Home Improvement

The Bluebird Benefactors were busy over the winter. You may recall from earlier posts that two people took it upon themselves to maintain the twenty-something bluebird boxes around the Bent Tree golf course (and a few others around the community). Many of the old boxes were rotted out. So, over the winter, the couple built, stained, and installed new ones (see photos below). Some of the old deeper boxes were still in decent shape, but did not seem to attract bluebirds as well as the shallower ones. To remedy that situation, the couple placed pieces of 2x4s in the bottom of the deep boxes to make them shallow enough for the nesting birds. So far, so good. The BBs keep a diligent watch over the boxes for signs of predators, and clean/repair the boxes when necessary.

Note – if you’d like to read previous posts about the boxes, enter “benefactors” in the search box at the top of the page.

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Rehabilitated Owl circa 1970

This post isn’t about Bent Tree, but does say something about my interest in wildlife (one of the reasons I wound up here). In the early 1970’s an injured owl turned up in our yard. I took care of it for a couple of weeks, and it was able to fly away. I recently came across photos from my one and only wildlife rehabilitation adventure (shown below). Today, a quick internet search shows that caring for an injured raptor, without proper permits, is illegal.

Here is a current quote from the Georgia DNR website: “INJURED RAPTORS – Should you encounter an injured or dead raptor, it is important to know that both federal and state laws render it illegal to harm or possess these birds. The best solution is to contact the Wildlife Resources Division or a certified wildlife rehabilitation center. These agencies have the proper credentials, such as licensing, and the experience to handle, transport and assist these birds.”

Oops. Hopefully, after 40+ years, any statute of limitations has run its course. According to several internet sources, an injured wild bird should never be put in a wire cage. Forty years ago, there was no World Wide Web. Luckily, somehow, it all worked out for the owl.

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Successful owl rehab in the early 1970's

This Place is For the Birds.

Continuing with the bird theme this week…The bluebirds were flying around like crazy again at the dam last Sunday. It was a chilly, but sunny morning, and they were zipping across the road, landing on rocks, the pavement, the valve operator, the purple martin houses (a new house recently appeared, so now there are two), signs, everything. While I was trying to take pictures of the bluebirds, a heron flew by and got in a couple of pictures. Click here for a similar post back in October.

Click thumbnails for larger images. The last picture is my favorite.

The Eagle Egg Has Landed…

…at Berry College (see photos below).

It had been almost a year since I’d looked at the Berry College Bald Eagle Cam (click here for a previous post on the subject), when I checked it out yesterday morning. I watched for a few minutes while an eagle worked on the nest, then flew off. There was no egg in the nest at that time. I checked back in the afternoon and saw two eagles moving around in the nest. Next thing I knew, one of them laid an egg. Amazing. Following are some screen captures from both the morning and afternoon. The only reason I started doing the screen captures in the first place was to use one or two in a post about a recent change in federal rules regarding “taking” bald eagles. I guess timing is everything. I lucked out and watched at the exact second the egg was laid. One photo shows the nest from the “approach cam”. The nest is huge. After the approach cam photo, you can see the second eagle returned and took over the egg-sitting duties while the other eagle ate. This message was posted yesterday evening on the eagle cam website: Congratulations to the Berry College Bald Eagles. The female laid an egg today at 3:12 PM EST. One or two additional eggs could arrive in the next two to three days. A two-egg clutch is most common. The incubation period is 33-37 days for each egg.” Click here to link to the live eagle cam at Berry College.

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December 19, 2012 - in Bent Tree

This Flicker’s a Mudder

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January 12, 2014 - robin and flicker

A couple of days ago, there were two flickers and three robins digging around in the yard. One of the flickers kept digging in the same spot for about 15 minutes (see photos below). The other flicker, and one of the robins, are shown in the photo above.

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January 10, 2014 - Northern Flicker takes a break on a tree