Zoom Zoom

It’zzzz Zeptember and the yard is abuzzzz with all the little zoom zoomers pazzing through to their winter digzzzz. Almost like science-fiction…Imagine hundreds of tiny heat seeking missiles chasing each in swarms, everywhere in your field of vision! (It’s probably not exactly hundreds, but hard to tell as they are too fast to count!). However, you better be prepared to duck as many of these buzzing warriorzzzzz zoom past your head! It’s quite startling when two warring hummers brush past you so close, you feel a little poof of air in your hair!

The frenzy only lasts a day or two, then calms down a few days until another group passes through. The – we call it the annual event the ‘Humming Bird Wars’.  And, it came this weekend!

Here’s a little sample….If you turn up the volume, you might get the zoom zoom!

 

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Eat, Drink, Be Merry…and Some Other Shit

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The heat is starting to prickle here in the desert. This week promises temps between 100 and 110…. aaauuugggghhh! So, it’s not surprising that the feeders, water dishes and pond are popular hangouts for the local wildlife. Every morning and late afternoon we see it all! Birds, rabbits, squirrels, javelina, lizards, bobcat, coyote, and just the other day our ‘creature from the desert hollows’ (the toad), crawled out of his hole to find refreshment. When it’s just too hot to do anything else, just eat, drink and be merry!…

Eat…

Five finches find food at the fully filled feeder.

A quail couple chow down on the ‘Peckasso’ block seeder.

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Baby buns have fun nibbling in the cool grassy place.

A red winged black bird gets photo-bombed while stuffing his face!

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Hummingbirds flirt and hover around their honey hole hangout.

This Baltimore oriel takes a sip stop on his way-back-home Northern route.

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Drink…

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This starling likes to take a sip and a dip.

The bunny takes a drink to put the hop  in his hip!

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 The hawk  takes a water break and claims his domain.

 Mr . Toad  took a sip and a dip now just waits for the rain.

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The coyote gets a cool drink, soothing and calm.

A closer look reveals…yes it is…another photo bomb!  (Silly quail!)

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And be Merry…

 

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 The javelina , you would think, might want some water to swallow. But, they would rather tip over their drink and make a nice mud wallow!

Eat, drink and be merry, then what do we do?

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Guess the only thing left…. you just gotta poo!     (Pictured above, a lovely specimen of javelina shit 😉 )

Chirp Wars

Chirping…Buzzing, crowing, hooting, ka-cooing, whistling, screeching, trilling, tooting, whoot-whoot- woooing, tweeting (not the on-line kind ;)) This cacophony of sound emanates from the yard, bursting through every open window of the house! ‘Tis the mating calls and loud bird brawls that dominate the atmosphere in Todd’s Backyard this time of year. You may think this a serene and peaceful environment, and perhaps it is for some, or most. But, if one requires supreme concentration (like me, with my A.D.D.) or one who would appreciate a nap (like me, with my insomnia), you may get a little irritated with all the HOO HOO HOOpla! There are a few brash birds in particular that dominate that top the high decibel charts with their loud  and abrupt conversation tactics…..

TODD’S BACKYARD TOP 3 AUDITORY AGITATORS:

#1. MR. PETER PECKER The sweet sing-song of the finch and gentle rustle of leaves will suddenly be drowned out by the raucous cackle of the WOODPECKER…or even worse, his pecking on the chimney or front door which will unleash the spontaneous outburst of barking and howling dogs, deceived into thinking we have guests.

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#2 THE CARDINAL’S CLAN- Oh yes, he is strikingly gorgeous in his brilliant red suit, but his piecing screech is as loud as his appearance!  When he’s in love, watch out! And his screaming babies are just as bad…When they want to be fed it’s worse than any child’s tantrum. Witnessing the scene below, I believe , Mr. Cardinal is trying to teach his little screechling how to eat from the bird feeder.

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#3 CAN-NOT-IGNORE ORIOLE- A summer resident, the orioles have just recently arrived along with their piercing call. They sit in the mesquite tree off the porch clacking and whistling, making their presence known.  Oh, oriole, we see you in all your brilliant yellow glory! So put a sock in it and shut the F*&# up!

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Don’t get me wrong, I love all the birds, and we are so lucky to live smack dab in the middle of a  migration route! After all the migratory birds have traveled through, the ones that remain for the summer will soon be drowned out by the buzzing of the cicadas (locust-like bugs)  when the heat starts to crank! So, sing birds, sing! And I will rejoice with you in this lovely pre-Summer Spring!

A sad casualty…

A couple of weeks ago, we heard the most lovely and unusual bird call. And we found it coming from a most lovely and unusual bird! We think it may have been a pet, not a native bird to this area, because it looked rather exotic. As a consequence, we were worried that it may not be suited for the chirp ‘n’ turf wars in Todd’s Backyard desert bird habitat. And we were unfortunately correct….

