Today is Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hummers Are Here

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Hummers Are Here | Ray Pope, Anthony Gray, Kelly-Townes Hall, Abigail Hall, Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Female Robin in the bath



Since I am known by many different names, given to me as a token of friendship, I seem to be a recipient of anything bird-wise, especially on Facebook. Three different friends shared with me the touching story out of Alaska about a pair of Bald Eagles visiting this one lady's cats. It just happened that she came home, in time, to capture on her phone camera what she believed to be a friendly gesture of Eagles stopping by to visit her cats. Most of us seek to have some kind of a relationship with a wild animal or bird in our lifetime. This is a wild Bald Eagle, not a pet. Most likely, if she had returned later there might not be much more than a greasy spot where her cat had been, mere minutes before. This video is still up on my Facebook site, which is public for anyone to see. Go take a look and tell me your thoughts on what might have happened. Keep your eyes on your small pets.

I received word from a past school mate and former neighbor, Donna Foster Jones, who had moved off several years ago about a Hummingbird sighting in her area. We were friends through school and now keep in touch on Facebook. That prompted me to make some fresh sugar water and to hang up a couple of feeders here on my front porch, to be on the safe side. Time for one of my favorite sermons, make your own nectar with one part granulated sugar along with four parts hot water. Please "do not add red food coloring", it's not good for the tiny speedsters. Ninety nine percent of all hummer feeders have some color red already built into them. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will be headed north, following the path of the blooming flowers.

Anthony Gray and myself did our regular Saturday thing with a bit of coolness in the air. Many of our feathered friend stayed mostly out of sight, except around the small bridges and culverts that snaked their way around the countryside. There was one bird species that we found around the bridges and they showed up like clockwork. There seemed to be a pair of Eastern Phoebes at most every bridge. When spring gets a little deeper you can expect to hear them singing their name as they fly from a perch, catch some flying insect, then return to the perch, continuously pumping it's tail up and down. Even when I find one in a bad light situation, the tail pumping makes them easy to identify.

There have been several more sparrow species eating beneath my feeders and sometime they hang around long enough for me to capture their image on my digital camera. The past couple of weeks, I have been blessed to have a small family of Chipping Sparrows. I have included a picture of one from this past week to go along with my article. They are much smaller than the group of Mourning Doves that show up early in the morning and hang around close to dark. When the doves get full, they just sit around until they get hungry again. My son, Jason Pope has a nesting Mourning Dove in his backyard and I will try to get a picture for next weeks story.

Last week I introduced you to my male Robin looking for worms beneath my feeders. This week, I want to share a photo with you of my female Robin, taking her bath. Most people probably don't notice the difference, but a male has a black head while a female's head is gray. My two birdhouses has occupants and nest building has begun. The early morning sun really shines bright on my pair of Eastern Bluebirds as they gather soft grasses , while my Carolina Chickadee starts with a green moss foundation. It won't be much longer. I am still missing my Tree Swallows.

My newest bird friends, Kelly Townes-Hall and her daughter, Abigail Hall, had a much better day of birding than Anthony and me. They saw 25 species of birds this past Saturday with 6 new species, including a Barred Owl. Abigail has her own bird blog and is anxious to teach others about our feathered friends. Maybe we should connect with them for our Saturday afternoon foray.

I would love to hear from you as to whats lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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Our Feathered Friends
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Abigail Hall, Anthony Gray, Kelly-Townes Hall, Ray Pope, Ruby-throated Hummingbird
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