The Daily Bug

Birds in My Backyard

By: palmettobug53, 12:57 AM GMT on September 28, 2008

Feeding the birds

As most of you know, I love watching my feathered friends. My birdbath is an old one that belonged to my maternal grandmother. I'm frequently tranfixed by all of the communal bathing that goes on out there. I have several feeders up and buy my seed by the 50 lb bag. I have a small library of bird books and I'm quick to grab one, if I spot a visitor in the yard (or elsewhere) and I'm not sure what it is. Some of these books, I've bought on my own. The most recent asquisitions are several books my Dad gave me, as they were downsizing for their recent move.

I'm pretty sure my love of birds is inherited. Even though my father was an avid hunter (mostly doves), his main joy was the outdoors and he's been an inveterate birdwatcher all his life. I guess it stemmed from the fact that he was just a farm boy at heart. He hasn't hunted in years but still spends quite a bit of time outside, pottering in the yard and watching the birds at his feeders and putting up birdhouses.

I can remember many a road trip, when I was young, when Mama and I fully expected to wind up in an accident because Dad had his eyes peeled for birds. "Look at that red tailed hawk in that tree,", he'd exclaim, as we headed up the road to visit his folks on their farm. Mama and I wouldn't even be able to spot what tree he was talking about, never mind the bird in it. How he espied birds like that, without driving off the road, I'll never know. I've never gotten the knack of spotting them like he does.

Mama related another episode, where Dad literally slammed on brakes, pulled off the road and was excitedly pointing out some Mississippi kites he'd spotted. They had been driving from Sumter to Columbia that day, to pick up my maternal grandmother and bring her back to the house to visit for a few days. He'd never seen any before but knew exactly what they were.

I don't put up enough specialized feed to attract certain species. My main feeders are filled with run of the mill wild bird mix. I do have two thistle feeders and one feeder for sunflower seeds. We were finally able to attract some hummers this year and I have had two feeders up for them.

The following list is about as complete as I can get. Some are year round regulars, some are seasonal and others are the occasional visitor or have been spotted in the yard at least once over the years.

House sparrow
Pigeon (Rock Dove)
House Finch
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Cardinal
Carolina Chickadee
American Robin
Carolina Wren
Tufted titmouse
Rubythroated Hummingbird
Red Tailed Hawk
Sharp Shinned Hawk
Blue Jay
Brown Thrasher
Common Grackle
European Starling
Cooper's Hawk
Mourning Dove
Ring Necked Dove
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Pileated Woodpecker
Loggerhead Shrike



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Updated: 10:02 PM GMT on October 01, 2008

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Happy Birthday, Cat!

By: palmettobug53, 1:03 AM GMT on September 15, 2008

I'd planned on putting up a new entry tonight, so decided to go ahead and do it. Not one of my researched efforts, with a nice picture to go with it. This is just off the top of my head.

After watching all the things unfold with Gustav and, then, Ike, I started thinking about the things that really matter. The things you should be thankful that you have, as opposed to, perhaps, the things you have lost or never had.

I'm thankful for: (not necessarily in order of importance)

Fairly decent health.

A roof over my head.

A good job.

A husband who loves me, even though I have my faults.

Friends who care about me.

Medical insurance, though I wish it paid more!

Family who love me.

Food in my kitchen.

Running water.

Electricity.

Memories of good times.

A truck that still runs, despite being 15 years old.

Sunlit mornings.

Birds to watch in the yard.

My pets.

Blue skies.

Fluffy clouds.

Light rain, when needed. (No deluges, please!)

Flowers.

Clothes on my back, even if they aren't the most stylish. Which is mostly my fault, since I thrift shop a lot! LOL

A/C and heat, in season.

I could go on but I think you probably get the gist of what I'm getting at.

Small blessings, as well as large ones. Be comfortable with who you are and what you have. And what you have should be what you need. Everything else is ostentation, really.

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Updated: 1:11 PM GMT on September 27, 2008

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A Prayer

By: palmettobug53, 12:29 PM GMT on September 13, 2008

Almighty God, who gives strength to the weak and upholds those who might fall, give us courage to do what is right, for those that trust in you have no need to fear.

Make us brave to face any danger which may now threaten us.

