Our network

Urban Wildlife

Urban Wildlife - Critters who taunt George - Meet Nutty

Urban Wildlife - Critters who taunt George - Meet Nutty

George is one of the most good-natured dogs you will ever meet.  I feel bad for him when “Nutty” and his squirrelly friends taunt him.  I think they realize they are safe around George since he is not very fast on his feet.  We have two types of squirrels living in our backyard: several Fox Squirrels and one American Red Squirrel.

Fox Squirrels are the largest squirrels in Michigan.  They are sometimes confused with the slightly smaller Eastern Gray Squirrel.  The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is Fox Squirrels have reddish-orange bellies, while their cousins, the Gray Squirrels, have white bellies.

The Oreoles are back!

I was so excited to see the male Oreoles back last week. I watched them all last week gathering dried grass, sticks, string & dog hair to get their nests built before their mate got there. I read in one of my bird books to put small pieces of string out and brush the dog where they can gather the hair to build their nest. I saw the first female at the dish of grape jelly on Saturday. They are incredible to watch and listen to. I had four males on my deck at the same time Saturday and have seen two other males as well. They have very distinct markings this year. One of them built their nest in a tree next to the Coopersville-Marne Railway. As the train went by this weekend, it didn't seem to bother them a bit.  I can't wait to see the young ones at our feeder. Between the Oreoles and the house finches at the dish of grape jelly, it is going to be a fun summer for watching birds.

 

Where are the Oreoles?

Every spring about the first week of April, I go to Family Fare and buy 10 jars of Spartan grape jelly in anticipation of the Oreoles coming. A couple of weeks ago I was out on my deck and thought I heard one so I ran in the house and grabbed my dish and put grape jelly in it and brought it out and placed it on my deck. I went in the house and waited and no Oreoles. I am still waiting. Where are they?  They usually show up the second week of April. The male comes first and builds the nest and about a week later, the females show up. This year has been such a wet, cold spring. I thought that was the reason. Nope! The birds migrate by daylight hours. So why aren't they here yet? I'm not sure, but no one else has seen them yet either. The grape jelly isn't going to waste. House finches also love grape jelly.

Wildlife in my back yard

Wildlife in my back yard

I love watching and taking pictures of wildlife. Have you every seen a Hummingbird bee? They are pretty docile. I was able to get very close to take pictures.

I used to love feeding and watching the deer before the statewide ban. At one time, we had 28 deer that used to feed. It was so fun to watch them.