Category Archives: Birds

Isn’t it Ironic?

An ironic place for some seagulls to snack on lobster legs, isn’t it?

Brazen little buggers sat right on top of our live lobsters to dine on some of their cousins.  Well, I can’t really prove that they’re actual cousins…but, you know what I mean.

I can almost hear the lobsters in the crate….”Enough already.  I can’t take it. STOP!  Why are you doing this?  What more do you want from me?”

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New Bird Feeder

At the Waterfront Festival I bought an Edible Birdhouse/feeder. This bird feeder has the seeds all around the house. When the seeds are gone you can put peanut butter on the house and put more seeds on the peanut butter. The Woodpeckers are really loving their new feeder and here is photo of a Chickadee waiting and a Nuthatch enjoying their treats.
August 24, 2014 A nuthatch
For more information please follow the following link.
http://www.ediblebirdhouses.com
August 23, 2014 edible bird feeder

Fishing Gear at Milk Island From Adam Bolonsky

Adam submits-

Fishing gear at Milk Island. Milk Island’s a cormorant and blackback seagull nesting ground. Lots of of fishing gear washes up on its lengthy gravel bar running north towards Rockport. By August  adult blackbacks start cannibalizing their young – grabbing fledglings by the neck and drowning them, dragging them ashore to pull them apart.

The lobster gear uses non-floating line, required to prevent whale entanglement and a source of large capital outlay for local lobstermen.

Shot with a home-made OliviaTech jib and a cheap $10 wide-angle lens. The guy who presents the OliviaTech jib is sort of a goofball, but I like his presentation because it leaves no doubt about how to build the jib for about $40.

Provocative Pokeweed

The charming note posted below was in my inbox today. I thought Fred would enjoy, as would our GMG readers find interesting.

Allen writes:

Dear Madame Butterfly,

(You may recognize my name as an infrequent commenter on

GMG. More importantly, I am an FOF, Friend of Fred Bodin, although he NEVER invited me to his gallery soires !!!!!)

I always read your GMG posts and enjoy and learn from them.

I have a plant that comes up in my back yard and grows to a height of 5 or 6 feet. This week it fell down. Do you know what it is? Can I cut it up safely and dispose of it? Should I throw it over the fence in the back and let wildlife eat the berries?

Any help, thanks,

Allen

Phytolacca_americana_Sugarcreek_Ohio

Hi Allen,

Allen, as an FOF and FOB, of course you are invited to ALL GMG soirées. I hope you’ll come to the mug-up this Saturday morning at E.J.’s new summer gallery on Rocky Neck. I am planning to go, but will not get there until closer to 11:00. I look forward to meeting you!

American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is what you have growing in your backyard. Pokeweed possesses nearly as many common names as the birds that find nourishment from its fruit, including pokeberry, Virginia poke, inkberry, ink weed, bear’s grape, American spinach, and American nightshade. The American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Mourning Dove, Gray Catbird, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Cardinal, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, European Starling, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, and Pileated Woodpeckers are some of the birds that dine on the fruits of pokeberry. Many mammals such as Red Fox, Virginia Opossum, Raccoon, White-footed Mouse, and Black Bear eat the berries, too.

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Pokeweed can grow to ten feet, with an equally as long taproot as is it is tall in height. It typically grows in disturbed areas, pastures, roadsides, fencerows, open woods, and woodland borders. All parts of the plant are toxic to people and livestock, and especially to children. The root is the most toxic and the berries the least. It is not recommended to add to you compost. If you have children visiting your garden, I would suggest that you talk to them about the plant’s toxicity, and only throw it over you fence if beyond your fence is part of your property. To control a plant, cut below the root crown. An older plant may have a ten foot taproot, which would be very difficult to dig up.

 

 

Images courtesy wiki commons.

Baby Turkey Encounter!

Turey baby poult ©Kim Smith 2014A baby turkey is called a poult.

Turkey baby poult hen ©kim Smith 2014Where was the Tom?

This little turkey family seemed so vulnerable. Although blending well with the surrounding vegetation, the hen was disabled. She was only able to half walk, half hop. Despite her injury, she kept close watch over the babies as they foraged. I was especially surprised that no Tom came charging to protect the flock, which has been my experience with past turkey encounters.

Turkey baby poults ©Kim Smith 2014

Turkey baby poult flying ©Kim Smith 2014.Turkey babies poult hen ©kim Smith 2014.Turkey Hen and Poults

Birds of Cape Ann: How to Tell the Difference Between a Snowy Egret and a Great Egret

Great egret Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014Great Egret

For the Chief, and anyone who wants a quick and easy reference on how to tell the difference between the Snowy and Great Egrets, both white and both often times found feeding in the marsh and tide pools together. The Great Egret is greater in size and has a bright yellow bill, with black legs and black feet. The smaller Snowy Egret has the opposite markings, with unmistakeable cadmium yellow feet and a black bill.
Great Egret Snowwy Egret how to tell the difference ©Kim Smith 2014

Snowy Egret and Great Egret

In the above photo taken this morning, the egrets were too far away for my camera’s lens to get a really clear picture however, when cropped, you can see a side-by-side comparison. The Snowy Egret, with black bill and bright yellow feet, is flying in the background and the Great Egret, with black feet and yellow bill, is perched.

