Most Sundays I keep a tally of the birds that I see at our home and I enter the info in eBird. My rules for this count are that I must see or hear the birds while standing somewhere on our property (1 wooded acre & a dock on Lake Gaston).
For 2008 I'll be expanding my count territory as per the rules of BIGBY, Big Green Big Year - birding without creating carbon emissions. I first read about this on Laura Erickson's blog, then again on Delia's blog. I signed up for the self-propelled BIGBY, which allows the use of a bicycle or a canoe. I love the idea of this - so low-key - perfect for the gal who does most of her winter birding from the hot-tub on the deck. OK, maybe the hot tub is not so green, but in our defense, we keep the heat turned down in the winter & almost never run air-conditioning during our steamy North Carolina summers.
This is Lil Shirl, a baby northern flicker that we rescued from the beak of a crow a few years ago.
We had no way to get her back to her nest - a hole in a dead tree, 30 feet high. We nailed a box to the same tree and put her in it, hoping Mom & Dad would feed her. It didn't work. After a few hours of watching Mom and Dad fly in to feed her siblings, but ignore her, we brought her into our home.
I wasn't a licensed bird rehabber at the time (working on that now), but I do have a lot of experience hand feeding my own baby finches. And I do have an NC Wildlife permit to rehabilitate small mammals, so let's just pretend that she has fur instead of feathers, shall we?
She was easy to feed and grew like a weed. We cut down a couple of trees, brought them into our screen room, and she was right at home.
She would join us for dinner...
Hey, this stuff doesn't look half-bad!
A few weeks later, her siblings emerged from their nest and I decided it was time to set her free. Here she is, outside of the screen room, but not too anxious to go anywhere.
Finally she left my husband's sleeve, hopped to the ground, ate 100 ants in a matter of seconds and I knew she would be fine. We have lots of ants! She climbed a tree and flew away without a backward glance.
Oh, but she came back - again & again over the next month. She liked to hang out with us and she loved the mealworms that we fed her. She was a very sweet bird with very sharp claws!
Our screen room has a plexiglass roof. Here she is looking down through at us. Hey, where are my mealworms?
A collection of notes and photos - most of them taken at our home on Lake Gaston, North Carolina. Pets & wildlife are my favorite photo subjects. Visit my Lakeview Aviary website for info and more photos about my indoor finch aviary.