Monday, 31 December 2012

Stormy visitors

Scram at the suet basket
Despite the frigid weather yesterday, there were LOTS of visitors to the Bird Cam yesterday.

Chickadees, goldfinches, the male & female hairy woodpeckers, Scram (and a friend!), juncos and more. At one point yesterday morning, I noticed a large yellowish bird in the trees with a group of bluejays. Another Evening Grosbeak! I think it was a male. It was alone, but like I said, traveling with the bluejays. He stayed for a while and took a few swoops at the feeder, but was pretty skittish.

A male Evening Grosbeak visits
I was pretty surprised at just how busy the feeders were. Even when hubby was out snowblowing, they were still eating away.

Today, there are still lots of birds visiting. Guess they just can't stay away! Enjoy :)

Hope you all have a Happy New Year's Eve!
Sunday, 30 December 2012

Blizzard Warning!

Just a heads-up! We're in the middle of a blizzard right now!
The cam may very well be down or only up periodicly as I do expect the power will go out sometime today due to the storm. We're already having some flickers of an outage.

Stay tuned! If we do go down, we'll be back ASAP!
Sunday, 23 December 2012

Scram is home for the holidays!

The snow has melted off, and it seems to have brought back a familiar tail!

After yet another hiatus, Scram has returned yet again, just in time for Christmas! It was a very nice surprise to see him show up to have a snack on a Bird Pie in the suet block. I hope he sticks around a while!

Pesky or not, he's a nice visitor to the cam!
Thursday, 20 December 2012

Holy Snow!!

Yesterday we got one whopper of a snow storm! Because the BirdCam is located in a higher elevation, we tend to get even more snow than most of the region. At one point the snow knocked out power and the cam was off air.

When the cam cam back online, it was amazing to see just how much snow had fallen! There were a few birds around, but most of them had definitely taken cover somewhere safe until the storm was over.

There should be a lot of activity today. I have already seen bluejays, chickadees, dark-eyed juncos and both the male and female downy woodpeckers! It's very busy!
Thursday, 6 December 2012

Curious Woodpeckers

A female Hairy Woodpecker inspects the seed feeder.
I happened to take a look at the Birdcam this morning and was surprised to see a silly Hairy Woodpecker feeding at the window feeder, rather than the suet cage. I haven't seen woodpeckers show too much interest in seed before!

I don't think she was necessarily eating anything, but she stayed and checked out the feeder for some time before flying over to the suet cage.

As mentioned above, the woodpecker is female. This means that I have more than one coming to the feeders now, which is even more exciting. Up until this point, I had only seen a male visiting the suet cage. The new woodpecker however, did not have a red patch on the back of her head, which told me that she is indeed a she!

The next goal is to attract a Piliated or Red-bellied woodpecker! Wouldn't that be something?!
Sunday, 25 November 2012

First Snowfall 2012!

Goldfinches grab an easy snack the morning after
our first snowfall.
Anyone who was visiting the Birdcam this morning (hopefully) noticed a difference in the landscape!

Not only did I do a little Christmas decorating, but over night we received our first dumping of snow! Typically we'll have a few days of light flurries when snow first arrives for the winter...but this year we got a heavy coating over night! What a sight to wake up to!

Chickadee (front) and
Hairy Woodpecker (right, suet cage)
The birds were very active today. I figure that food is harder to find under the snow, so the feeders were even more appealing!

Even the hairy woodpecker came by again for a snack, and I snapped a decent photo of him on the cam (if you look closely, you can see the red patch on the back of his head)!

I've seen the woodpecker a few times since then. I think he's going to be a frequent visitor like I had hoped!

Hairy woodpecker.
Make sure you keep checking in frequently! With the snow, there may be even more birds stopping by in search of food and shelter!

...maybe even Scram will stop by again! It's been some time since I've seen that little monster around!
Monday, 19 November 2012

Woodpeckers have arrived on NovaBirds!

About a week or so ago, I undertook a small project for the NovaBirds cam! I always love seeing a variety of birds at the other feeders around my yard, and woodpeckers are no exception.

I had a bit of a dilemma however. I couldn't figure out how to add a suet basket to my current set-up that would be wood-pecker friendly and also not take away from the natural view of the cam.

After a little research, I had a plan: find an old log around the property, dig a hole, put log in hole, add rocks, soil, and voila! A post for woodpeckers! I zip-tied the suet basket mid-way down the log.

The best thing about the new feeder addition is that it not only is another food source, but it provides a perch for the birds to hang out on as well!
A Hairy woodpecker samples the new suet basket

As with any feeder, it took a while for the woodpeckers to find it. The bluejays and chickadees had been snacking on it all to themselves until today, when a large, plump hairy woodpecker finally discovered it and helped himself to a snack! I snapped a quick photo...not the best, but you can see him there off to the side of the suet basket. I'm sure this is just the beginning of the woodpeckers who will continue to visit our new feeder!