Great Egret lobster Cove Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014Great Egret Lobster Cove

More posts about Great Egret and Snowy Egrets:

BIRDS OF CAPE ANN: GREAT EGRET VS. GREAT EGRET

BEAUTIFUL GOOD HARBOR FOGGY MORNING SUNRISE, SNOWY EGRET, AND WHIMBRELS

Lights! Camera! Nature! Movies by kids ages 7-12 @ Cape Ann Community Cinema Tomorrow (SAT 7/12) NOON-2pm

From Cape Ann TV’s Lisa Smith:

Lights! Camera! Nature! Come to the Cape Ann Community Cinema on Sat., July 12 at Noon to 2 PM , to watch nature movies made by kids ages 7-12 in the the Kestrel Educational Adventure Program.

Here is one of the movies being screened “Telephone Island”:

Welcome to Telephone Island a magical island off the coast of Gloucester, Ma and it is filled with fascinating animals. This movie was made in the Spring-Summer of 2014 by a student in the Kestrel Foundation’s Lights, Camera, Nature program. The program is led by Jessica Kagle and made in co-operation with Cape Ann TV where the students edited their movies. Screening of this movie and the others made in the spring program will be at the Cape Ann Community Cinema on Main St. in Gloucester, Sat., July 12, 2014 at noon to 2pm along with NOVA’s “The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies”.

Baby Robins, Brought to You by Wolf Hill

We are so fortunate in Gloucester to have not one, but two, terrific garden centers, Wolf Hill and Goose Cove Gardens (and Corliss Brothers in Ipswich isn’t too far off the beaten track, either). Barbara and her team at Goose Cove are phenomenal as is the team at Wolf Hill–Kate, Joe, Ben, Dave, Jake, and all the guys. Baby American Robin ©Kim Smith 2014 Both Wolf Hill and Goose Cove take wonderful care of the wildlife that makes their home in the very inviting environment of their nurseries. Last year Kate kept me well supplied in butterfly eggs, which had been deposited on Wolf Hill plants, and whenever I shop at either garden center, a frequent topic of conversation is the robins because they oftentimes build their nests smack dab in the middle of a plant, or group of plants, that are for sale. Robins especially like to nest in hanging flower baskets. This year was no exception. Today when at Wolf Hill I spied a mama robin zooming away from a balled and burlapped tree. The nest was at eye level! I ran and got my cameras but filmed for only a moment because both parents found it highly disturbing. The babies were hungry, with wide gaping greedy mouths, and it was clear my presence was keeping them from their breakfasts. As soon as I turned away, the parents resumed feeding the babies.

_S956668Isn’t this sweet how they take care of the robins at Wolf Hill?

Whitey

WHITEY BULGER PIGEON-

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Looking across the parking lot at the dock I saw what looked like a white seagull bopping back and forth in the parking lot.  Upon further inspection it was this pigeon.  Note the white hair/feathers on its talons (is that what you call them when they’re on a pigeon, or do you call them feet or something else?)  Talons sounds a little too aggressive for a white pigeon but WTF do I know about pigeons?

Splish Splash

Bird Bath Gray Catbird ©Kim Smith 2014Click image to view larger

The day we planted blueberry bushes is the very same day the catbirds began to call our garden home. We now see Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) throughout the seasons, devouring the seeds and fruit of holly, crabapple, winterberry, magnolia, blueberry, and shad. Their cat-like cries, which lends the species their common name, are welcome and often heard. Gray Catbirds are in the Mimidae Family and, like their relatives the Mockingbirds, also mimic the songs of other birds.

Although I have read that catbirds are shy, they seem relatively sociable in our garden and aren’t threatened by the presence of people within close proximity. We keep the bird baths filled with fresh clean water and I especially love to watch the catbirds from our kitchen window as they are so exuberant in their bathing habits–diving and splashing and then drying their wings at the edge of the basin. Oh Joyous Spring!

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis ©Kim Smith 2014

I am Magnificent

This beautiful Red Tail Hawk came visiting on Wednesday morning.

Some information regarding this beautiful bird from the Audubon Society.  The red-tailed hawk is 18-25 inches in length with a wingspan of four feet. It weighs two to four pounds. It is dark brown to gray brown on its back and on the top of its wings. It has light brown or cream undersides and a cinnamon colored neck and chest. It has a dark band across its belly and a broad, round, rusty red tail. The female is larger than the male.

May 7, 2014 I am magnificent

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