Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pod of Baby Alligators Guarded by Mother



Pod of Baby Alligators Guarded by Mother


Several dozen cute baby American Alligators about two months old hang out in a group called a Pod and are guarded by their mother. Although they may appear larger in the video without a reference they are actually not much bigger than 14-16 inches. Mom on the other hand is about 9 feet or so and reasonably tolerant - their biggest threat is probably other male alligators or maybe a humongous Large Mouth Bass.
Toward the end of August, the young alligators begin to make high-pitched noises from inside of the egg. This lets the mother know that it is time to remove the nesting material. When the baby alligator hatches it measures about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters). Newly hatched alligators live in small groups, called "pods." Some 80 percent of young alligators fall victim to predators such as birds, raccoons, bobcats, otters, snakes, large bass and larger alligators. Females aggressively defend their young during these first few years. Crocodilians are one of the only orders of reptiles that offer maternal care to their young. The juveniles grow about a foot a year.
Female alligators usually remain in a small area. Males can occupy areas greater than two square miles. Both males and females extend their ranges during the breeding season. Young alligators remain in the area where they are hatched and where their mother protects them. After two to three years, they leave that area in search of food or when driven out by larger alligators.
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Pod of Baby Alligators Guarded by Mother

Pod of Baby Alligators Guarded by Mother


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Blue Jay and Squirrel Feeding - Have A Nice Day!



Blue Jay and Squirrel Feeding -  Have A Nice Day!

It's a great morning for feeding the Blue Jays and Squirrels in the Backyard! Experience the pure joy of feeding these intelligent and appreciative creatures that seem to bond with humans. A special appearance by the youngest member of Backyard Squirrel Society who is learning the ropes and trying the patience of the Blue Jays.
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 Squirrel Feeding

Blue Jay and Squirrel Feeding -  Have A Nice Day!

Friday, November 10, 2017

White Winged Dove - Extreme Close Up



White Winged Dove - Extreme Close Up

White-Winged Dove is a stunningly beautiful bird that can only really be appreciated close-up. These are very rare visitors to the Florida Backyard and very nervous because of their size and slowness they and the Eurasian Doves are the favorite meal of the Cooper's Hawk. Here is one in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76eAg...
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White Winged Dove - Extreme Close Up

White Winged Dove - Extreme Close Up


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Mourning Dove versus Eastern Towhee Singing Contest



Mourning Dove versus Eastern Towhee Singing Contest


Mourning Dove and Eastern Towhee calling just a few feet away from each other get into a classic sing-off or singing contest. "Drink your Tea" Towhee versus the classic Dove Coo sound! Crank up the volume and close your eyes and you decide who wins - to be fair to the Dove it is mostly just off camera as I was focusing on the Towhee and in real-time didn't quite realize what was going on. Two very different styles of songs and singing - the Dove does it all without ever opening its beak - but uses its nostrils. An amazing version of the dove coo calling can be seen at: https://youtu.be/3Km-jtXueTw
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Mourning Dove versus Eastern Towhee Singing Contest

Mourning Dove versus Eastern Towhee Singing Contest

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Chipmunk Calling


Chipmunk Calling

The amazing sounds of an Eastern Chipmunk making the traditional "wood knocking" calls of Autumn. I have heard this sound echoing through the forest many times and while scientific studies indicate this is a warning call for predators - in this context it just doesn't make sense, one there are no predators - I am nearby and the Chipmunk knows me and, 2 he is well out in the open on a rock and exposed for many minutes making it easier for any predator like a hawk to have him for dinner. It is more likely a territorial call.
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Chipmunk Calling


Chipmunk Calling


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Nuthatch Calls, Sounds and Behavior



Nuthatch Calls, Sounds and Behavior


White Breasted Nuthatch calls and sounds and behavior around a forest suet feeding location consist of aggressive displays of flared wings sometimes with a rattle-snake like rattle or Brrrr.... and a lot of calls that might be called "quank" or "yank" or "hit" calls that a pair of Nuthatches might use to keep in contact or let their other forest mates - mostly Chickadees and Titmice know that they are coming or in the area and maybe get out of the way. Fascinating birds. The ultimate Nuthatch display can be seen at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXIZe... which was oddly without vocalization.
More information on White Breasted Nuthatch vocalization can be found at:
https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/fi...

