Hello! Who are you, Kentucky? forum: Bird Watching in KY

 
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Imagesunfarm
Apr 1, 2010 7:45 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Any other birders out there? I am strictly an amateur, but find them fascinating. I keep a species list for each year and am up to 41 so far for 2010. I usually see between 55-60. The winter birds (juncos, purple and house finches, etc.) are still here, the goldfinches' plumage is brightening up, but the summer residents have not yet arrived. I put out the nectar feeders last week, as the hummingbird migration tracking site showed a couple of sightings in Kentucky already. Here's a picture from a few months ago, taken through my kitchen window.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageSharon
Apr 2, 2010 9:03 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Hi Sally, I almost missed your post.

For years my husband and I birdwatched. We had several books for reference. I am not as avid as he was, but I still count them and watch for them every year. I keep finch feeders up all year round, and just this week I'm cleaning out my humming bird feeders.

It won't be long now.

Thumbnail by Sharon

Imagesunfarm
Apr 3, 2010 5:29 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Thanks for the reply, Sharon. I know there are other birdwatchers around the state. I have three different books on Kentucky birds alone, so there has to be some interest.

Yesterday was a very strange day. I normally see dozens of birds at feeders and in the bushes around my home. There were very few--mostly cardinals and cowbirds (Ugh! on the latter). My first thought was that there might be a predator around, though even a hawk nearby will usually affect other birds just in a small area for a few minutes while it hunts. Just after 3PM I saw a lone goldfinch on a feeder and a few white-throated sparrows pecking around on the ground. Still very strange.

Since the weather was so gorgeous, I decided to take a few pictures of the quince and peach blossoms that had just come out. When I turned around, I saw what had to be the biggest red-tailed hawk I have ever seen. It had left the area of my barn and was heading away from me, down the valley. Even though I had my camera in hand, I was too awestruck to react quickly enough to get a picture before it left. Wow! I can't believe it had been around all day, but I guess it had. In some ways I wish it would return (at least long enough to pose for my camera), but I want my usual visitors to feel safe here. Here is one of the few pictures I did take.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageSharon
Apr 3, 2010 10:15 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Japanese quince...YES! Don't you just love that plant. I wrote a funny article about it last week. I'll see if I can find a link to it for you.

We get a red tailed hawk here occasionally too...and I usually am dumbstruck when I see him, he's so beautiful. He never lingers, though, so I think my regular birds are safe.
ImageSharon
Apr 3, 2010 10:19 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Here's the article link:

http://cubits.org/bluegardens/articles/view/205/

And here's another one on the same subject:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1038/
Imagesunfarm
Apr 3, 2010 3:55 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Thanks for the link, Sharon. Nice article! I cut some branches from the quince about three weeks ago and brought them indoors to force them. Instead of the dark coral the blooms came out pale pink--looking more like cherry blossoms. Hard to believe they were from the same bush.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageSharon
Apr 3, 2010 4:07 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Oh but how pretty!

I'll bet they root in the water for you.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 7, 2010 4:47 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Still focused on the quince, since it is just outside my back door. There were several birds taking shelter in it yesterday. Here are a couple.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 7, 2010 4:50 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
There was a white-throated sparrow as well as the lady cardinal.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageSharon
Apr 7, 2010 8:19 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Oh how beautiful! Looks like a misty morning painting....beyond reality!
Imagesunfarm
Apr 7, 2010 5:50 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
It was pretty early, so sun angle was low. I tried to get a shot of the titmice and chickadees drinking from the edge of a cut-down whisky barrel that takes the overflow from a downspout, but could not get anything sharp enough to post here. I had not seen them doing that before, as I know most birds prefer shallow water. I put out a hanging birdbath (pretty blue glass) and hope to get some pictures there in the coming days. Usually the only customers at the barrel are my daughter's dogs.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 16, 2010 9:37 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Has anybody seen hummingbirds yet? The hummingbirds.net website showed early "scout" sightings in late March in some parts of Kentucky, but I am still waiting. Most years the regulars arrive about April 24th, but one year they were here before the end of March. I have had my nectar feeders out a couple of weeks, but he only takers so far have been wasps. I use 4:1 water to sugar, dissolving the sugar in hot water. You don't need to boil it and you don't have to put red coloring in it. It is a lot cheaper than the commercial stuff to make it at home as needed.

Here's a picture from a previous year of a female ruby-throat.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageSharon
Apr 16, 2010 9:42 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Not yet, still waiting.

I use the same ratio.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 16, 2010 9:53 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Has anybody seen hummingbirds yet? The hummingbirds.net website showed early "scout" sightings in late March in some parts of Kentucky, but I am still waiting. Most years the regulars arrive about April 24th, but one year they were here before the end of March. I have had my nectar feeders out a couple of weeks, but the only takers so far have been wasps. I use 4:1 water to sugar, dissolving the sugar in hot water. You don't need to boil it or put red coloring in it. It is a lot cheaper than the commercial stuff to make it at home as needed.

Here's a picture from a previous year of a female ruby-throat.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 16, 2010 9:55 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Sorry for the double post. I thought I was previewing it and correcting my spelling it before sending!
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 27, 2010 6:32 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Still no hummers, but I did see the first indigo buntings yesterday, right on schedule. The juncos that were wintering here seem to have departed. The chickadees stay here year-round.
I did see something else remarkable while watching for hummingbirds. I thought the tufted titmouse had nesting material in its mouth, but on closer inspection I could see it was eating the tent caterpillars from the nests in my ornamental plum!

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageSharon
Apr 27, 2010 6:54 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Love the indigo buntings...beautiful birds.

No hummers here either.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 29, 2010 5:45 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
The hummers are here! Yesterday afternoon I heard a faint "bonk!" on the kitchen window and looked up in time to see two tiny shapes flying away. At least the collision with the glass was light enough not to cause any harm to the bird. I caught another glimpse of one flying an hour or so later, but no chance for pictures yet.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagesunfarm
May 8, 2010 9:53 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
I finally saw a female indigo bunting yesterday. They are a drab brown so are both hard to spot (not standing out like the electric blue males) and more easily confused with other less colorful birds. I will try to get a picture of one.

We have a cardinal beating its brains (and beak) out fighting its own reflection in a window of the front porch. It has been doing it for several days. That is not unusual in itself, but this is the first time I have ever seen a female doing that. It is usually the males that are so clueless!
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageHappyJackMom
Dec 5, 2010 1:11 PM CST
Name: Donna Yates
Happy Jack, AZ - Zone 5a
Sally, your photos of the Cardinals and Blue Bunting are gorgeous! We don't have them out here in Happy Jack. About the most spectacular birds we've seen, are the Evening Grosbeak, and they don't come through every year. Unless your want to count the occasional pair of Bald Eagles that do a fly over.

And Sharon, your beautiful Eastern Bluebirds, our Mountain Bluebirds aren't quite as colorful, but every year there seems to be more showing up. They really do love to take bathes in the shallow pools in Cookie's Rock.

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