Category Archives: Birds

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46 – Delicate

This week, Anne-Christine invited us to look at a delicate matter, may it be soft or light – like the scent of a rose…; having a thin, attractive shape – delicate hands for example…; fragile or easily damaged – like fine china…; pleasant but not easily noticed – like a delicate floral pattern on the walls…or just being ”a delicate matter.”

There are many bird egg stories in my garden. The incubation seems like a delicate situation for birds.

In the summer of 2018 when we came home from a trip, I found a nest hanging on the Date Palm branches with an abandoned egg. There were three different sizes of nests on the ground and one broken egg. My neighbor said there was windstorm while we were gone and caused the disasters for the birds’ motherhood.

The House Finches built a nest on the top layer of the trellis in my front porch in 2015. The three eggs disappeared after several days. I was sad and went online to ask an expert of what happened to the eggs. The answer was it happened all the time because animals could climb up to steal the eggs. I took a while to get over with the sadness.

A pair of House Finches rebuilt the nest in the same location in 2016. The female bird laid three eggs and hatched four birds. I watched and took photos during the entire incubation and hatching period. The female bird would fly away if I came close to the nest. I tried to be slow when walking in front of the nest until the babies were hatched, matured and flown away.

 

 

Similar stories happened to the Mourning Doves. In 2016, a female dove found a location in a tree and sat there. The male dove brought twigs to build a nest around her. She laid eggs but came down from the tree after a few days. The female dove was sitting on the grass, motionless for an hour as if she was mourning for the loss. The male dove was standing a couple feet away, also in a still position. He only adjusted his head when she stood up. I was hiding under the patio table watching and taking photos. I didn’t know what happened to the eggs.

Then the Mourning Doves built a nest under our eaves and laid two eggs in 2017. Male and female doves took turns to incubate the eggs. When the babies were hatched, they watched them close by until the babies flew away.

 

 

When I found three nests on the ground in the summer of 2018 after a windstorm, I saved a better shaped one. I placed it on the top layer of the trellis, supported it with chicken wire, hoping some birds might use it. I didn’t look at the nest a just a few days. On May 9 this year, I found a mourning dove occupied the nest. It looked like they built a nest with twigs on top of the existing nest.  I only saw one dove there and I worried that she might be hungry. I put some bird seeds on the ground a few feet from the trellis. At first, she didn’t seem to come down to eat. The last few days, she came down briefly to eat.

 

2.IMG_4253

May 2019

4.IMG_4271

May 2019

I did a research today and found out that, the male and female doves look alike. The male may incubate during daytime and the female does it at night. It takes 14-15 days for incubation and the young will leave the nest in 12-14 days.

I hope that the doves will be successful in hatching their babies this year.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46 – Delicate

 

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feathers

This week the topic is  Feathers.

Feel free to use your photo archives and see what photos you have that fits the current week’s challenge, or even better yet grab you camera and take a new photo!  ENJOY and have FUN. – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

 

I had seen peacocks in a zoo but hadn’t seen them up close roaming freely until my trip to Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia. The local historian traced back to a few peacocks Elias J. Baldwin picked up on a trip to India around 1880. He brought them back to his 8,000 acres of land then known as Rancho Santa Anita in Los Angeles.

After Baldwin’s death in 1909 at age 81, his daughter Anita sold off parcels of the ranch. In 1947, the state and the County of Los Angeles jointly purchased 111 acres to create an arboretum around the heart of the old ranch. Later the county purchased additional parcels, bringing the Arboretum’s total acreage to today’s 127.

In the 1880s, there were some 50 of the peacocks on the ranch. In the early 1960s, there were around 350. The Arboretum got tired of having so many and auctioned off down to 200. The peacocks could find food and plenty of places to lay eggs and continue to multiply. Since the Arboretum isn’t totally fenced in, today, they are a regular sight on city streets. – Source

 

1.2016.05 Arboretum

2.IMG_6335 (2)

3.IMG_6336

4.IMG_6419

5.IMG_6341

8.IMG_6414 (2)

 

 

Click the link to join the fun and challenge:

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feathers

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #34: Close-Up

Anne Christine’s theme this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #34 is: Close-Up.

There are many activities in my garden for me to take close-up photos. Here are just several of them.

I love to have bees around to pollinate the fruit blossoms, as a result, I took photos of the bees whenever they hover over the flowers.

1 Close up

 

Read more

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #11: Small Is Beautiful

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy chose ”Small Is Beautiful” for the theme.

I have some wonderful small creatures in my garden. They are all beautiful and keep my life cheerful year round.

bug 7

I was surprised by the visit of this beauty. This is Mourning Cloak butterfly by its Common name. The scientific name is Nymphalis antiopa. A very distinctive and charismatic butterfly, best known for its conspicuous activity in late winter, flying and acting territorial before any trees have leafed out or any wildflowers are active.

Read more

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Soft Feathers

During our trip to Portland, Oregon this year to spend Mother’s Day weekend with my daughter Mercy, Will and baby Autumn, Mercy took us to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. There is a green patch by the lake for the Canada Geese to raise their young. The goslings still have the soft and fluffy feathers. The fallen seeds provide a fest for the geese and their goslings.

