Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Birds We See Regularly in Midland, Texas

The Reason for this Blog
I have always loved animals and my husband and I have always enjoyed feeding birds in the backyard. However, birds became a passion after I was faced with saving and raising my first baby bird, a white-winged dove. I fell in love so deeply and so did my husband.

This blog will be about feeding and watching wild birds, helping orphaned and sick birds, and many related subjects.

When I was faced with saving that first baby, I was petrified. I had no idea what to do and had a hard time finding reliable information, even after spending long periods searching the web. I want to share what I have learned in hopes that others who are faced with raising a baby bird will find the answers they need here.

Some people in Midland who know that I have raised baby birds successfully have given out my name and number to others. In the springtime, I get a lot of calls from people asking me to take birds. I usually have to say "no." I have a job! I am a registered pharmacist and I cannot be a one-woman wildlife rehabilitation center. The expense and time spent raising even one bird is hard for most people to comprehend. My husband and I make a joint decision about when we can and cannot adopt a baby bird and we usually personally find our own quota of orphans each spring.

The subject of orphaned baby birds will be more needed in the springtime. I am beginning this blog in September, 2008 so the subject of rescuing orphaned doves, and some other orphaned birds, will be saved for later.

I will start out with information to help you avoid spreading some heartbreaking diseases from bird feeders. That article will be posted in a few days.

Birds We Feed Regularly
We live in Midland, Texas. Midland (in the Llano Estacado region) is in the “oil patch” and it is a semi-arid environment (some call it a desert). For that reason, we have a limited variety of birds in our neighborhood.

We feed in our backyard and regularly attract white-winged doves, mourning doves, Inca doves, house sparrows, house finches, grackles, and hummingbirds. Mockingbirds are nearly always feeding in our yard in the spring. They eat insects, berries, and are seed eaters but are not attracted to my seed feeding stations.

Birds That Occasionally Come to Our Yard
Occasionally I get a curved bill thrasher at the feeder and I have had one or two cardinals over the last few years.

Birds We Were Surprised to See
For a few days, early this spring, there was a road runner in our yard. I actually believe it was living in one of our raised beds that was a bit overgrown with vines. I think it was disturbed, and later left, because we tried to clean up that area by pulling out some dead vegetation. We have now allowed a honeysuckle to completely cover one small raised bed. We plan to leave it in case other birds can find shelter there.

I have had a parakeet or two come to the yard to feed over the years.

Birds We Were Thrilled to See
Our biggest thrill was when an indigo bunting came to feed and stayed an entire weekend. I had never seen one and didn't know what it was. It looked like a house sparrow, but it was an electric (neon) blue!

(photo of Indigo Bunting-from Wikimedia under public domain)

Another exciting visit was by a Eurasian collared-dove. These are now believed to reside in all areas of Texas but were once seen only in certain counties. I had never seen one before and it was beautiful!

Birds That I See in Town That Don't Come to Feed
I have seen a blue jay in my yard a few times. They stay mostly in the front yard where we have oak trees and they love the acorns. Unfortunately, they are known to eat the eggs of other birds and nestlings. There are American robins in the front yards in my neighborhood but I have never seen them at my feeding station or in my fruit trees or my grapevines. They eat insects, worms, and berries. The Western Kingbird is seen sometimes in the grapevine in my yard but not at my feeding station. Their diets consist of insects and fruit.

1 comment:

Janie Ellington said...
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