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Monday, September 07, 2009

just passing through

DSC_6905Yesterday and today it has been dark and rainy.  For the past couple of weeks it has been hot, hotter than is normal for the month of August or September – kicking back the covers in the night type of heat.  The heat seems to have finally broken with the start of rainy season.   Generally we don’t have this type of warm air up here in the mountains except in February or March and the birds are loving it. The parrots are back from wherever they go in the winter months. This week they sat two by two up in the pines deciding their mates for this season and how they would get back into our attic to have their broods. And as of yesterday morning they were definitely back, squawking and chewing and probably doing their worst to our attic space.

In compensation, the show at the bird feeder at lunch has been great. This week I saw three robins. No photos, they stayed to far away from the feeder to catch them with my little 55-200 lens but I know I saw them and that is good enough for me. They come through here twice a year and stop over for 3 or 4 days each direction, so there is always next year. It is interesting that they used to do the same in Houston and I always watched for them there also, feeling pleasure and connection from catching their visits.

This year we have watched several newcomers to our feeder. We added a board below the feeder to put fresh orange slices and papaya pieces which the small birds seem to love. Yesterday I added pieces of pineapple that so far have been ignored. This fresh fruit, though, brought us a male and female (assuming) that are baby blue on the underside with ranges of turquoise to midnight blue on the wings. What I think is the DSC_6936males DSC_6934have dots of bright yellow on each wing. (sorry forgot you like to see…..)    







I make an assumption that this is a male (upper) and female (to the left) of the same family because DSC_6979they come DSC_6972together to feed, one will sit on an upper branch and watch, then they switch places…. rarely do you see birds of different families eating together at the feeder. These blue birds are very aggressive little buggers, we left a whole papaya (mamao as they are call here) on the veranda rail to ripen in the warm sun and before we knew it they had eaten the whole inside and left Camillo and I only the skins for our breakfast.





We have had squirrels, two big, one little and, of course, the parrots. The parrots usually come in groups of 3 or 4. Two at the feeder and the rest waiting patiently on the branches above. They scare away all of the other birds, then sit and daintily go through the seeds, greedily eating the sunflower seeds. They are very systematic - popping the seed and spitting the shell out on the ground. Maybe there is hope for our attic if they are this neat in their habits.  DSC_7009









This year we have also had a very small, very black bird. I haven’t noted any differences that might distinguish male / female between the ones that come to the feeder. During the 5 visits or so that I’ve noticed, they seem to be the same bird.

We have also seen a small brown morning dove, a beige and turquoise bird with black eyes and one yellow DSC_6996DSC_1919breasted with black and white chipmunk like striped head.    We

also have routinely the big gray and brown forest pigeon and a small sparrow. We’ve really been enjoying our pre summer heat and dry and in no way look forward to the confinement of the rains to come…..DSC_1847


  1. Wow Ginger. Some stunning looking birds you have visiting.
    Had to smile when I read about the blue birds eating your papaya. What cheek lol

  2. Fantastic photos and the aggressive blue bird is so pretty. Its lovely to hear about exotic birds because we dont get them over here. Thanks for sharing x

  3. Ginger, it is always such a delight to read what you write. Your photos of the blue birds are so pretty. I too, laughed when I read about the two birds eating your papaya. What a heavenly place.

  4. What a great bunch of bird photos. Your birds make our birds look so pale in comparison, except for gold finches (my favorites) and cardinals. We have 6 bird feeders which we fill late at night about every 5 days. (In the winter, there are fewer birds, so sometimes we don't have to refill them for several weeks.) In summer, it takes them one morning to empty their favorite feeder and another day or two to empty the largest one. We give them a few days to clean up what they dropped on the ground, then fill them again. Whoever thinks "eats like a bird" means eats very little, is mistaken. Our birds eat like horses. We spend several thousand dollars on bird food each year. But the pleasure we get watching them is worth it to us. I m a night owl, rarely going to bed until 7 or 8 am. Before I head upstairs, I like to stand at the kitchen window and watch the birds, and then again in the afternoon when I get up, I watch while eating breakfast.

  5. I like the blue birds, you see I am also an aggressive bugger. LOL

    You are doing good for th ebird world.

    Good job or in Maori Ka Pai.

  6. I love your bird photos! We have some of the same birds at our house -- the yellow breasted one, the dusky blue ones I think are the same, and the beige & turquoise one.

    I'd love to know what you put out for the parrots -- just the bird seed? We have noticed some, but they don't eat the fruit we put for the other birds. Ours love papaya & banana, and also we have hummingbird feeders, which attract the small yellow-breasted (I think a young one as he's much smaller than the others), hummingbirds, and bats at night. So fun!

    I'm a Houston girl living near Campinas, SP, Brasil. Fun to find your blog (I found you through expat women, and the link from your previous blog to this one...)

  7. Such beautiful birds. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Wow, those are some magnificent birds! You must have some patience to get their pictures.

  9. Birds are hard to capture, and you have done it perfectly!

    I agree, wedding photographers who get in the way are annoying. I tried not to do that. That was partly why I shut off my flash, every time it fired, people would look at me. I didn't want to be a distraction, but I totally should have had it back on for those bright sun shots!

    Ah well, it all turned out ok, the bride and groom got over 500 usable images from me alone, and there were TWO other photographers there. Wedding photography is fun, but I don't think I'd want to do it full time. Maybe as an assistant, where the stress level isn't as high.