Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: Backyard critters 2016

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Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
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ssgardener
Jan 10, 2016 1:41 PM CST
I'm seeing lots of small birds feasting on viburnum berries and seed heads.

But today I saw something interesting! Can anyone tell me what these birds are? Turkey vultures? A squirrel had been hit by a car. As you can see, these birds cleaned up every bit of it! And they were not at all afraid of the car. They didn't move one inch to let us pass!
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Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Jan 10, 2016 3:23 PM CST

Moderator

They look like crows maybe? We have a ton of them in this area, particularly in the winter. They bully away the smaller birds. Thumbs down
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Jan 10, 2016 3:44 PM CST
Jackdaw maybe?
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
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ssgardener
Jan 10, 2016 4:31 PM CST
Oh, crow or jackdaw might work. I was surprised at their size.
Name: Judy
Mid Atlantic Coastal Plain USA (Zone 7b)
Butterflies
MariposaMaid
Jan 10, 2016 4:52 PM CST
The white feet and legs peg them as black vultures to me. Becoming more plentiful in Mid Atlantic and they do stand their ground
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Jan 11, 2016 8:23 AM CST
I think MariposaMaid got it. Vultures are huge and creepy up close.
Crows will sit right by moving cars too.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
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ssgardener
Jan 11, 2016 9:12 AM CST
Very cool. I wonder how they find roadkill among the miles and miles of roadways they fly over.
Name: Judy
Mid Atlantic Coastal Plain USA (Zone 7b)
Butterflies
MariposaMaid
Jan 11, 2016 12:59 PM CST
My understanding is that black vultures soar the thermals along with other birds of prey and follow their lead to road kill. Black vultures then chase off the others. From high up, they can scan miles in any direction . In fact many stake out certain sections of roadway were fresh kill is most likely. Roadway looks the same except for that black spot or gagle of crows...
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Jan 11, 2016 4:53 PM CST

Moderator

I had not thought of vultures visiting our suburban roads, but yes that must be what they are! The beaks on them are really something--not a bird I want to get into a tussle with! Blinking
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: David
Lucketts, Va (Zone 7a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Region: Virginia Herbs Cat Lover Bee Lover
Seed Starter Butterflies Winter Sowing Ferns Region: Mid-Atlantic Hellebores
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greenthumb99
Jan 11, 2016 7:45 PM CST
Sally, the other day I was driving home from Leesburg and a crow was working some roadkill about one foot from the center line. As I approached it stepped over onto the double yellow line and I passed only 10 or 12 inches from the unfazed bird. It struck me that the bird realized that the double yellow line was a "safety zone".
Planet Earth is a galactic insane asylum where the inmates have been left in charge.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Jan 11, 2016 8:11 PM CST

Moderator

Smart bird!
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
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ssgardener
Jan 11, 2016 10:33 PM CST
Very cool!

Reminds me of this smart group of crows in Japan that use traffic to crack their nuts!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5_DuZ8WuMM
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Jan 11, 2016 11:06 PM CST
great story, David; great video ssg! Crows are 'wild' more ways than one
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 15, 2016 9:51 AM CST
OMG - I am home from work today, not feeling too great again, but that isn't the news. I have my laptop set up at a small table in the turret of my bedroom - windows all around me and great views of the pond. My eye caught the flight of a huge bird and then as I was looking a second one followed it - pretty sure they were bald eagles!!!
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
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ssgardener
Jan 15, 2016 9:56 AM CST
WOW! Hurray! Terri, you have built a sanctuary for wildlife! Hurray!
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 15, 2016 10:00 AM CST
I saw eagle flybys twice before - once while I was sitting on the dock and another time when I was walking the woodland trails, but it has been a couple of years. Gosh I love it here.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Jan 15, 2016 1:18 PM CST

Moderator

What an amazing sight!
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Judy
Mid Atlantic Coastal Plain USA (Zone 7b)
Butterflies
MariposaMaid
Jan 15, 2016 1:36 PM CST
Aspenhill are there fish in your pond? Right about now is nest and egg laying time for eagles. Maybe you can spot a nest now that most leaves are down. Lol . not as easy to spot as squirrel nests even though much larger. Also, eagles keep to a pattern and timing in their days so look for them from same spot tomorrow, etc. Wonderful thrill! Hope you feel better soon
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 15, 2016 2:04 PM CST
Yes there are fish in the pond - bass, blue gill, crappy, catfish. Stocked it with rainbow trout years ago, but those were never catch and release when they were caught - too good fresh on the grill LOL. I would be thrilled if they nested here but I think it was probably just a flyby. I'll keep my eye out though.
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 17, 2016 6:05 AM CST
A few months ago Mike and his brother spotted wood ducks at the pond. The ducks hung around for a bit and then were gone. I started doing a bit of internet googling to see how to entice them to come and stay, and found that the habitat here is ideal for providing nest boxes. Found how to construction instructions and Richard built three of them. We spent most of yesterday afternoon putting them out on metal poles around the pond. Now it is a wait and see game to see if they come back to nest.

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[Last edited by aspenhill - Jan 17, 2016 6:54 AM (+)]
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