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Nuthatch Calls, Sounds and Behavior


Nuthatch Calls, Sounds and Behavior


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Angry Bird - Extreme Close Up of Male Northern Cardinal



Angry Bird - Extreme Close Up of Male Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal is in a bad mood - those little green Buntings are getting on his nerves. He is doing a good Angry Bird act - first pecking the Bunting's reflection in the fish-eye lens and then realizing its right behind him. Enjoy seven minutes of a gorgeous Cardinal highlighted in the rising morning sun.
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Angry Bird - Extreme Close Up of Male Northern Cardinal


Angry Bird - Extreme Close Up of Male Northern Cardinal

Friday, November 3, 2017

Young Squirrel Out On His Own



Young Squirrel Out On His Own

Squirrel Condo featured in video is available on Amazon.

The young squirrels are out on their own into Backyard Squirrel society now. This handsome young male sticks to the trees and grooms in his favorite spot on top of the new "Squirrel Condo" in the main oak tree. He has a pretty carefree life at this point being cautious and staying for the most part out of the open yard and freezing when the adults sound the alarm as they do later in the clip. They learn fast and soon he will trust the peanut man. This latest generation of gray squirrels have exceptionally fluffy tails for so young.

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Young Squirrel Out On His Own
Young Squirrel Out On His Own

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Painted Buntings Arrive in Florida For Winter 2017



Painted Buntings Arrive For Winter 2017

Painted Buntings are migrating to and through the Florida Backyard - one of the most exciting events of each year! The first mature male - the most spectacular songbird in North America has made a grand entrance. The ratio of "Greenies" to the mature males is about four to one. They will stay until mid to late April.
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Painted Buntings Arrive in Florida For Winter 2017

Painted Buntings Arrive For Winter 2017


Monday, October 30, 2017

Blue Jays Need A Winter Project !



Blue Jays Need A Winter Project !

We have a Blue Jay family of about 12 that include the Florida Backyard in their territory. I gave them a trial run this morning and they are ready to go for the Winter! We - meaning me and you out there watching the YT videos need to come up with something challenging for them to do. I'm thinking various skill and intelligence tests as part of their generous free breakfasts and snacks. Oh they'll show up, but what can we think of that is fun, friendly and challenging for them to do - mostly centered around peanuts. If you come with any good ideas put them in the comments section. Here is to an interesting winter season.
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Blue Jays Need A Winter Project !


Blue Jays Need A Winter Project !

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Painted Buntings Arrive and Mother Squirrel Blown By The Wind



Painted Buntings Arrive and Mother Squirrel Blown By The Wind

Mommy Squirrel nearly gets blown over and Painted Buntings start arriving on a very windy but sunny day as Tropical Storm Phillipe moves away and a cold front moves into Florida. A resident Blue Jay gives the Bunting a proper welcoming pass and mother squirrel has her baby kittens in a nearby Palmetto tree after Hurricane Irma shook up the oak trees too much. They will be out and about soon.
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Squirrel nest box
Painted Buntings Arrive and Mother Squirrel Blown By The Wind

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Birds and Squirrels Feeding in the Trees - Bird's Eye View!



Birds and Squirrels Feeding in the Trees - Bird's Eye View!