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Todd found him on the ground, outside the chicken coop 😦 Not sure the cause of death, but appears to have been pierced in the stomach….and possibly his ear drums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Hummer Days!

It’s Christmas morning….for us, with out kids, all is calm and all is quiet. We celebrated with our family and gift giving the previous night, but it was this morning we got a most wonderful, and unexpected gift!

The weather was sunny and mild, so we took our coffee out on the porch to enjoy the beauty of Arizona this time of year! As we watched the morning sun streaming through the yard, we could catch glimpses of sparkling color among the branches of the trees and shrubs. Just like little Christmas ornaments, the hummingbirds were decorating the desert landscape, as they woke up, preening and warming in the rising sun. Perfect timing for getting some great new photos!

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We wandered through the yard, as if on a treasure hunt, looking for all the little jewels among the branches.

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We are so lucky to be able to spend Christmas with our little hummer friends, as folks in colder climates don’t get this opportunity!

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And, this Christmas morning, the hummingbirds were out in their full glory, chirping, buzzing and trilling!

We were having such a great time! And it got even better when this little broad bill posed for me…

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And gave me my best Christmas present!…Photos of a lifetime…

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Hummmazing!!! A glorious day to celebrate all of God’s blessings 🙂

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Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday season from Todd’s Backyard!

Hummazzzzzzzing!

The other morning, my neighbor, Eileen, came to my back door holding a tiny hummingbird in her hands. She was afraid it might have hit her window and broken it’s wing, because she found it on the ground and it couldn’t fly. We were both at a loss as to what to do! We tried setting him in a warm spot on one of our patio chairs, but he just toppled over. So, I got some hummingbird food out of our fridge (we keep a gallon on hand), and tried to get him to drink out of an eye dropper . We were relieved when he put his little beak in and drank up! That was a good sign 🙂

So I grabbed a box, a towel and one of the feeders off of a tree and stuck him in the sun sitting next to the feeder, hoping he would have enough energy to get on it. But he just sat awkwardly on the towel, tipping over because he couldn’t move his wing…

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He preferred to sit on my finger…

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So I put him next the feeder and he drank…

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We had spent a better part of the morning with him, Eileen had to go back home and I had to get back to work, so we left him on the towel in the box, next to the feeder. I set the box inside a big cage so a cat or road runner wouldn’t come and snatch him. As I went back to work, I kept wondering what I should do. If his wing was broken, I would have to call the wildlife rescue and see if he could be rehabilitated.

After about 20 minutes I went back out to check on him…

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He was facing the sun, wings outstretched. his colors blazing. It appeared that he was soaking in the rays, recharging his batteries! He looked up and in one fast zzzzzip ascended to the nearest tree. Needless to say, I was elated! I watched as he flew to a feeder, got his fill and sat back on a branch.

 I proceeded to dismantle his recovery station, and hung the feeder back on the tree. As I did so, the little hummingbird came buzzing over and just hovered inches in front of my face, chirping! I believe this is what he said ” Thankzzzzzz for defrezzzzzzzzzing me!”

Relax…It’s All Good!…

Especially when your a dog! Or, at least when you’re one of Todd’s Dogs! Having a nice wet and mild winter has given us all hope for a spectacular spring and I think Baily, Cooper and Lulu can smell it!

There is an atmosphere of relaxed anticipation in Todd’s Backyard…

In his favorite porch spot, sits Baily. Taking in the landscape, daily….

Watching the pond full of bathing birdies, getting rid of all their desert dirties!

Then he spots a humming bird, resting on a branch, undisturbed….

So much to see, so much to smell! Baily’s in heaven and all is well!

For Baily’s brother, Cooper, he’s just not into birds.

His daily nap, is much preferred!

Until, his nappy is disturbed, by the pungent odor of the local herd…

And where o where is sister Lulu?

A friend just flew in to say  “Heyyouwhoo”!

But Lulu is not much of a yard dog like her big brothers.

When it comes to relaxing, she has her druthers!

Princess of the house is her M.O.! Like….what would you expect….Hellooo!

What the F?

Frozen, Frantic, and Fierce!  Never in the history of our desert region (supposedly since 1913) has it been 15 degrees! We woke up this morning to a frozen desert.Which meant frozen solid hummingbird feeders…which turned our local hummingbirds into some fired up, frantically fighting food fighters!  In other words…they were pissed! We could hear them before we opened the door to a blast of frigid air. Todd rushed out to collect all of the feeders to defrost under hot water…pronto. I went out to help, and could not believe it!  I had not felt this kind of bitter cold since I last visited Michigan last year at this time. And the poor little hummers, in their frenzy for food, were whizzing about. Probably the only way they could stay unfrozen. One little guy buzzed by my head so close I felt his wings on my cheek. The hummingbird  ‘chatter’ was deafening…..We quickly concluded there is nothing as frightening as a huffy heat-deprived hummingbird!