June 9, 2010

Young uns

In these dog days of summer we are enjoying entertainment provided by the WD's young population. There are a lot of young birds of course, incessant in pestering their often smaller parents for food although the seed is right there ready for the pecking. The house finch dads are especially patient in putting up with these kids, and we try to help them out by putting seed on the ground as well as in the feeders.

The young hooded orioles are growing by leaps and bounds, and we are hoping that they will be flying the nest soon. The whole contraption appears more precarious every day. Baling wire is strong, plastic stuff, but it is the only thing keeping the nest hanging. The parents are vigilant in defending the nest or we would make some repairs or hang a safety net. I am not sure whether the nest is under attack from other birds, or whether it is just getting too heavy with the young ones in it.

There is a family of Harris' antelope squirrels under an agave close to the porch with about 5 teenagers, who provide great fun in the afternoon. They pick up seed from under the bird feeders and dash to the shady porch to sit and munch. Or all 5 of them decide to put on a game of chase. They tumble over the porch like young kittens in a ball, stand on hindlegs to box each other, and explore every nook and cranny. Yesterday the patio table and chairs were being explored, and the young yarrow that I had just rescued from their earlier investigations was again dug up and tasted.

Lots of young cottontails and jack rabbits too. I am always glad that I am a bit lazy in taking off the protective chickenwire cages that I put around new plants. Their parents may have given up, but the only way for young ones to find out whether it's good for dinner is to taste. So both buns and jacks will nibble, and even if it does not taste good they may annihilate an entire plant before they give up and just leave the branches on the ground. "I know it is green, and it smells ok, so it should taste good. Oh yuck. Maybe this branch will be better".

1 comment:

webb said...

The BEST photos. The squirrels and bunnies are wonderful.