Let's get vertical - 20 feet above the forest floor in a Black Cherry Tree - Nuthatches, Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Junco's, Red Squirrels and Chipmunks feast on a smear of suet covered with Black Oil Sunflowers. See what its like to be one of these little forest creatures who spend most of their life on vertical surfaces!
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Birds and Squirrels Feeding in the Trees

Birds and Squirrels Feeding in the Trees - Bird's Eye View!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mount Whitney - A Meditation



Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mount Whitney - A Meditation

Sunrise and setting Full Moon over the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mount Whitney - the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Taken near Lone Pine, CA - a magnificent sight to behold.
Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m).[5] It is on the boundary between California's Inyo and Tulare counties, 84.6 miles (136.2 km)[8] west-northwest of the lowest point in North America at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park at 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.[9] The west slope of the mountain is in Sequoia National Park and the summit is the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail which runs 211.9 mi (341.0 km) from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley.[10] The east slope is in the Inyo National Forest in Inyo County.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_W...
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Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mount Whitney - A Meditation

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Chipmunks Devour Corn Cob



Chipmunks Devour Corn Cob

Chipmunk expertly clean an ear of dried corn and squirrel it away for winter. An October tradition in the Backyard! Always fun to watch these workaholics - they know exactly what to do when they see a corn cob - Winter is coming.
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Chipmunks Devour Corn Cob


Chipmunks Devour Corn Cob

Chipmunk Outsmarts Crow



Chipmunk Outsmarts Crow

Crows love corn and are one of the smartest birds on Earth, but when you snooze you lose! Chipmunks know corn and when they find it they don't wait. What Chipmunks lack in intelligence or brain power they make up for by hard work much to the frustration of Mr. Crow!
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Chipmunk Outsmarts Crow

Chipmunk Outsmarts Crow


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wild Rabbits Grazing - A Meditation



Wild Rabbits Grazing -  A Meditation

Appalachian Cottontail Rabbits, a rare variety of New England Cottontails become more social in the early Fall and can be found feeding together in the morning. This is what happens when you keep a wild yard, not only is it low on maintenance it is more inviting to wildlife. More on this later. A little background on this rabbit from WIKI:

The Appalachian cottontail (Sylvilagus obscurus) is a species of cottontail rabbit in the family Leporidae. It is a rare species found in the upland areas of the eastern United States. The species was only recognized as separate from the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) in 1992.

The Appalachian cottontail, Sylvilagus obscurus, is a small rabbit inhabiting mostly mountainous regions in the eastern U.S. ranging from Pennsylvania to South Carolina and being most prominent in the Appalachians.[2] S. obscurus is better adapted to colder climates than its distant relative, S. floridanus, the eastern cottontail. S. obscurus is light-yellow brown, mixed with black on the dorsal side, having a brown and red patch mixed on the neck. The ventral side is mostly white.[3] The Appalachian cottontail and S. transitionalis, the New England cottontail, are not easily distinguished in the field, and are most easily identified geographically. Cottontails found south or west of the Hudson River are considered Appalachian cottontails, those found north and east are considered New England cottontails. The species can otherwise be identified by chromosome number and skull measurements.[5] Female Appalachian cottontails are typically larger than males with reproductive needs being the most likely cause. The weight of the Appalachian Cottontail can range from as little as 756 grams (1.667 lb) up to as much as 1,153 grams (2.542 lb). The average length is 408 mm (16.1 in). The lifespan of S. obscurus is rather short, less than a year in some cases.
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Wild Rabbits Grazing -  A Meditation




