Yes, I am still feeding the critters, both those with wings and those without.
The latest unexpected visitors included one of these . . .
He shovelled the seeds in his mouth with both hands. Er, paws. (Pixabay photo)
. . . and also included one of these . . .
Northern cardinal (Pixabay photo)
I was excited over both visitors but for different reasons.
The raccoon scared me a little, because he was right outside our back door, on the deck, so as to be in a prime position to access the feeder. Raccoons may look like cuddly teddy bears, but like any wild animal they have weapons and know how to use them. Not guns-and-knives weapons, just the tooth-and-claw kind.
And the cardinal astonished me because I had never seen one before except in cards or books. I didn't even realize we had them in Nova Scotia. In person ("in bird"?), he was more orange-red than the brilliant red I expected from pictures.
Another visitor to the feeder was not unexpected -- a large crow or raven. I didn't take careful note of his features so I was unable to distinguish which he was. In case you are like me and never knew the difference, the Audubon website has an excellent article here, including audio recordings of their calls. I think there are ravens around us based on the croaking calls I've been hearing this year. If this fellow comes back, I'm ready to I.D. him.
Speaking of crows and ravens, remember the large crow's nest I saw before the leaves came out? It was in a huge tree beside the walking trail I use. Well, there has been no further activity that I can see, which is disappointing and a little sad.
And in other bird news, I am struggling to find out whether our "blackbirds" are Brewer's blackbirds or grackles (thanks, Diane, for suggesting this possibility.) I find the bird identification websites unclear on this bird. Further research is needed!
Do birds ever remind you of something or someone else? The crow/raven we've had at the feeder is huge, shiny black, and menacing. Even though I like corvids, I think of him as a gangster, a member of The Mob. And our mourning doves are so quiet and shy, and, if disturbed, fly away with alarmed cooing and the rustling whistle of their feathers -- they remind me of old ladies fluttering around in a dither, saying "OH MY OH MY OH MY."
But that might just be me. What can you expect from a weird person who sees cracks in the pavement and thinks "peace signs" and "Kilroy"??
How was your week? Are you looking forward to the weekend? I hope it's a good one for all of you.
I adore the corvid family. Even with that adoration ours remind me of hit men. There is a an air of menace about them which the other birds heed.
I hope your weekend is wonderful (and I am a tad green eyed at your latest visitors).
I'm confused about the crows/ravens too, they are so much alike. I'll check the audio recordings later, my speakers are in use in another room right now. I hope it helps me sort out which is which.
I often feel like that menace is directed at people, too, including me!
I was thrilled to see the cardinal. I hope he returns.
The article I linked to also shows the difference in tail feathers, beak, and overall size. I'm looking forward to having a better look at the one that is coming to the feeder, now that I have more information. I hope the audio helps you.
My yard is full of Cardinals and I never get over their beauty. They stay around all year but really are at their most stunning in the winter when the backdrop is snow.
Rocky Racoon visits us every night. He will come up on the deck and stare in at us through theFrench door. We bring the cat food in early so he does not get it, but every now and then he is there before us. If I go near the door, he takes off, and hides on one of the steps. However, a minute later, his head pops up, and the Retired man jumps into action and scares him away. He has no sympathy for Rocky as he is the culprit that has destroyed a few bird feeders. I truly feel sorry for him and leave food for him by the woods. He is cute and he definitely is hungry. I might feel differently if he ate my flowers.
Yeah, raccoons are cute from a distance but they can be pests, too. I can see why you'd have mixed feelings having one on your deck!
I miss having more than sparrows about. However, I had to work hard at not hating grackels and cow birds. I would put all the other birds on a diet of safflower for a month, to break the cycle of black birds. Vandals, all!
The blackbirds are a challenge. there are many slight differences between males and female and the three species you name. I have to look them up every year.
“What can you expect from a weird person who sees cracks in the pavement and thinks 'peace signs' and 'Kilroy'??”
The tile in the half bath downstairs is a random sand colored, ceramic. It is as though a light colored sand glaze was pressed down upon a darker background. There was never intended to be any specific pattern formed by the process. And yet when I sit in my position in that oval office I see faces in the tile. There is an old man who stares back at me, he never goes away. Other faces and things come and go, day by, good times and bad.
It is all very real. I have quit dismissing it as coincidental silliness on my part. I now truly believe it is at least a small crack into the consciousness that is the other side. I now welcome the images and try to make sense of them. What is that old man trying to tell me during such intimate moments in my life? That child is sure having fun playing on that swing, maybe I should be more laid back and smile more like I did when I was a kid just staring out.
Many years ago now a doctor whom I had been totally honest with said I needed psychiatric counseling because what I was experiencing were, “auditory hallucinations.” Those same hallucinations told me not to worry about what the doctor said that it would all be resolved in exactly two days. Almost to the hour that man unexpectedly fell dead from a heart attack. Everyone was in shock, he seemed so healthy. But it made me wonder, should I listen to the tiny voice that tells me that swirl in the pattern is a child swinging on a swing and having a very fun time, or the doctor who tells me to beware of my auditory and visual hallucinations?
Love your blog, I'm a silent lurker who reads you often but I seldom comment. I thought I heard that I should share.
