Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday October 2014: Bird Visitors

Wildlife Wednesday is an opportunity to share wildlife visitors to the garden and I'm linking to Tina's post at My Gardener Says... which appears on the first Wednesday of each month.  This month I'll focus on special bird visitors to the garden.

A big surprise in September was watching a pair of Baltimore Orioles trying to pry open the hummingbird feeder.



The male is a striking bright orange.



Acrobatic and charming their antics entertained us for several days before they took off to their winter homes in southern Mexico.



The female is not quite as bright but just as charming and determined.



The Orioles didn't just try to get the hummingbird nectar they were trying to take the feeder apart!


The hummers zipped around and tried to shoo them away to no avail



This Ruby-throated hummingbird finally found a break in the action to grab a sip.


In other birdie news, the berries on the Callicarpa Americana or American Beautyberry are ripening and the Mockingbirds and Robins are all over it.  Here we have a Robin eating away.  A flock of Robins flew in ahead of our first cold front a few weeks ago and are enjoying the accommodations before heading farther south.


Now for the October Deer report.

That Agave pup sure is tasty


See that nice silvery Agave back there....

"Oh no he won't"!


"Oh yes he did"!


After walking away earlier in the evening the buck apparently returned later to rough up the agave with his new antlers, and we saw this the next morning.

This year's damage is the worst yet.  We have been considering a fence across the back yard and now I know we are building that fence sooner rather than later.

Treat yourself to more wildlife in the garden photos and visit Tina at My Gardener Says....

21 comments:

  1. The bird colours are luminous. What beautiful photos. And what a naughty deer. I have heard you just can't build a fence tall enough to keep them out. They can leap tremendous heights. I wonder if you could temporarily put up some kind of chicken wire around the plants you want to protect during that time of the year when their antlers are itchy? As much as I think deer are beautiful I would be pretty annoyed to see a torn up plant. gee wiz

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    1. Antler season is at least six months so a fence is best. Deer are surprisingly lazy and the four-foot chain link next door has worked well for many years. The idea is to interrupt their browsing pattern and a few well-placed shrubs will keep them from seeing over.

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  2. Beautiful pair those Orioles, the male especially. The deer damage, ouch!

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    1. It's going to take several years to grow out of that mess!

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  3. Well I'm just orange, yellow and black with envy!! You're so fortunate to have Orioles!! I've put out orange slices, but so far no Orioles. I'll enjoy yours, then. Bad deer!! I guess the agave spikes feel good to them, but gosh, can't they go somewhere else? Thanks for participating in Wildlife Wednesday!

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    1. It didn't realize orange slices were the way to attract them. We're working on convincing them to go elsewhere.

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  4. What beautiful birds. I may just have to encourage birds like that to come into my garden. The plants just aren't doing their stuff. I saw chipping sparrows yesterday and the usual mocking bird, cardinal, jay, hummingbird, wren collection.

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    1. I'm not quite sure how they found us since we didn't do any of the recommended items to attract certain birds.

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  5. Those orioles are breath taking. I'm orange with envy.

    The deer are such a special problem aren't they?! Between the nibbling and the chomping and the antlering they are hard-hard-hard on a gardener's good will. I am deeply sorry you lost the time invested in that particular agave but it sounds like you have a plan and a strategy to keep that from happening again. Excelsior!

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    1. Agaves are easily replaced and we have another across the yard which was antlered last year and is now on the mend.

      The fence will slow them down at least.

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  6. Stunning. What vibrant colors! Do you do anything else to lure those birds into your little habitat? Put out orange halves or anything else special? Or were they just digging your hummingbird feeder? If that's the case, I hope they find mine just as appealing!

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    1. It's just chance and a surprise. I don't try to attract specific birds and I didn't even know orange halves worked until Tina mentioned it. After I spotted them on the feeder I looked it up and Orioles do love the hummer feeder.

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  7. Not only are the orioles beautiful and entertaining, but they are also Brave. I, for one, would not argue with the bold hummers who frequent our feeders.

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    1. The hummers can be real bullies when it comes to the feeder. They chase others away yet never even feed themselves.

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  8. Aww, how fun! The Orioles visited us repeatedly in the springtime, and then I didn't see them all summer or this fall. Maybe the yard is too shady for them. The hummingbirds were here from May through a few days ago. And now, suddenly, they're gone for the season. :( Lucky you to have hummers all winter! You got some great shots! I can't believe the deer caused that much damage to your Agave--that must be frustrating. I'll look forward to reading about/seeing your new fence.

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  9. I can't believe a deer would eat an agave! I recently added some agaves around new plants in my own garden in the hope they'd deter the raccoons from digging but the plants don't seem to intimidate them either. Maybe it's just a tough year for all the critters. What fun to watch the orioles! My mother-in-law said her hooded oriole visitors drank from the hummingbird feeder but I never saw the pair that visited my garden do so - they did enjoy bathing in the fountain, though.

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  10. Such gorgeous birds! Our robins and other birds don't seem to like my Callicarpa as the berries persist through much of the winter and then just brown and fall off. I'm so sorry about the damage on that big beautiful agave. Yes, fence sooner than later!

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  11. Every day I go out front with trepidation to see if the bucks have antlered anything. I know I need to put protective wire around my Margaritaville yuccas and a few others, but I've been lazy. Now is the time!

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  12. Ouch for your plants with that buck...we don't see bucks in the garden here. And my orioles are with you now trying to get in the hummer feeder. I finally bought them their own nectar feeder and the hummers like it too...they think they have 2 feeders now. Well they are all gone so we will have to wait for spring to see them both again. Glad they are in your care now.

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