Wild Rabbits Grazing -  A Meditation




Monday, October 16, 2017

American Robins Feasting on Devil's Walking Stick Berries



American Robins Feasting on Berries

Robins, Grosbeaks, Cardinals, Juncos and various other songbirds partake of an early autumn feast of ripe Walking Stick berries!
Aralia spinosa, commonly known as devil's walkingstick, is a woody species of plants in the genus Aralia, family Araliaceae, native to eastern North America. The various names refer to the viciously sharp, spiny stems, petioles, and even leaf midribs. It has also been known as Angelica-tree.[1]
This species is sometimes called Hercules' clubprickly ash, or prickly elder, common names it shares with the unrelated Zanthoxylum clava-herculis. For this reason, Aralia spinosa is sometimes confused with that species and mistakenly called the Toothache Tree,[2] but it does not have the medicinal properties of Zanthoxylum clava-herculis.
Aralia spinosa is occasionally cultivated for its exotic, tropical appearance, having large lacy compound leaves. It is closely related to the Asian species Aralia elata, a more commonly cultivated species with which it is easily confused.
Aralia spinosa is widespread in the eastern United States, ranging from New York to Florida along the Atlantic coast, and westward to OhioIllinois, and Texas. It prefers a deep moist soil.[1] The plants typically grow in the forest Understory or at the edges of forests, often forming clonal thickets by sprouting from the roots.
This tree was admired by the Iroquois because of its usefulness, and for its rarity. The Iroquois would take the saplings of the tree and plant them near their villages and on islands, so that animals wouldn't eat the valuable fruit. The fruit was used in many of the natives' foods. The women would take the flowers and put them in their hair because of the lemony smell. The flowers could also be traded for money.
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American Robins Feasting on Devil's Walking Stick Berries


American Robins Feasting on Berries

Abandoned Cabin Great Smoky Mountains


Abandoned Cabin Great Smoky Mountains

Abandoned cabin from the early part of the 20th century found on an off-trail expedition on the North Carolina Mountain to Seas Trail in the Plott Balsams. At an elevation of 5,500 feet this was likely a loggers cabin that probably became a hunting cabin. Judging by the age of the non-pop top beer cans and lack of any newer evidence this cabin was likely last used sometime in the late 50's or 60's. A nice little spring was nearby and the only sign of life was a cute little White Spotted Slimy Salamander under some debris that we carefully left alone.
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Abandoned Cabin Great Smoky Mountains

Abandoned Cabin Great Smoky Mountains

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Orphaned Baby Squirrels Rescued - A Documentary


Orphaned Baby Squirrels Rescued -  A Documentary

Mother Squirrel is missing and her two precious baby kittens have climbed to the nest box entrance and were calling desperately for their Mom. I was watching them in person and on a nest box camera so now it was time to rescue the little ones and take them to a wildlife rehab center I had coordinated with in advance. This is their story.
Mother Squirrels are some of the most dedicated in the animal kingdom and squirrels have very strong family bonds, you can sense the bigger older brother concern for and care of his smaller younger sibling. You can see momma squirrel in happier times with her two kittens in the nest box at: https://youtu.be/iYFc7gX1JXw
This story is a remix of these two videos into one so the whole story is told - many people were bummed out by watching the first part and missed the second part.
Baby Squirrels Calling Missing Mom:
https://youtu.be/c94dkCwlUUI
Orphaned Baby Squirrels Rescued:
https://youtu.be/7VFPhhMObTc
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Orphaned Baby Squirrels Rescued

Orphaned Baby Squirrels Rescued -  A Documentary




Orphaned Baby Squirrels Rescued -  A Documentary




Saturday, October 14, 2017

Happy Llama Eating Up Close



Happy Llama Eating Up Close

Llamas eating up close can't help but be entertaining. This pack Llama is happily eating its lunch after carrying supplies up to the lodge at the top of Mt LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains (6593').
A video of the entire Llama Train is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6CQKJ8VJos&t=104s New HD videos uploaded frequently. Subscribe at:
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More info at:
http://screech-owls.blogspot.com/

Happy Llama Eating Up Close



Happy Llama Eating Up Close


American Oil Beetles - Poisonous Blister Beetles



American Oil Beetles - Poisonous Blister Beetles

Do not ever touch these beetles! Bizarre bugs indeed! I happened upon about a dozen of these beauties in a fall mating frenzy centered around two very large females full of eggs. Fortunately I did not step on them in the middle of the trail. They are called Blister Beetles because they emit an oil that will burn the skin if you pick them up. The poison they contain is among the strongest known. Cantharidin is an odorless, colorless fatty substance of the terpenoid class, which is secreted by many species of blister beetles. It is a burn agent or a poison in large doses, but preparations containing it were historically used as aphrodisiacs. In its natural form, cantharidin is secreted by the male blister beetle and given to the female as a copulatory gift during mating. Afterwards, the female beetle covers her eggs with it as a defense against predators.
Poisoning from cantharidin is a significant veterinary concern, especially in horses, but it can also be poisonous to humans if taken internally (where the source is usually experimental self-exposure). Externally, cantharidin is a potent vesicant (blistering agent), exposure to which can cause severe chemical burns. Properly dosed and applied, the same properties have also been used therapeutically, for instance for treatment of skin conditions such as molluscum contagiosum infection of the skin.
Cantharidin is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States, and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities which produce, store, or use it in significant quantities. This excerpt is from a great Blog post on these beetles at:
https://thesmallermajority.com/2012/1...
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American Oil Beetles - Poisonous Blister Beetles




