Monday, July 27, 2020

Finding a Treasure at the Thrift Store

On my latest trip to a local thrift store looking for bird fountain parts, I found a beautiful hummingbird feeder that I have never seen before and it appeared to be brand new! It is made out of ceramic and has three pretty flowers on the outside where there are holes for the hummingbirds to get their sugar water. Here are some photos of the feeder and a very cute little hummer that came to feed. 

I hung the ceramic hummingbird feeder out last week to see if it would be accepted by my resident hummers. Well it works just fine and it was time for me to refill the feeder. Because it is ceramic, you can't see if it is full or empty, so you have to guess or  take it down and lift the top to check. Clean and refill at least once a week to keep it mold free. Here is a shot of a cute little Allen's Hummingbird hanging around the new feeder as I approach it to take it down for a refill. 

Top view of the feeder. You can see the high quality glaze finish on this work of art.

The top comes off and there are three plastic coated wire cables that come out of the feeder for easy hanging. The feeder is easy to clean and you fill it so the sugar water goes almost up to the opening hole on the painted red flower. Put the top back on and hang it up.

  I've hung the ceramic feeder right outside of my kitchen window. The white oval shows the feeder. The red circle in this photo shows the Allen's Hummingbird waiting to feed at the new feeder.

There, all clean and filled with sugar water for the hummers. The recipe for the sugar water is 1/4 cup of sugar (pure cane sugar only) to one cup of water. Be sure to bring the water to a boil. The boiling of the sugar water kills the mold found in the sugar that may cause a pox-like disease of the beak in hummers. So always boil the water for about 2 minutes.

Here are some shots of the cute little Allen's Hummingbird that appears to be quite attached to my new ceramic feeder.

Same hummer but photo taken from a different angle.

Time to check out the feeder.

This is one advantage to getting a feeder that has no perch, the hummers have to feed on the wing so you get more action shots.

The hole on the ceramic feeder is large enough for the hummer to dip his beak all the way down. His tongue is almost as long as his beak so there is no problem in getting to the sugar water. Great info by the  Macaulay Library: "Hummingbirds tongue has two long grooves. Nectar moves up these grooves via capillary action. The bird them retracts its tongue and squeezes the nectar into its mouth." 
This is the way hummers feed on real flowers. Only the man-made feeders provide perches.This ceramic also has a smooth glazed finish around the openings as not to harm the delicate beak and tongue. Always check the plastic feeder openings for sharp jagged edges.
I am very happy with this beautiful thrift store find.
 A good look at the hummer getting ready to feed again.
 Checks me out to see that I don't get too close.

I think this is a young male but it's really hard to tell about sub-adults.
 You can see a little bit of his tongue.
Feeding again.

Such a cutie.

One last shot and I leave him to feed in peace. If anyone finds one of these ceramic feeders, I highly recommend. They really do work as a feeder and you have a beautiful piece of artwork.
Have a beautiful week everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Morning With a Bewick's Wren

Checking my plants on my patio to see if they would need watering today, I heard the familiar sound of a Bewick's Wren. Looking where the sound was coming from, I was pleasantly surprised to see him checking out one of my birdhouses. What a super morning watching this wonderful wren going from one birdhouse to another and bringing nest material to them.

When I first saw the Bewick's Wren checking out one of my birdhouses hanging from the Firewheel tree I hurried back to the house and grabbed my camera. I carefully walked back towards the birdhouse and watched as this beautiful wren perched in the birdhouse. Here are some shots of this cutie.

Bewick's Wren, Thryomanes bewickii measures 5.25 inches long with a wingspan of 7 inches.

Close-up. The bold white eyebrow is a great identifying mark. House Wrens have no white eyebrows.
 He flies off.
Oh, now he has decided to bring some nesting material to this little red farm house!
This birdhouse is located right next to the entrance to my garden. It is hung at eye level.

A good look at the front of the birdhouse.
 Found the wren with more nesting material sitting on the fence to the garden.

I just bought this birdhouse and I wasn't sure if it would get used by any bird. I just loved the look of it and wanted it in my garden.
 Found this one at the thrift store and the wren did go in it and checked it out but did not go back.
The wren even checked this little crab shack out but it's only a few feet from my sliding glass door.
  This is one of my favorite birdhouses and I am hoping the he will use it soon.
But for now he is busy sticking this long branch into the little red house.

He manages to get it all in.
Off he goes! That was the last time I saw the wren in the birdhouse but I hope he will be back. I see him hunting in the yard often. I would love to see one of my birdhouse being used one day.

Note: 6-15-20   I just opened the back up to see how much nest material there is in this birdhouse and I was shocked that there was a fully finished nest inside! Wow, he has this house ready and waiting!

Walking past my mini-lily pond area, I spotted a Damselfly! What a beauty! 

 I love this time of the year when many of the flowers are in bloom.

 My first ginger flower this year!

 My first Plumeria flower on the ground. One hot day and it dropped.
 Royal Apricot.

California Towhee sits on my fence. I think there is a nest nearby.

I have planted lots of squash from seed this year. I will be sharing with my neighbors.
A beautiful female Hooded Oriole stops by for a bath.

Have a super week everyone!