Friday, November 30, 2007

Finch Friday

We were working on a project in the aviary this afternoon & as always, my curious little finches came to investigate the "new furniture" in their room...

gouldian finches in indoor aviary

gouldian finches in indoor aviary

Hmmm, what's this thing???

gouldian finches in indoor aviary

Photon didn't join them - he just posed pretty for me...

orange head white breasted gouldian finch

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Osprey nesting platform

We took advantage of our guests and put up the osprey platform last Tuesday. My husband had a whole system of attached ropes to help us raise it and to keep it from going too far, but it turned out that the ropes weren't necessary. His tall & strong son-in-law was able to raise it with very little help.

putting up an osprey nesting platform

putting up an osprey nesting platform

Ready & waiting...

osprey nesting platform

Friday, November 23, 2007

Finch Friday

Time for some finches in a Christmas setting. This photo is a few years old. Daytona, who passed away last year, was the first gouldian finch that I ever hand-fed. Taffy is on the left. He's one of my tame society finches. He's living in the aviary now & doing great.

tame finches - society finch & gouldian finch

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A happy & WARM Thanksgiving

Always fun to have the kids visit...

kids on dock - Lake Gaston

Extra nice when November weather is warm enough for jetskis & boats...

kids on jetski - Lake Gaston

boating on Lake Gaston

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mealworms for sale

And now a word from our sponsor: my college student nephew that lives with us has expanded my mealworm colony into a business: We now have hundreds of thousands of mealworms that are just waiting to fill the tummies of your favorite wild birds. So if you need mealworms, we would really appreciate your business. Our website accepts Mastercard, Visa, AMEX, or Paypal.

mealworms for sale

This is my nephew Patrick - he bought his first car a few months ago, a 1994 Nissan Sentra. Any mealworm business that you could pass his way would help him pay his car insurance bills.

patricks first car

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Finch Friday (yes, on Saturday again)

I finally got around to taking some updated photos of last week's featured finches, those gouldian finch babies that I hand-fed from day 1. The following photo shows ,my favorite (yes, this mommy has a favorite) of the babies. His name is Duncan & he really is pretty special. He weaned at 4 weeks old (probably a record) - a full 2 weeks earlier than the other three. And if that wasn't cool enough, this baby who had never been fed by a bird, started feeding his less independent siblings. In the past, I've seen a couple of juvenile gouldians help their parents feed newly fledged babies of the next clutch, but by that time, those juvie helpers were at least 10 weeks old. Little Duncan was only 5 weeks old when he began to help feed his brothers and sisters of the same age. Here he is, just starting to get some of his adult colors:

Here are his two brothers. Speck is on the left. On the right is Color Boy - so named because he has more of his adult colors than the others, unfortunately not viewable here since he's not facing the camera.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A dog for all seasons

Once the daytime temperatures dip below 70F, our pups don't have much desire to go outside. A leash in my hand will send them "deeper undercover".

So it's nice to have a neighborhood black lab join us for our morning walks. The cold doesn't bother him. His name is Meany. He doesn't live up to his name.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Making do

In her post, Sharon was lamenting the fact that she had no way to cook up sulphur shelf mushrooms with just a coffee pot in her hotel room. Maybe so, but I did make use of my motel room coffee maker in Cape May to reheat my delicious leftover pasta primavera.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Finch Friday

Lately it seems that photos of my gouldian finches are few & far between on this blog. So I've decided to start "Finch Friday" where I will post photos of my gouldian finches each Friday. If this sounds suspiciously similar to Somewhere in NJ's Mid-week Bunny Fix (which come to think of it, I haven't seen lately), it's because I shamelessly "borrowed" the idea from her. And try not to let the fact that my first "Finch Friday" was posted on a Saturday distract you. I will try to be more timely in future weeks. In my defense, I did upload some of the photos last night.

These are babies that I hand-raised mid-August through the end of September. The parents dutifully sat on six eggs for 14 days, then abandoned them. Gouldian finch eggs usually hatch 16-18 days after the start of incubation. Since they were so close to the hatch date, I moved the eggs to an incubator, not giving much thought to the hours I would need to spend feeding the babies if they hatched. Four of them hatched on a Friday. Here's their first baby photo -

The next day another one hatched. And then there were 5 -

I continued to feed and they continued to grow-

The little sweetie on top of the penny didn't make it to day 10.

We took a road trip over Labor Day weekend and I started to get lazy with my daily photos, so this was the last baby photo that I have.

They're almost 3 months old now & I still don't have any more photos of them. 3 boys and a girl - sweet, tame & starting to get their colors. They live in a cage in my computer room, but spend lots of time out of the cage sitting on my shoulder and yanking my hair.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

the lava lamp

I am so easily entertained! (and I have no idea why most of the photos are crooked.)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Our next project - Osprey Platform

Here's a photo of my husband getting started on the next project on his crazy wife's wish list. Yes honey, we do need an osprey nesting platform... I searched the web for plans and we decided to go with those of the NJ Dept of Fish & Wildlife. Our progress so far - choosing a location and buying the materials.

osprey platform materials

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sunset Beach, Cape May NJ

I returned home from Cape May almost a week ago, but nobody has ever accused my blog of being timely, so, here are a couple more photos from the trip. After 2 days of rain, I was practically giddy when the sun started shining on Saturday evening. After our birding and beach walk at Cape May State Park, Laura suggested that I head to Sunset Beach to watch the sunset. Beautiful...

sunset at Sunset Beach, Cape May NJ

sunset at Sunset Beach, Cape May NJ

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Great black-backed gull

I drove across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge last week on my way to Cape May. Sitting on the top of almost every street lamp was a great black-backed gull - pretty cool! Sometimes I'm able to get some pretty good photos by pointing the camera out the passenger window as my husband is driving. But this trip I was alone and it was pouring rain, so I didn't get any photos of the gulls on the lamp posts. But I did get some photos a few days later from the Cape May Ferry.

In flight...

black-backed gull

and enjoying a bubble bath...

great black-backed gull