Spring 2020 – Our Bluebirds are Parents!

gardening

I’ve been keeping an eye on the bluebird house. If you’ve caught my earlier posts, you will know that we have a bluebird house that attracts families each spring. This spring is no exception. Today, I spotted the cutest little baby bluebird poking it’s head out the hole.

My son loaned me his tri-pod and I set my camera-up and took more than a few baby pictures and videos. I hope you will enjoy looking at a few of my favorite bluebird baby pictures… Happy Spring!

FREE FLIGHT EXOTIC BIRD SANCTUARY

Travel

Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary located in Del Mar, California is a fun place to go to interact with exotic birds. The purpose of this non-profit is to provide a sanctuary for birds and allow them to interact with the public. Some of these birds have out-lived their owners while others have been removed from a less than desirable home environment. Some birds are not adoptable, while others can be adopted to a good home.

The birds are in an outdoor area with a koi pond. Some are on perches, some are in cages. Most can be held and fed. Some of the birds are not as friendly and are not allowed to be held. I was told that most all of the birds can talk to some extent. One says full sentences, one mimics two different rings of a telephone, and my favorite said “hello, pretty bird” and gave a hearty laugh. A couple of the birds were quite old. One was 71 years old.

The volunteers at the sanctuary were very knowledgeable about the birds and I learned some interesting facts about the birds. Not only were the volunteers knowledgeable, some of the other visitors were as well. One woman we talked with goes to Free Flight twice a week and was very familiar with the birds and what they could say.

Looking to get some hands-on experience with birds? Check-out Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary. https://www.freeflightbirds.org

Nesting Grebes at Lake Hodges

Travel

Are you interested in birds? If so, you may want to check out Lake Hodges located in Southern California. Right now is the perfect time to take a short hike to see the Grebes nesting on the lake.

Grebes build large nests at water level on the sticks and branches that are protruding from the water. It is quite a sight to see. In-between the sticks there are lots of nesting birds. My son and I were lucky enough to see one of the birds take a break from the nest and go for a swim, exposing a couple of yellow eggs. Of course the mommy did not go far from the nest and kept swimming close to check on the eggs.

It is an easy walk from the gravel parking lot to the Pedestrian Suspension Bridge where you can view the Grebes nesting. Once on the bridge just look west (away from the freeway) and you will see the nests. I highly recommended that you bring binoculars to view the birds. You can also see them by zooming in with your camera. Without binoculars or a camera you will not be able to see the birds in detail. Also, be sure to bring water. Even though it is a short walk, Escondido gets very hot depending on the time of day you are there.

Besides viewing the Grebes, Lake Hodges offers other activities as well. You can bring your mountain bikes or hike on the many trails around the lake. If you walk to the end of the bridge and turn left, there is a nice hike to a stream and then back around past the lake. A drive to the other side of the lake would also allow you to rent kayaks, which my family and I did one year.

To get to the Pedestrian Suspension Bridge to view the Grebes, take exit 26 W. Bernardo Drive/Pomerado Road off I-15 in San Diego, CA. Head left (West), pass the bridge, and park in the gravel lot on your right off West Bernardo Drive. There is a pathed bike/walking path from the lot to the bridge.

Bringing Birds to your Garden

gardening

Birds are quite interesting and each have a personality all their own. Besides their personalities, their looks are also quite unique. Bringing different types of bird to your garden can bring one much happiness and entertainment.

How then do you get these birds to come to your garden and actually want to hang around for a while? The answer is quite simple really. Give them what they desire and they will come.

In my garden, I have a standard birdfeeder as well as a whimsical bird sized tire swing filled with sunflower seeds that draw many birds to feed. I also have a bluebird house made especially for bluebirds to build nests in to raise their families. The bluebird house was made and gifted to me by my husband. He made it so that it can be opened and cleaned out after nesting season is over. This is the third season the house has been up and we have had nesters each season. It is always exciting to see the babies pop their heads out of the hole. Also, in our tree I have a small hanging bird bath for the birds to drink fresh water. I like this bird bath a lot as it is easy to remove and clean. Most recently, I have added a finch sock to attract finches to our garden. Hummingbirds are also welcome in our garden not only with a feeder but with flowers that attract them to our yard.

Feeders need to be cleaned regularly to help maintain healthy birds and refilled as needed. The bird baths should be cleaned and filled with fresh water daily. I clean my glass bird bath with baking soda. Bird houses should be cleaned out only when the family is no longer using it for the season.

It is nice to position your bird station near a window where you can sit in a cozy chair with a cup of coffee and relax while watching their activities. Having it near a patio is also nice, especially if you like to photograph the birds. If they feel safe and have what they desire birds will come and enjoy your garden and you can enjoy them as well.