back yard birds Archives - Trails of Hats'n Hospitalitea

Entries tagged with “back yard birds”.

bird and fish pondSo yesterday I’m standing in the kitchen and our little Christmas day friend shows up again.  There was quit a disturbance out there as Grandpa and Ana had just put out handfuls of peanuts for the Blue Jays.  On Christmas day a bird came to the feeder that I had never seen.  I’m not a bird turd so I didn’t have an idea of its type but knew I hadn’t seen one here before.  It rather looked like a wood pecker or in this family.  So I ran and got a bird book and started looking up what I thought it might be and to my surprise I found out it was a Common Flicker.  Northern Common FlickerSo we looked up Common Flickers on the internet to find out that these birds are not a common bird to our back yards here in PEI in fact you might have a sighting of 1 to 5 all winter on the Island.  Oh! you don’t say, hum I have one that likes my backyard and my bird feeder which I read that it isn’t common they will take up with your feeder.  Ok, this guy is different, maybe even special.  I also went to have a look at what food they are eating and I found Flickers also eat berries and seeds, especially in winter, including poison oak and ivy, dogwood, sumac, wild cherry and grape, bayberries, hackberries, and elderberries, and sunflower and thistle seeds. So instead of heading out to the place I know I can get poision ivy from it would be a lot safer to get this big guy some sunflower seeds or thistle seeds.  

Flicker drinking from the pondI noticed how he comes and goes a lot so I went to the tea room window to see if I could find where he went, (oh no I”m becoming a bird turd) and to my surprise he has come by for a Christmas drink of water out of our pond.  Now the pond is frozen over but we have a heater in it to warm the water of our fish.  Yes, we are fish turds and found out last year when we lost a great deal of fish that it could be from the gasses not escaping.  Flicker at the feederSo we have a pond heater that just makes a ring and keeps the water open in one spot and you can see it in the photo.  Sorry it didn’t turn out well as I thought I could use the zoom without the tripod and well I know I can’t.  

Now that we have Christmas behind us the days are getting longer and the ground here is preparing for Spring.  We have had two snow falls that are not amounting to very much but enough to make a couple of snowmen.  We have guests in the bed and breakfast who don’t often see snow and so they are having a grand time of it. 

Thanks for stopping by, take care and think of those New Year’s resolutions that we all make.

~ cindy

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drinking humming birdHello friends, yesterday I was able to get into the garden for an hour and I must say without the sun out the Bees are still busy.

I stood up from my bent over position to take a breather but also to avoid being in the path of a dodging bumble bee.  holly cow, “here he comes again.”  Swooping and dodging, getting closer and then the notice by the sound he is further away.  I haven’t seen him yet but I’m still ready in position to run if I need to.


hummingbird at the feederThen, I see him out of the corner of my eye, he is charging and big, coming straight for me and not about to stop, oh my this is going to hurt I think to myself, then within a second of digging into me I notice it is not a bee but our Hummingbird returned and he is trying to get my attention to put out the feeder.

“Caugh”  “caugh”  I didn’t have my glasses on, give me a break, ok.


humming bird at the feeder(remember to click on the picture to enlarge)

He wouldn’t turn his head toward me so I could get a front shot of him, he sort of seems a little upset that I made him wait while I was trying to figure out if he was a bird or a bee in the garden.



birds in my backyard


Last year I was in the house when the Humming Bird returned for the year and he knocked on the window.  I couldn’t believe it, he went from window to window knocking on it.  I started yelling to the French Gardener to find the Humming Bird feeder as I thought he was so hungry.

Throughout  life there is a lot we learn and sometimes it is the littlest things in life that are the big things?  I went on a read this morning and found this information on humming birds and now I have to wonder if they are the sort that is territorial and perhaps I need to put out more feeders to get more humming birds, maybe they only feed 2 per station.

  • Hummingbirds use their feet only to perch and must fly to move even a few feet.
  • They migrate as far as 2,000 miles to Mexico at speeds of  25-30 mph if there isn’t a tail wind (up to 50 miles an hour during an escape and 63-80 mph in a courtship dive).
  • The Ruby Throated weighs in at about 3 grams (the same as 3 paper clips or 1/8 of an ounce) and is about 3 – 3 1/2 inches long.
  • On cold nights the birds lower their temperature from around 108F to 30F to conserve energy.
  • Hummingbirds can’t walk.  They use their feet only to perch and must fly to move even a few feet.  The only other birds that can’t walk are loons, grebes, kingfishers, and swifts.The ruby neck and throat are called the gorget.
  • The 500-mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico would take about 18 1/2 hours, a long flight for a bird that doesn’t migrate at night like most birds.
  • The changing length of daylight hours and the availability of insects trigger migration.
  • Hummingbirds have about 8x binocular vision and can see your feeder from about 3/4 of a mile.
  • Hummingbirds eat about every 10 minutes and may consume nearly 2/3 of their body weight in a single day.
  • They double their weight before migration (so they weigh about six paperclips).
  • They consume about 10 calories a day.
  • The biggest hummingbird on record is the Giant Hummingbird of South America – 20 grams.  The smallest hummingbird is the Bee Hummingbird of Cuba – 2.2 grams.
  • Hummingbird’s average life is about 3 – 5 years. Most die in the first year, but the longest recorded is 12 years old.
  • They will bathe on a cupped leaf.
  • Their heartbeat can be as low as 250 beats/ minute at rest and 1220 while flying.
  • They breathe 250 breathes a minute at rest.
  • They can go into a state of torpor on cold nights by lowering their temperature from about 105 to 108F to 30F to conserve energy.  They become lifeless, but the next day, they can raise metabolism and body temp back up within minutes.
  • They build a new nest every year, but may return to the same spot and build on top of the old nest.
  • The nests are the size of a walnut shell—1/2 a gram.  They are covered with moss and sometimes shingled with lichen, lined in plant down, and held together with spider webs. They can stretch to accommodate the growing babies.
  • There are usually one or two eggs – less than 1/2 inch long— that look like small jellybeans.
  • Babies are about an inch long and double their weight each day for several days.
  • Males don’t help with nesting or raising babies.
  • The majority of the approximately 320 species are found in the tropics.

Interesting isn’t it?  While I was searching I also came across this myth and omen thing about Hummingbirds being delivers of news and tapping on the window is a sign.  Ya, I have some superstitions of my own and I’m a little iffy on this one.

Thanks for buzzing by my blog today, I hope can only  hope the sun comes out today and the scout brings a few others to our feeder.


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