We are fully engaged at this point in the year with several aspects of the farm. We continue to plant, harvest and weed as the weather allows. Spring and early summer are also wonderful times to follow the habits of the aviary population that presents itself in our surroundings and we follow it with interest as a flurry of nest building takes place all around us. In the early spring, we were overwhelmed by black birds.
I understand that not everyone is a bird fan, but I happen to be a huge one. I’m attracted to all of the wild life we follow on the farm but the birds some how get my special attention. I keep a dog-eared copy of Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Birds at the ready – a gift from my dear friend, Joan Moore – many years before we landed at Seven Oaks Farm. I’m not the only birdwatcher around here!
We have identified many of the birds as residents or visitors here that are common in this area. Here is a partial list:
- Common Flicker, (it’s coloring is so nice that I can’t understand why it is considered “common”)
- Yellow and Red Finches
- Wrens of all sorts
- Red Wing Black Birds
- Sparrows (a crowded category!)
- Blue Jays
- Barn Swallows (a current favorite)
- Morning Doves
- Wild Turkeys
- Hawks (a wide variety but particularly Cooper Hawks)
- Owls – not sure which ones since they are harder to identify due to their nocturnal nature
We love that some of these birds do a good job of keeping the pesky critter population down (mostly the owls and hawks) and others are swooping around catching the mosquitoes and other flying insects. Their nests can be admirable or unsightly. This pair of robins found some plastic wrappings to help cement their nest! We are eager to get rid of this nest since it is at the front side entrance to the house.
They sometimes need to be chased from our crops, especially the blueberry crop since birds love to eat our berries! But some of their habits are just more appreciable than others. My current favorite is the barn swallow pair that have nested and produced hatch-lings at our center front door. This bird is a small, split tail species with gorgeous coloring. Its underbelly is coral in color while its upper body and wings are deep blue/purple.
The adults work hard to capture flying insects to feed their young which is a positive thing. We currently have a nest of 2 adults plus 4 nestlings at our front door way and we see them “hunting”, low to the ground, in the ‘clear’ areas of both the front and back of the property. These birds built their nest out of a mud and small twigs using almost no base at all. When they started this nest, I was surprised they could make a go of it since there was nothing but a corner of bricks in an overhang area to entice them.
It was fascinating to watch this pair of adults dive bomb a hawk who was hunting last week in the vicinity of their nest. Of course I could not help but take some pics.
This robin couple made a nest right outside of my office on the top of one of our lights. Unfortunately, we spied broken eggs on the terrace one day so their efforts were not fruitful and they abandoned the nest.
The wild turkey flocks are rather interesting to watch but they scratch in the fields and beds and make a mess, much like the unwelcome geese.
The hawks, present year round, keep the rodent population down and provide us with many photo ops.
Perhaps the most unusual of local birds are the peacocks that live down the lane. They wander about at will but we are mostly aware of their presence by their odd, loud call.