Tuesday, July 20, 2010

King Birds

Imagine - no posts in over a month and then two in one day!

Two years ago we had a pair of Western Kingbirds nesting in our Blue Spruce Tree. They are highly entertaining to watch and are very territorial about their tree. They would fight off anything that was around their tree, including us, the cats, and other birds. This pair successfully raised 4 babies. Both mom and dad care for the babies.

Last year they attempted to nest in the same spot, unfortunately something ate/destroyed their eggs.

This year, instead of the Western Kingbirds, we have a pair of Eastern Kingbirds, nesting on some dead willows out in our pond. I've been watching them, and apart from not having the yellow breast colour of their western cousins, these birds are very similar. They are also extremely protective of their nest and both parents care for the feeding and toilet duties of the babies. Today I spent the better part of an hour (while sitting in my hot tub) watching the parents feed their four babies - about every 30 seconds these babies received some sort of bug. And when the babies pooped, the poop was quickly scooped up and dumped about 50 feet from the nest. When I went down to take these pictures, the parents were VERY upset with me and dive bombed me screeching! The babies remained in a "frozen" position while I snapped these shots - I am sure the parents were screeching...DANGER! DON'T MOVE!

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