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About ptah

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  • Birthday December 29

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    Southeastern NH
  1. Hi: The following pictures were taken in Southern NH on 8/6/16. I think that the bird is a red-tailed hawk but my husband thinks that I might be incorrect. Neither of us are experts. Is this a red-tailed hawk? Thank you for looking!
  2. Today, in the early afternoon, I heard a ruckus in my garage. I went to investigate and heard the alarm calls of 2 Eastern Phoebes. They were flying in and out of the garage. I looked around and saw a Blue Jay on one of the garage rafters. My initial impression was that the Blue Jay was going after the Eastern Phoebe nest eggs. Upon closer examination, the agape beak of the Blue Jay suggested that the Jay was stressed out and in no mood to go after eggs. I tried guiding the Blue Jay outside the garage for 15-20 minutes to no avail. It kept on moving from one end of the garage to the other, hopping from rafter to rafter. I decided to leave it be for a while, hoping that it would figure out how to get out on its own. A couple of hours later I was very surprised to find a deceased Blue Jay on the asphalt just outside my garage door. I put on gloves, noticing that rigor mortis had not yet set in. I saw no signs of trauma. My thoughts rewound to a hawk that gave chase not very long before the ruckus in the garage. I am thinking that the Blue Jay darted into the garage to escape the hawk. Is it possible that the Blue Jay suffered internal damage related to the supposed escape from the hawk or was the experience in the garage so stressful that it expired? I am not sure if it is possible to answer my question. I know that Blue Jays have a bad rep. I have never seen a Blue Jay kill another bird and I hope that remains the case. What I do know is that Blue Jays are always the first to respond when a hawk is in the area. I have respect for Blue Jays because of that.
  3. I am feeling bad for the chickadees this year. They built nests in both of my boxes. A house wren removed the nest from the 1st box and started building its own. I removed the wren nest after the wren moved on. What happened at the 2nd box makes me a bit sad. One day I checked the box and noticed that there was a nest with chickadee eggs. A couple of days later a bluebird appeared and wouldn't allow the frantic chickadee access to the box. The chickadee gave up trying after a day or two. The next time I checked the box I noticed parts of the chickadee nest on the ground. A decent portion of the nest remained in the box but the eggs were gone. I think Mr. Bluebird was a bit of a bully. I probably need a box with a smaller hole for the chickadees. It would at least (I think) keep the bluebirds away. Fast forward to today and there is now a Mrs. Bluebird in the picture. Mr and Mrs are busy building a nest in the "1st" box. Yay! I noticed that the male keeps on jerking his wings when not in flight.. I have never noticed this behavior before and am wondering if he was injured. Now I am worried about the red tailed hawk that recently decided to hunt in my front yard. Not sure what I saw it swooping at today but hope it leaves the birds alone.
  4. Help plan a trip from AR to MA

    Two other options would be Parker River Wildlife Refuge in MA and Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, NH. I also had a chickadee eat out of my hand in Ipswich. It was really cool. Wherever you decide to go, watch out for the ticks.
  5. Help plan a trip from AR to MA

    Two places that I have enjoyed are the Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary in MA and Fort Foster in Kittery Point, ME.
  6. Hi: I have never seen a duck land in my yard until today. Could someone please tell me what type of duck this is?:
  7. There is still quite a bit of snow on the ground where I live. I haven't seen any nesting activity. The ABA birding news for NH contains about 3 reports of deceased bluebirds found in boxes. The guess is that the bluebirds starved to death because of a bitterly cold winter. Sad. I look forward to reading all of your Bluebird baby stories. I had a single brood of 3 babies in my Peterson house last year. I would be very happy to have at least 1 brood this year. PS - my bluebirds reappeared on 12/31/2014 after a long absence at the end of 2014. It was a very happy day.
  8. Thank you for the input! I try to forget that last winter ever happened. In the event it happens again, it is nice to know that the blueberries will likely survive (after I plant them). I really like Fedco's website. Thank you for sharing!. I think that I have revised my theme from native landscape to edible landscape with preference for native species. Not sure yet. I have a lot of books to read.
  9. Hi: I have a Canon SX50 HS. Often times, I take pictures of birds through windows. A lot of my pictures come out blurry. Auto focus doesn't seem to be cutting it for me. I am thinking that I need to try new settings. Any suggestions? Thank you!
  10. Winter Finch Forecast

    A Purple Finch pair started eating at my feeders yesterday. I have only seen a female Purple Finch once before and never a male. On the Passerine side, I have seen many more Blue Jays than normal. Last year, they disappeared after summer. Not so this year. I have seen a lot of ABA reports of Pine Siskins and Red-Breasted Nuthatches in NH. Both species would be lifers for me. My fingers are crossed that I will get to see them.
  11. I do have a bunch of conifers. I live on 6 acres. 3.5+ acres are covered by Oaks, conifers, birches, etc. Strange thing is that I do not often see pine cones. They must be around because pine trees are sprouting everywhere. I should probably purchase a tree ID book to better understand the surrounding trees. I am considering the Red Mulberry. I don't think that I could plant one near the house because of driveway and septic system. I have been researching water sources over time. It amazes me how many birds use the little ground level bath. I would love to have a built-in stream. I would really like to create a bird haven such as the one you described. Thank you for all of the great advice. Now I am wondering what to do with 2 healthy Rose of Sharon trees in the back of Area # 2. They really aren't a fit for my project. Maybe I can move them elsewhere.
  12. Haha! I researched the red mulberry last night until my brain hurt. I would not be able to plant one in area 2 because of proximity to the driveway and septic system. I read that red mulberries have an aggressive root system and should be planted at least 50 feet away from septic systems. I think I could only plant 1 in the horse field. Unfortunately, I would not be able to view it all that well from the house. Perhaps I am being selfish.
  13. Thank you. Red mulberries are native to my area. They grow 25-40 ft and www.crfg.org states that the minimum distance between trees should be 15 ft. I cannot think of where I would plant one at the moment. Maybe in the abandoned horse field sometime in the future.
  14. Thank you. I will have to check out the chokeberry. I can think of at least one location where it might work. I am definitely going to plant an elderberry tree. I would like to plant a crabapple tree in an abandoned horse field sometime in the future. I am not 100% positive but I think that the sale of currants is banned in NH without a special permit. Although not native, bush cherries seem very appealing. I will have to research them further. If I recall correctly, your property is visited by many bird species. If I were your neighbor I would probably be a landscaping copycat.
  15. According to the "Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher" book the American Mountainash is recommended for the Northeast Region of the US. It makes me wonder if I should put the tree back on the list of possibilities.