Shirley birds...

     It is blistering hot in the July sun. The world seems to heating up too! But it does that every summer. Must be climate change (chuckle).  Not a whole lot of activity on the Broward so I decided to put up a few bird feeders and capture Shirley Birds in the act. A “Shirley Bird” is a scientific term for birds found in the front yard instead of the back yard on the Broward. 

     Bird feeders are not cheap I discovered, neither is the food found at the upscale bird feeder store. The Editor insisted that I add a few extra ornamentations to the feeder pole to make it more attractive to the birds. I think we succeeded. Until my new Redbud tree grows and produces flowered branches these fake ones will do for now.  Don’t tell the birds about the fake branches though, enough fake news going around. 

     A pair of Northern Cardinals is busy raising young in one of the nearby trees and frequents the feeder now. Got lucky one morning and captured a nice photo. The House Finches have more or less claimed the new bird feeder and make frequent stops there each morning. They can empty that feeder in less than a week. I think they should be named House "Pig" Finches. 

     I hope you enjoy these glimpses of summer found at the feeders. It is a new challenge to me and I hope the results are making you smile. The local squirrels are also benefiting from the seed spillage but that is another story. Blessings. 

New Bird Feeder is very popular with the House Finches. 

Female House Finch awaiting a turn on the feeder.

Young Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse visits the feeder...

Tufted Titmouse gives thanks for its daily bread (or birdseed)

Sealed with a kiss..Northern Cardinal entices its mate with a seed offering.

Northern Cardinal on (Fake) flowering branches by the feeder. 

Yippee! Found the peanut!. Red-bellied Woodpecker with the prize

Feeling Squirrelly but that is another story

Dune Life

     The summer solstice has passed. Hope you had a great 4th of July too. Heat and humidity are rising each day. I think weather guessers in Florida have it easy in the summer with their forecasts. The local forecast is nearly always calling for afternoon thunderstorms. They have been correct most of the time. The grass is enjoying the rain but not those of us trying to drive in it. Yet we are thankful for gift of the water which replenishes our aquifer.

     So far the bird stewarding duties have been a delight. I got to see some old photographer friends and made some new ones. Life in the dunes is flourishing yet very precarious too. All three of the recent Oystercatcher hatchlings were soon victims of predation. The Laughing gull chicks will soon fledge (those that survive) and the Royal Tern chicks are just beginning to venture out of the dunes and onto the beach. As they do, the adults gather round them for protection, unlike the gulls which are left to tend for themselves much of the time. The adult Royal Terns are busy flying food back and forth to the hungry chicks. They must pass the food off in a split second to avoid the Laughing Gulls stealing the food. Often the adult is pummeled by three or four gulls who steal the fish before it can make it to the hungry chicks. The anxious Royal Tern chicks often search the sky for their parent and constantly cry for more food. And life in the dunes goes on. 

     Dune life is not as easy at the photos appear. Life is precariously on the edge but somehow each year most seem to survive and flourish. It does seem safer than Chicago though. Hope you have a safe and wonderful summer. Blessings. 

Dying Breed, a Mayport Shrimp Boat returns to port with a loyal following. Unfortunately these shrimpers are becoming dying breeds. 

The Royals have hatched and gather in groups called a "creche" to venture out of the dunes..always with parents standing by

Sadly all three Oystercatcher Chicks succumbed to predators.

These Laughing Gull chicks are almost fully feathered and will fledge soon. Many did not make it this far. 

Laughing Gull parent tries to herd the chicks out from under the cars so they don't get run over. 

Danger lurks beneath the sand with the Ghost Crabs trying to eat the eggs.

Ain't that a foot stomper!

  Laughing Gull chick, one morning we picked up 41 that had succumbed to the heat

Laughing Gull chick, one morning we picked up 41 that had succumbed to the heat

  A few Sandwich Terns are also found in the Dunes....If the beak looks dipped in mustard, it is a Sandwich Tern..

A few Sandwich Terns are also found in the Dunes....If the beak looks dipped in mustard, it is a Sandwich Tern..

Follow me ladies, the beach is this way..Royal Tern chick leads the way

Where is Dad with the fish? Little Royals always search the sky for incoming food.

Somebody feed me!

Fresh fish coming your way!

There is a mouthful for you junior

Almost got it down..and yes, the chick swallowed it whole!

No Gull is going to steal this one from the Osprey!

How do these wingy things work? They make it look so easy..

Well Praise the Lord! Royal Tern hatchling..

This Royal Tern chick in nearly ready to fledge..

Will I look like you when I grow up Mommy? Royal Chick interacts with parent.

Independence Day

     It is hotter than a firecracker and almost the 4th of July. Happy Birthday USA! Can you believe 2018 is half gone? We as a nation have much cause to celebrate this week. As we do this in remembrance of the founding fathers of our nation, I also want to celebrate the most infamous bird on the Broward. None other than George Washington Broward, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron.

     It is hard to remember a summer when George and his family was not seen on our property. When their primary roost was blown down in Hurricane Irma last year I was wondering if he would return. Thankfully he did, but it was sporadic at first. He has been observed flying into the "secret Broward hideout" area to roost.  Now George is a daily fixture along the river bank. George is indeed an expressive character. He couldn’t contain his joy when the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup. Recently "sweet Georgia", his mate, has joined him feeding on the Broward. She is a rather “Independent” one. Her morning Yoga routine is usually followed by some fiddler crab snacks. Won’t be long before another George Jr. joins them I hope. Feeding primarily on small crustaceans and their favorite Blue Crabs, George and his family find abundant living on the Broward. As does the Editor and I. Hot dogs will be our Independence Day fare though.

     The Editor and I wish you all a safe and happy Independence Day. We pray a sense of national pride and spirit will return to this nation and that we find a way to come together for the common good of all. Blessings. 

Happy Bird Day USA! The statue of Libirdy stands tall

George Washington Broward also stands tall and  proud in honor of our Independence Day on the Broward. 

Sweet George, mate of George..

Georgia, is an Independent gal, she like to start the day with some Yoga, Heron-style!

All that exercise makes Georgia hungry, time for a fiddler crab snack..

Gulp! Yummmm...Is it all the crab you can eat tonight? 

George, do those crabs make me look fat?

George says don't get your feathers ruffled to easily over all the politics..

George does his Elvis impersonation of "I'm all shook up.."

George is excited the Washington Captials won the Stanley Cup..Something to celebrate! 

May the true Spirit of America sweep again over this Nation. Happy 4th of July and may God continue to  Bless America!

email: selsorhd@me.com

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