American Oil Beetles - Poisonous Blister Beetles

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Most Perfect Chipmunk Video



A Most Perfect Chipmunk Video

Chipmunk takes on a cup of sunflower seeds on a perfect Fall morning. While we admire the changing leaves he is thinking ahead to winter!
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Squirrel Condos are a lot of fun.....

A Most Perfect Chipmunk Video

A Most Perfect Chipmunk Video


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bear Thinks Its a Hummingbird



Bear Thinks Its a Hummingbird

Meet the HummingBear - a 200 pound bear that delicately licks the nectar from a fragile hummingbird feeder so it is not damaged and can be filled again and then quietly moves on. Because the bear can't flap its arms fast enough to fly it has to sit on the deck railing and stretch out its rather huge tongue to drink nectar.

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Bear Thinks Its a Hummingbird

Bear Thinks Its a Hummingbird

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Llama Train Mt Leconte Great Smoky Mountains National Park



Llama Train Mt Leconte Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The arrival of the Llama Train at the Mt Leconte Lodge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is quite an experience. Hiked up to the top of Mt Leconte at 6,593 feet in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park just in time to see the arrival of the Llama Train which because there are no roads brings supplies up and down the mountain to the Mt Leconte Lodge at the top. Llamas are a blast to watch. I'll post a video on the hike up soon.
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Llama Train Mt Leconte Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Llama Train Mt Leconte Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Monday, October 9, 2017

COMICA Micro Compact Video Microphone Review



COMICA Micro Compact Video Microphone Review



Audio is just as important as video in filming Nature or VLOG production. A review of the COMICA Micro Compact Directional Condenser Shotgun Video Microphone (CVM-VM10II) for Smartphones and DSLR camera's reveals a significant improvement over the stock internal microphones. Small, lightweight but strong, requiring no extra batteries, excellent foam and wind covers, easy to use and carry all day on the camera this microphone will improve the quality of my videos at a very affordable price.
A link to this microphone on Amazon is:
http://amzn.to/2g5Je4N




COMICA Micro Compact Video Microphone

COMICA Micro Compact Video Microphone Review

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Comica CVM-VM10II Full Metal Compact On Camera Cardioid Directional Mini Shotgun Video Microphone for Smartphone iPhone,HuaWei,DJI Osmo,SonyA9/A7RII/A7RSII,GH4/ GH5, and DSLR Camera

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cute Baby Squirrel On The Trail - Red Squirrel Warning Call!



Cute Baby Squirrel On The Trail - Red Squirrel Warning Call!

This Red Squirrel warning call is amazing! A tiny Red Squirrel kitten is sitting right in the middle of the trail to Mt Leconte in the Great Smoky Mountains. Way too young to be out and about by itself and mother squirrel is extremely upset and concerned giving the most emphatic warning call I've ever heard - and I've heard alot. Just about any other four legged creature or bird could have this little one for breakfast. Squirrel kittens are so trusting and accepting of strangers - remember just because you find one alone does not mean mother is not around or coming back. Of course in the wild like a National Park you never handle an animal, but in your backyard or a local park wait an hour or two before you remove a seemingly abandoned baby squirrel to a shelter. Mom may be hiding and waiting for you to leave.
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Cute Baby Squirrel On The Trail - Red Squirrel Warning Call!


