Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Delightfully Cool Again!

After 3-4 days of blazing hot weather, we are back to below normal (substantially) weather. The day after the last post, we hit 100 F for daytime highs for 3 days. Bird activity seemed to slow a bit during that time. Now we have had a week of below average temps, Nice! 
Both the orioles and hummers are in high gear. There appears to be an influx of blackchin hummingbirds all of a sudden. The males are distinctive with their tidy iridescent deep blue collars.  They are slightly smaller than the more common Anna's but just as friendly.
This season's oriole youngsters are showing up at the feeders in good numbers and catch on very fast to the feeder routine, although they are more timid than the adults. Chatter, chatter - especially around dinner time!
Anyone interested in a nice collection of hummingbird photos should check out this link -

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not Delightfully Cool!

What a difference in just one week. We are getting a big shot of summer, today through Saturday we will be flirting with 100 degrees. I stocked up the feeders for the hummers and orioles and will flush them out daily until the high heat is done. Mold and fermentation are more aggressive in hot weather.

Have not seen recent action in the bluebird box from the house wrens. Maybe one clutch is all for this year. The bees are somewhat under control for the moment. Recent TV news blurbs have made a big deal about Africanized honey bees being well established in the county and a few people have been stung repeatedly lately. I can not tell which type of bees are clogging the feeders but they are not showing any aggressive behavior, but some caution is due nonetheless. Hive protection seems to be the major dangerous behavior.

There are two hummingbirds exhibiting over the top protectionism regarding their feeders. The 'old guy', as photoed in early June blog, and another Anna's at the opposite end of the backyard. Orioles pay little regard to the behavior but other hummers are driven off post haste!

Hello to all friends and family who stop by and visitors from Europe and Japan!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Delightfully Cool Week

It has been a nice week, if you like cool cloudy weather. Hummingbird and oriole activity is high - although the amount of nectar used seems a little less than last year still.
Here is a photo of a hooded oriole nest out at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Seems like an unusual spot, they often prefer stitching their nests onto the underside of a fan palm frond that is angled about 45 degrees above horizontal. This gives protection and allows sag of the frond.

The threads that they use to weave the nest are clearly seen, these are stripped off of the palm fronds in the surrounding area. Seems like it would be tough getting a hold on the wood to begin the nest. The male and female hooded orioles were seen making trips to and from on the last two Saturdays. The photo is of the underside of a shade ramada covering a picnic table and the top 'shingling' is a thatch of fan palm fronds and may be why it seemed appealing to the orioles! A couple fingers of palm frond can be seen to the right of the nest sticking out past the edge of the roof.

Bee control techniques are having some limited positive results. The best implementation has been to the exclusion of the orioles. More work to be done.