.

A young mockingbird sitting high up in the trees. Not many other birds out in early September.

A flock of anhingas go flying by overhead.

It was hot. The gardens were very quiet with only a few tiny flying critters but I got a good 2 hour walk in that morning.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

Fun at the zoo in June.

The last remaining blue heron babies at the zoo in Tampa. Across the alligator exhibit I spotted a young tricolored heron looking grumpy. He still had that fuzz on the top of his head.

Some of the resident critters at the zoo.

One of my favorite birds in the aviary had babies this spring. The bottom 2 are offspring of the top one.

A wild mockingbird eating the berries.

 

A few fun things from Zoo Tamp in June.

A quiet morning at Fort Desoto

Someone had staked out their spot on the spit island just off the north tip of the beach. By early November, the red tide algae bloom was mostly gone from the beach but there were still some spots that smelled of dead fish. The water looked clear but the bloom came back later for a short time after a big storm. The morning I was there was clear.

The birds on the trails were scarce with the exception of a few common ones including a northern parula and many of the state bird, the mockingbird.

The usual waterbirds were also around.

Frigatebirds were flying high overhead.

On my way out of the park I saw a bald eagle sitting on a utility tower. All of the eagles are back for the winter.