Keep checking back to the cam, you may be lucky enough to see him yourself!
Sunday, 4 November 2012

Evening Grosbeak

A male Evening Grosbeak sits on the seed bowl..
Today as I sat in my living room, I noticed an unusual bird in the trees above the Birdcam.

Upon further inspection, I saw that there were three of the beautiful birds around the feeder. I frantically snapped a photo with the cam, but this was all I got...the backside of the male (he was with two females).

It took a little investigation, but I figured out that the three unusual visitors were Evening Grosbeaks. They aren't terribly common here, but there are a few sightings from time to time.

How exciting to have yet another species spotted on the cam! I hope they visit again, and I hope to get a better photo!
Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween from NovaBirds!


A wet chickadee visits the feeder.
It's going to be a pretty damp and dreary Halloween here at NovaBirds! The edges of Hurricane Sandy are over our region, bringing us heavy rain and thunder storms (yikes)!
That doesn't seem to be deterring the birds though! Although damp, they're still visiting frequently!

Have a safe & happy Halloween everyone!
Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Our thoughts and prayers here at the NovaBirds Cam go out to the millions of those who have been affected by hurricane Sandy.

Sandy has knocked all the leaves from our trees.
What hits home especially here in Nova Scotia is the tragedy of the HMS Bounty. The ship was built in Lunenburg, NS and had just left that port after a recent visit here. While the majority of the crew were saved, two were not so fortunate.
Rest in Peace Claudene Christian, and lets also pray for the safe recovery of Captain Robin Walbridge.
Back here in Nova Scotia, we were lucky enough to have Sandy miss us. We're quite used to getting the tail ends of hurricanes, but Sandy's unusual path allowed us to avoid the worst of the storm.

We still have had (and will for the next few days) a fair amount of wind and rain which has knocked all of the fall leaves from the trees (as you can now see on the cam). Tomorrow sounds like it will be our worst day, with wind, thunderstorms and rain in the forecast. It will be a dreary next few days on the cam!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Scramble Returns

"Get outta here bluejay!"
Scramble has been on a bit of a hiatus. I hadn't seen him causing mischief on the cam, so I figured maybe he had moved on to bigger and better feeders..

That was until I put the acorns out! Not only did he clear out the entire pumpkin on the first day, but he then moved on to the feeder, attempting to knock it down.

"Argh! What is this stuff?"
He was quite entertained by the jacoklantern and used it's stem as a perch as he glared at the bluejay occupying the feeder. As soon as the coast was clear, he made his move and attempted (in vain) to remove the cover from the feeder. Luckily (for me and the birds) some of the heavy-duty tape still remained on the cover and he eventually lost interest.
Sunday, 21 October 2012

On today's Menu: Acorns!

Over the weekend, I travelled a few hours away to visit my inlaws. The nuts there are plentiful! ...and by nuts I mean acorns..but maybe I mean seeds?

Anyways, to get to the point, my inlaws have a number of oak trees surrounding their property, and every fall at least a few of them drop acorns. Because we have no oak trees near our own home, I thought that the squirrels and chipmunks would really like a special treat, so during my visit, my father-in-law and I grabbed a 4 litre bucket and filled it with as many acorns as we could find.

When I got home, I took our hollowed out little pumpkin and filled it with acorns and pumpkin seeds. Within a matter of hours, the chipmunks and bluejays had cleaned out the pumpkin! Looks like the acorn idea was a win! Now the little tricksters will have extra treats to enjoy for the next few weeks!
Saturday, 20 October 2012

Halloween decorating on NovaBirds Cam

Festive critters!
I finally got around to carving our Jack-o-Lantern!

Depending on what time of day you view the cam, the face on the jack-o-lantern may look different...and in the evening, I'm always sure to have it lit up!

The birds and critters seem to enjoy having an extra perch to view the feeder from.

I also saved all of the seeds from both the jack-o-lantern and smaller pumpkin. I think I will see if the wildlife might eat them. I'm not sure if they'll eat pumkin seeds, but here's to hoping!
Sunday, 7 October 2012

Changing seasons...

Not only are the leaves changing, but somone thought
they were clever and started to build a nest in the feeder!
The leaves are beginning to change here, as you can see on the cam. The air is getting much cooler and lots of critters are stocking up on extra calories to prepare for the snow and colder weather.

I've noticed that Scramble and the chipmunks have really been cleaning out the feeders. I've been replacing seed daily now.