Give us the help that you have promised to those who ask it, that we may overcome our fears and go bravely forward.

Fill us with courage, that nothing which is our duty to do, may be too hard for us. Let us put our trust in your power and goodness.

Thank you our Lord

Updated: 12:44 AM GMT on September 15, 2008

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Godspeed to all those fleeing Ike

By: palmettobug53, 1:46 AM GMT on September 08, 2008

carolina wren

Thanks to all who stopped by my previous blog and left comments and well wishes during our "Dress Rehearsal" with Hanna. We've still got a ways to go this season and Icky Ike has many of my friends here on WU in the crosshairs. We just don't know yet exactly where he'll wind up making landfall in the Gulf. Or how much destruction he is going to cause.

I wanted to get up a new entry and on a topic as far away from hurricanes as I could get. I started off thinking about the birds I see in our yard and was going to do a listing of them all. Got the links bookmarked and ready to go but it's a long list and I don't feel like going to all the trouble of doing all those links this evening. I've decided to concentrate on just one: our state bird, the Carolina Wren.

Despite the fact that it's our state bird, I'd never laid eyes on one until about a month ago. I was sitting in my chair on the front stoop one early evening and noticed a small, brown bird fly into the gardenia bush at the corner of the house. It did not look quite like one of the horde of house sparrows we have and I got up for a closer look.

By golly, it was a Carolina Wren! I was thrilled!

I figured that one sighting was probably going to be it but over the last few weeks, I've spotted him again and again. Not every day but a few times a week. Flitting here and there but mostly at the post where I have suet feeder put up.

I know it's a him because he sings and only the males sing. Now, you all know I'm too deaf to hear birds anymore, even with hearing aids, but I can usually tell when a bird is singing or making their calls. They put their heart and soul into their calls and their bodies show it.

I watched him yesterday. He was on top of the 4X4 where the suet feeder is, singing his little heart out. He looked like he was doing knee bends, he was singing so hard. His little tail was sticking straight up in the air and he looked so jaunty! Absolutely adorable!


I have got to get another block of suet, when I stop by the store tomorrow. I could have sworn I had one in the icebox but I'm clean out. There's not but a little bit left out there and I'd like to encourage him to stick around.

The Carolina Wren was selected as an unofficial state bird back in 1930 and served in that capacity until 1939. At that time the State Legislature chose the Northern Mockingbird as the official state bird. In 1948, the Carolina Wren was reinstated, this time, officially.

Cool Youtubes:







Adoption of the SC State Bird

This link has some good information about the Carolina Wren.

This link from Hilton Pond Center in York, SC has some pictures and delightful observations.

This link, Carolina Wren's Nest, has some fun facts, a recipe for homemade suet and more pictures, including some photos of nests and babies, a video (be sure to watch it!) and an audio of their song, blogs, all kinds of stuff!

What is your state bird? Post some pictures or links and share with us.

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Updated: 5:17 PM GMT on September 11, 2008

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Hard Hearted Hanna

By: palmettobug53, 11:37 PM GMT on September 01, 2008



You folks know me. I don't do weather discussion blogs. I have done a few weather related blogs. One on hurricanes that have had major impact on the SC coast, which was last fall. And I did one on weather sayings. There may be one or two others, that touch on the weather but are not "weather" blogs, per se. I've decided to make an exception this week.

I've been like Marty Feldman this past couple of days or so, with one eye on Gustav and the other on Hanna. I just had to open up my BIG mouth the other day and arrogantly state that, "Hanna was not going to be a threat to us here in Charleston."


At the time, the forecast track was headed W or SW. Lo and behold, that very evening on the 11:00 update, she had done a complete about face and was looking northward. Directly at me!

Blast and tarnation! The woman must have heard me and decided to teach me a lesson.

So, without further ado, here's the Hard Hearted Hanna Hurricane blog.

(Random Musing: Is this going to be the one that breaks Savannah's 100 year winning streak? It's been about that long since they've had a landfall.)


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Updated: 11:49 PM GMT on September 01, 2008

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About palmettobug53

WU member since Oct. 2005. I enjoy reading, crafts, crosswords, puttering in the yard, old movies and hanging out with my friends on WU.

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