Home, Home on the Futon Part II

Zebra Finch w Fledgling 1-4-15-1684I’m really not spending all my time on the futon but it’s been a rough week weather-wise so it’s perfect to sit with my feet up under the quilt, watching and listening to the birds.

When I last posted about the indoor crowd, there was only one fledgling, a Society Finch I think I just named Treasure. In the last week, five Zebra Finch Kids have fledged, and they are somewhat easy to tell apart for the moment as they are all varying shades of gray. One in particular is much lighter than the others (a sibling of the first to fledge group of three), and the last two are quite a bit darker than the rest.

The Zebra Finch adult couples hang out together quite a bit, going on foraging expeditions, and then at other times they get into territorial squabbles that sound ferocious to my ears, but nobody’s suffered so far from being chased.

Zebra Finch Fledglings 1-11-15-0123I have noticed today that the fledglings are still begging noisily but they’ve been ignored at times. They have also started picking at spray millet and experimenting with foraging in general, so I suspect they will be weaned very soon.

The video has the new fledglings eventually all on one perch, and Arturo T. singing half his song at the end.

I have no new pictures of the last remaining Budgie and the Diamond Dove, but Blue Budgie sits in the kitchen and serenades Dudlee Ann, the Diamond Dove, from time to time. He is absolutely smitten with her. Whenever she comes out into the living room, he is right by her side. When she takes off for the kitchen he zooms right after her. She is fond of him, but feels a duty to sit on her plastic eggs. Last night she came to join him briefly on his perch in the second finch cage, but then left for her nest.

During the week, Dudlee talks to me and tells me when I come home from work that she wants to go back into the kitchen and sit on her plastic eggs, after spending the day with the other birds.

Society Finches and 2 Zebra Finch Fledglings

Society Finches and 2 Zebra Finch Fledglings

The Society Finches will increase by at least two, as far as I can tell from the sounds coming out of Phoenix and Rikki’s nest. I suspect they are Trevor and Phoenix’s offspring.

The nicest thing about all this is that everybody has settled in, we are comfortable with each other, and now I have birds born in the house again. I am looking forward to seeing the Zebra Finh fledglings turn colors, become either girls or boys, and particularly to hearing the boys working on their songs. Arturo T. and Ricardo M. keep working on their songs and they have fleshed them out considerably since they arrived fresh from the pet store. Arturo T. has the most lyrical song, and I have figured out how to put “Arturo, Arturo Toscanini” to it. Ricardo’s song is more percussive and I haven’t figured out how to add his name to it yet.

Zebra Finch Fledgling 1-4-15-1685

Meanwhile in the yard this morning the House Sparrows were all hanging out at the pool. My view through the kitchen window.

HOSP  Hanging Out at the Pool 1-11-15-0099

It is snowing again. Cold, but not quite as sub-zero as last week. I hope to visit my crow friends soon.

Trust your local groundhog

I’m looking for some way to get my head around the high temperatures we have had for the past 7 days. I’m sure there is a meteorological explanation, but even the weather forecasters seem to be surprised by a heatwave in March that feels more like June or July, so I’m going back to February 2 when the official groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter, but the Illinois groundhog predicted an early spring. We skipped spring, however, and went straight to summer.

Then I wonder if we are seeing what climatologists predicted if the planet continued to warm at its present rate: eight months of summer.

Of course this is Chicago and we could still have snow in April. But it doesn’t look like we’re going to get any more in March.

Downy Woodpecker in my yard - two weeks ago!

At this rate, the City can’t plant bald cypress fast enough.

With all this heat, we could really use some rain. I caught this American Robin refreshing himself in the birdbath this afternoon.

Last week, this crow was panting, even with a whole lake nearby.

About this time of year, the trees would be showing buds, but not bursting. From the looks of it, my flowering crabapple will be flowering tomorrow.

And my redbud is, well, budding.

And whatever this is that planted itself by the side of the house, it’s blooming.

It was nice to open the windows today, at least until it got too hot. I bought the last fan at the hardware store this afternoon. And two pairs of sandals online…