Cute Baby Squirrel On The Trail - Red Squirrel Warning Call!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Lama Eating Up Close



Lama Eating Up Close

Working Lamas eating and drinking water from a bucket - I could watch that all day. This is the last Lama in the Lama Train after arriving at the Mt LeConte Lodge at 6593 feet in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Just lucky to have this precious Lama right beside me. The Lama Train takes supplies and waste up and down the steep 10 mile trail to the summit. More on the Lama Train later.
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Lama Eating Up Close

Lama Eating Up Close

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Reunion With Pet Squirrels After Hurricane Irma in Florida



Reunion With Pet Squirrels After Hurricane Irma in Florida

I Was delighted to find the Florida Backyard squirrels alive and well after Hurricane Irma rolled through - we threw a little peanut party. I didn't get back until September 16th and they were waiting. A little wet and ragged, but OK. Their trees were pretty much de-leafed by winds gusting to 80 mph or so, but it looked like the two mothers with kittens must have moved them out of the high oak tree nests before or early during the storm and they are probably OK. Animals have a natural survival instinct and squirrels will move their kits down into the the Palmetto Tree crowns if need be. Big Palmetto trees do a lot better in the high wind. I will be putting up squirrel nest boxes in the trees later this fall. More on that later.
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Reunion With Pet Squirrels After Hurricane Irma in Florida

Reunion With Pet Squirrels After Hurricane Irma in Florida

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Raccoon Poops On Deck Rail and Admires It!



Raccoon Poops On Deck Rail and Admires It!

What can I say - not one for Backyard bathroom humor in general, but this little guy seems to be impressed with himself. Maybe this is an editorial comment because I never leave food out for them at night anymore and as they don't poop where they eat and since there is nothing to eat here - well.......
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Raccoon Poops On Deck Rail

Raccoon Poops On Deck Rail and Admires It!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Clear Acrylic Window Bird Feeder by MOOKZZ Review



Clear Acrylic Window Bird Feeder by MOOKZZ Review

Clear Acrylic Window Bird Feeders are a lot of fun. A review and test of the MOOKZZ Clear Acrylic Window Bird Feeder gets me up close and personal to my favorite small mountain songbirds.  The link to this bird feeder on Amazon is  http://amzn.to/2x6bGut where it is the cheapest of this type of bird feeder available and of high quality. If you order it through this link a tiny portion of the sale goes toward supporting the Backyard creatures.

A second full test will be completed in Florida next month and hopefully some Painted Buntings will take to it just like the Chickadees and Titmice. It is easy to install and depending on what window you use it is totally squirrel proof as in my installation here as there is no way for the squirrels to get to it - they haven't figured out to climb siding yet. You can also install and refill the feeder by just opening a window if you have it high off the ground like this one. All in all a barrel of fun for bird-lovers and of course the birds. I have mine on the window over my computer desk so I'm watching Chickadees and Titmice come and go and hammer away at sunflower seeds all day long just inches from my computer screen, very relaxing and you learn even more about these industrious little birds.
Thanks for Watching.


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Clear Acrylic Window Bird Feeder by MOOKZZ


Clear Acrylic Window Bird Feeder by MOOKZZ Review

Notice: this bird feeder was provided free from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.




Saturday, September 30, 2017

Tufted Titmouse and Chickadee Sunflower Seed Cracking Technique



Video: Tufted Titmouse and Chickadee Sunflower Seed Cracking Technique

Titmice and Chickadees cracking and eating sunflower seeds with their tiny little beaks takes a lot of effort - see how they do it. Having a Blast with the new Window Bird Feeder, MOOKZZ Clear Acrylic Design (see it at Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2yNSa3d ) attached to my window above the PC. A virtual Chickadee and Titmouse magnet with black oil sunflower seeds. You can watch them from dawn til dusk - amazing. I will upload a full test of this feeder and more videos of bird behavior  using this feeder in the coming week. Stay tuned this is going to be fun!

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Tufted Titmouse and Chickadee Sunflower Seed Cracking Technique

Video: Tufted Titmouse and Chickadee Sunflower Seed Cracking Technique