Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bird Behavior

Our backyard fountain is a source of a wildlife activity, especially during the summer months.  Birds visit it daily and the raccoons visit it nightly.  I haven't managed to capture a photo of the racoons but I routinely find evidence of their visits.  The top tier of the fountain is filled with sea shells to give the birds a solid footing.  The raccoons remove the sea shells and drop them into the lower tiers of the fountain or scatter them about the garden EVERY DAY.

Most of the birds come to drink or take a dip.  Last week, I caught the Hooded Oriole thoroughly enjoying a bath in the fountain.  He's usually quite elusive, flying off the moment I get close to the window with my camera.  I've only managed to get a few shots of him.  Here's a photo, taken in June, of him looking his usual sleek self.




And here he was last week when he thought no one was looking.

After a brief mid-air tussle, which I failed to capture, the second bird took off
 
He celebrated having the fountain to himself

And surfaced looking a bit scruffy

When he flew off, he wasn't well-coiffed but his joy at the dip in the fountain was evident



In contrast, every evening, after the fountain is turned off, a Mourning Dove appears and simply sits at the edge of the fountain.  It remains there, alone, for long periods, just staring out across the garden.





7 comments:

  1. Having that water feature is so worth just for the sheer joy of watching birds play in it :)

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    1. This is my first real water feature and now I don't think I could do without it.

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  2. Great pics! Love your Hooded Orioles. We have our eastern version the Baltimore Oriole as daily visitors in our bird baths.

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    1. This one had avoided the presence of humans (even when I tried leaving him pieces of fruit!) but I guess the enticement of the fountain finally led him to loosen his guard.

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  3. Have you been turning the fountain off in an attempt to deter the raccoons? I have raccoons that come and play in my stream every night, they are such pests and very destructive. Great shots of the oriole bathing.

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    1. The fountain has been on an automated timer since we inherited it and we maintained that practice in the thought that it served no purpose to have the pump going all night (although I do turn it on when we have people over in the evening). Turning it off doesn't seem to dissuade the raccoons from futzing around in it, though - I've heard that they are attracted to water but you'd think they'd have learned by now that there's nothing to eat there..

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    2. Great captures of the Orioles, they are so shy; we have golden Orioles but I've never managed to get anywhere near them with the camera.

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