Soft baby goslings 1

Soft baby goslings 2

Soft baby goslings 3

The Laguna Lake by our house is home to different ducks, geese, and birds. These seven newborn ducklings with feathers as soft as hair swam closely to mama duck and other ducklings together.

Soft baby ducklings 1

Soft baby ducklings

The first baby hummingbird in my garden took his first flight in the first photo. He has a white spot of the soft feather at the bottom. He is now six weeks old and his wings are not strong to fly too far yet. There are three of his favorite spots where he perches on most of the time. Every twenty minutes, papa swoops around to give him an airlift for a ride around my house. He then comes back to perch on the needle of the Date Palms or a small branch of the potted fica tree. I have fun watching him every day.

Hummingbird baby 4

Hummingbird 1

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Soft Feathers

~

Guidelines for participation:

  • Lens-Artists Photo Challenges are published every Saturday at 12 noon EST by one of our moderators. Post your reply any time before the next challenge is announced.

  • Tag your post with lens-artists so others can easily find it in the WordPress Reader.

  • Remember to create a link to this post.

  • Subscribe to all 4 moderator blogs to receive the challenge each week.

Week 1 – Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/

Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/

Week 3 – Amy of https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/

Week 4 – Tina of https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/

Missed our initial challenge announcement? See details here.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Colorful Hummingbird

The ruby-throated baby hummingbird in my garden is doing well. He prefers nectar from lavender flowers, but there are not enough flowers to give him the amount of nectar he needs. Mama and Papa feed exclusively from my feeders.

There is a small potted ficus tree in front of the kitchen window underneath the hummingbird feeder. The lavender bush is about five feet from the ficus tree. Baby Hummi flew to the lavender flowers to get nectar. After feeding, he flies to the ficus tree and perches on his favorite spot of the branch until the next feeding. Papa flies around and swoops him up so he gets to fly one round of the palm trees. He quickly comes back to the ficus tree and perches on his spot.

Two days ago, he tried the sugar water from the feeder and liked it. He goes back and forth between the lavender flowers and the feeder. Papa comes by every twenty minutes to take him on flying lessons.

There was a baby hummingbird last year did the same thing. He perched on the ficus branch most of the time and the parent came by to take him flying. When the parents went south for the winter, the baby stayed behind to feed on my feeder throughout the winter.

I was curious about the migration of the hummingbird. I did a research this morning and found out that I will have the baby stay with us for the winter. The website also describes the colors of the birds.

Hummingbird 1

Hummingbird 2

Hummingbird 3

Hummingbird 4

Hummingbird 5

The Colorful Hummingbird

The ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is a species of hummingbird that generally spends the winter in Central America, Mexico, and Florida, and migrates to North America for the summer to breed. It is by far the most common hummingbird seen in North America.

The adult male has a throat patch of iridescent ruby red bordered narrowly with velvety black on the upper margin and a forked black tail with a faint violet sheen. The red iridescence is highly directional and appears dull black from many angles. The female has a notched tail with outer feathers banded in green, black, and white and a white throat that may be plain or lightly marked with dusky streaks or stipples.

During migration southward in autumn along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, some birds embark on a nonstop 900-mile journey. Some older male and female birds were better prepared for long-distance flight than first-year birds by having higher body weights and larger fuel loads.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby-throated_hummingbird

Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Colorful Hummingbird

My First Baby Hummingbird

 

Six days ago, I suddenly discovered a tiny hummingbird nest on an orange tree branch. Probably it had been there for three weeks. I was surprised that my husband didn’t accidentally knock it off when he picked oranges.

 

Hummingbird baby 1

At first, I thought it was dust caught in the cobweb. I almost wanted to squirt it with a hose. I took another look, it looked like a neatly squeezed together cheese ball. Then I saw a pointed beak sticking out from the nest. I quickly grabbed my camera, climbed the ladder my husband put again the tree. Surely it was a teeny-weeny hummingbird. It was so still that it looked dead and abandoned. I poked the beak, he jumped out of the nest and fell on the grass. It made me feel horrified. I quickly picked him up and put him back to the nest. By that time, the mama bird was flapping her wings around me.

For five day, my first thing in the morning was to see the baby hummingbird. He grew, and his body came up higher and higher in the nest. Both mama and papa checked their baby frequently. On the fifth day, he wiggled and wiggled, then flew out of the nest. He flew to one tree branch, clung on to it as he practiced flapping the wings. Then flew to another branch and flapped. After five minutes, he flew to the other side of a row of Cypress trees.

Hummingbird baby 2

Hummingbird baby 3

I worried that he didn’t know where to find nectar or the bird feeders. After a couple hours, the mama bird found him and brought him to the bird feeder.

This is the first baby hummingbird in my garden. I researched on the growth of hummingbird babies. One site indicates that it takes 16 to 18 days to incubate for the eggs to hatch. A YouTube video shows from eggs to hatching, to babies flying away, takes 26 days. I wish I could have watched the process from the egg. It’s as thrilling to watch his growth even for a few days.

Hummingbird baby 4

« Older Entries