Bluejays are also showing up more frequently and even perching on the main cam feeder.

Hopefully these critters will stay through the winter, with the exception of the chipmunks of course, who will be beginning to hibernate soon!

Stay tuned to the cam. As we approach Halloween, some peculiar things may begin to show up!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Other Critters: Caterpillars Part 2

The creepy crawlies continue.

Banded Tussock Moth
Banded Tussock Moth larva
As of late, there have been lots of these fuzzy caterpillars showing up. They're almost as common as the hickory tussock moth caterpillars. They're about the same size (maybe  a little smaller) and seem to hang out on the same tree limbs.

These caterpillars turn into a nice looking moth (as far as moths go), although I don't think I've ever seen one in person.

Another tussock moth larva?

As for this caterpillar, I am unsure of it's identification. It looks very similar to the banded tussock, except it's lacking the yellow coloration.

 I've also seen similar caterpillars around that were losing I suspect they have mites of some kind. Maybe that's what is going on with this one? It looks healthy enough... but who knows! As you can see from the aalder leaf, it has a good appetite!

The last caterpillar is probably one of the more unique. Most that I've seen are of the hairy variety..this one is more like a grub!

undetermined hornworm
When I first saw it, I thought for sure it must be the larva of the Luna Moth... but upon further inspection, I found that it was a much duller green than the Luna Moth caterpillar usually is.

So I searched the Caterpillar ID catalogue and was only able to narrow it down to being the larva of some type of sphinx moth.

Many sphinx moths are pretty cool when they fly. I encountered one at my feeder last summer. It resembeled a tiny hummingbird. It flies almost exactly like a hummingbird!

I'm not sure if this might be the larva of the same moth, but either way, they're both pretty neat!
Saturday, 15 September 2012

Other Critters: Caterpillars Part 1

While the NovaBirds Cam focuses on birds,  I also wanted to share some of the other wildlife that I commonly come across where I live.

This Summer has produced numerous caterpillars. I honestly don't think I have ever seen so many, as well as such a variety. I took as many photos as possible and tried to ID some of them. Here are just a few of the wriggly buggers that I've seen...(All identifications are thanks to DiscoverLife).

Fall Webworm
Some of the first caterpillars that started making an appearance around our yard were Fall Webworms. They're cute and fuzzy, but as their name suggests, they make webs. It's gross really.

They'll pick a limb of a nice tree and completely cover it in webbing. Once complete, hundreds of them will live inside of it to further develop.

It's very common to see their webs taking over large sections of trees around here.  It's also common for the covered tree limb to die off.

I guess the only bright side is that they turn in to pretty pure white moths with creamy speckles... Yeah, I'm trying to find something positive about them...

Hickory Tussock Moth
By far the most populous caterpillar has been those of the Hickory Tussock Moth. They've been all over our property for nearly a month, getting fatter and fluffier by the day. They're all over the house, our sheds, the grass and even the dog has brought them inside on his fur!

They're actually very pretty caterpillars..but you can't let their cuteness fool you. Many folks who mistakenly pick up or touch these caterpillars end up with an allergic reaction! The hairs on these (and many other) caterpillars are irritants!

I haven't seen any cocoons yet...I'm not sure how much bigger and fatter these guys need to get before they start cocooning!

White-Marked Tussock Moth least I *think* that's what this is. All the online pics look lighter than what I saw. This guy is much darker..but I can't find anything to match perfectly.

I only saw these fellows around for a few days..and maybe saw about a half dozen in total. They're one of the more unique caterpillars I've come across though!

Look at that hair-do! Definitely one of the more stylish caterpillars in the insect world!


What the...?
Hubby picked up a truckload of mulch from a friend today... so guess what that means? I'll be mulching the gardens all weekend long!
So if you see a crazy looking lady with a baby strapped to her front, also pushing a wheel barrow...that's me.
Apologies in advance for scaring the birds away periodically!
Friday, 14 September 2012

Now Blogging...

Scram, getting into trouble!
I thought I'd set up a blog to keep everyone informed, and also for me to personally have a record of all the things I've managed to capture on the cam!

When I set up the Hummingbird Cam in August, I didn't realize how popular it would become. I'm glad that so many adore the hummingbirds as much as I do. Sadly, it's been 3 days since I've seen any hummingbirds at my feeders. They've all packed up and started the long journey back to the south!

Thankfully I began setting up a bird feeder elsewhere in preparation! Now streaming is the Winteringbirds cam! So far I've seen chipmunks, bluejays, chickadees, goldfinches, mourning doves and one pesky little squirrel that I've named "Scramble!"

I hope you all enjoy the cam and keep me updated as to what you see!