I am glad for the raccoon that you leave him some food. All critters have to eat, and nature being what it is, they don't always get what they need in the wild, or they grow up depending on people and train their kits to do the same. We've taken over a lot of their land, in some areas.
I laughed at your last sentence. Do you ever plant sunflowers?
He was nearly in my personal space! Nobody gets in my personal space :)
Even vandals have to eat, though - this is my conundrum!
Well, now I feel a bit better about my confusion!
Thanks for speaking up, TJ! Glad to have you here.
There are so many things we don't know about life, aren't there?
Lol. Great critters visiting your feeder!
I see faces in clouds and in other surfaces sometimes, too and birds often stir the wonderment of flight. Enjoy your visitors and the weekend, Jenny.
It's certainly entertaining :)
Thanks, e; you too!
I would be very excited to see a Cardinal as well. We don't get them in Idaho but I wish we did. Have a great weekend, jenny_o.
I don't see faces anywhere. Does that make me a psychopath?
That raccoon looks adorable with his little tongue out
Oh, the cardinal! Always such a joy to spot those birds. We don't have any trees on our property, so birds hardly - if ever - visit. But we plan to correct that as soon as we can!
When we were living in Kingston we encountered four hugs raccoons on one of our evening walks. It was rather intimidating. We slowed down to keep our distance. They are adorable but if frightened they can be a force to be reckoned with!
Maybe they're just hiding like ours was :D
I could hardly believe my eyes!
Quite the opposite, I think - you sound normal!
I love picking out pictures on Pixabay. I'm pretty sure "my" raccoon wouldn't have stuck its tongue out for a photo :D
Who needs a TV when you've got a bird feeder to watch?
I often wondered what goes on when we aren’ t watching. There must be lots of activity which goes on unnoticed.
Raccoons can get so big, too. Then they're less of the cute and more of the scary!
I'm looking forward to seeing how your gardening goes!
Exactly! Although the disadvantage is that you can't just turn it off and make the scary animals go away, ha ha
Yes! Sometimes it would be nice to be invisible and not scare the wildlife away :)
Raccoons are like little bears: curious, intelligent, and tenacious.
Back in the late eighties we were staying with a friend in the Berkeley hills when a cold snap hit and it was below freezing at night for a couple of weeks.
They lived right on the edge of Tilden Park, which is square miles of woods and no houses, and they had raccoons come through the yard daily.
Which was fine, for the most part, except for one large and portly raccoon who took to knocking over the garbage can and dragging the trash out all over the yard.
They tried everything they could think of to stop him: holding the can lid down with bungee cords, sitting a cinder block on top of the can, both of those at once, moving the can up onto some crates right beside the house and I don't know what all else, but he was oblivious to the obstacles we put in his way. If we could get into the can, then by gosh so could he.
I tried catching him in the act and doing things like yelling at him, which got his attention for a minute, but did not deter him from his quest for our garbage, and once I threw a motorcycle part at him from close range, but all it did was make a noise like thumping a ripe watermelon and get him to look at me as if to say "What did you do that for? I'm just trying to eat this garbage..." and go about dragging the contents of the can out and around the yard.
Finally, seriously done with picking up his messes, I brought out the heavy artillery, in the form of a pail of water I left right outside the back door.
Sure enough, he showed up and was shoulders deep in the garbage when I yelled one last warning and let him have it with the water.
Then he knew there was trouble, as it was dusk and getting cold. He glared at me and stomped off to wherever his dry spot was and, although we did see him again later, he didn't mess with our garbage can any more.
The neighbors, on the other hand...
-Doug in Oakland
Wow, a cardinal! I've never seen one "in the flesh"! Your raccoon is very cute, but like you, I wouldn't tangle with him. The doves and I can just flutter at the sidelines and watch him, going "OH MY, OH MY..." ;-)
With all those woods to live in, and the raccoons (like all of us) went where the living was easier :) That's a great story about getting rid of your unwanted guest. It reminded me of an incident on our street. We had neighbours from England who had never seen a skunk before, so they took to feeding one that had ambled through their yard, despite being told what could happen if a skunk sprayed them or their house. They used to turn the garden hose on the neighbourhood cats to "protect" their skunk. Some of us secretly hoped they would hit the skunk by accident. It might have helped change their minds about feeding it if they had to experience the stench of a surprised skunk :)
Yeah, that's about what I was doing when I saw Mr. Raccoon! We can all flutter together, Diane :D
We have a neighborhood skunk who I have never actually seen, but know for certain when it has been in the back yard... I think the neighbor's dog might bark at it and make it spray, but when it does I have to close the bedroom window to be able to sleep.
-Doug in Oakland
Skunk smell is unforgettable :)
i love cardinals and getting it as visitor in your feeder sounds a happy event to me
either i feel scared when i saw raccoon or wild monkeys in visiting places here and you can imagine my fear that i never try to capture them as if it make them angry ,they appear in groups suddenly from any side of the park in spite of all fences applied by management.
dear Jenny please take care and stay happy as you sound through your humorous tone often
Wild monkeys would scare me too! They are so quick and agile. And from what you say, they travel in crowds, so -- even more frightening!
The cardinal is still coming around, and now I have seen his mate as well. It is a real treat!
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