GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

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Grandad
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Thanks for your nice comments Jayway. :up Albino squirrels are uncommon but not rare These are true albino with pink eyes and contrary to common belief they are not set upon by the greys. We find that they are very determined in seeing off any greys that invade their patch.

Here are the two local residents yesterday afternoon.
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We always have at least one white. This was a family on our bank 10 years ago (poor photo :( )
2743


:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Kiya »

They're so cute !

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

I reckon you have your own little clan of white squirrels Grandad, I could go on about genetics, but basically every time you have true albino breed with a normal Squirrel the resulting offsprings will be 'split' for the albino gene meaning that whenever they mate with another one that has the 'split' the result will be approx 50 percent albino young, two albinos together will produce all albino's.
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Thanks for that H :up That would seem to support why we always have at least one albino and on the occasions that two albinos have mated we have had an all albino litter as in my old photo. Currently there is the mother and one offspring which is now fully grown.
They are very cute with their pink eyes but difficult to photograph because, as their fur is SO white it tends to 'blow' the exposure in bright light.
:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

The mutation can keep popping up once you have the albino gene, you may even get two normal looking squirrels mating and if they both :lol: carry the 'split' somewhere in the family history it will result in a percentage of the young being born albino, wonderful thing this genetics. :lol:
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Did a bit of reorganising the seed and fat ball feeders today. The small birds on the seed feeders spill more seed on to the ground than they consume. This encourages the wood pigeons and collared doves ( birds that I like) to groundfeed. Unfortunatwly word gets around and up come the ferral pigeons from The Cathedral ( birds I don't particularly like). So I dispensed with one feeder and on the other added a catch tray below the feeder to catch the fallen seed. When the feeder is empty the small birds will have a reserve available in the tray......simples tch! :lol:

Whilst about it I took down the nest boxes to clean for next year. Then I had a sad moment. We watched the bluetits fledge early in June and thought they all made it to the big world.....sadly not! :( Inside the box there was one little chick who had not got out on time to be supported by the parents and had been left to perish.

Very sad after a very successful brood. You can just make out the bird and its little yellow chest in this picture.
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:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Too bad about the bluetit baby but that is the way of the world. All the PC police probably won't like me saying this but I sometimes wish we were a little bit more 'survival of the fittest.' No problem with those who truly do have a physical or mental handicap however I have no feeling whatsoever to help those who chose to do nothing and hold the rest of us up for ransom.

I like to this it is for the best that this particular baby didn't survive. The others were strong and so better able to carry on their species in a really healthy way.

I'm landscaping and, inspired by Grandad and his stock of wildlife, I'm intend on attracting birds. In the backyard right now I have an 8' tall square post and a big wooden bird feeder nailed to the top of it. Even have the hole dug - just need to get some concrete cement and stick it all in the ground. The feeder on top is an open one (looks like a house with a proper roof but now walls) so any size bird will be able to get into it. I've got another long tube feeder with perches. Am thinking smaller birds will feed off of this one. I also just bought a hummingbird feeder but NOT a long glass tube feeder. This feeder is wide and flat. Has all the required red and yellow inset flowers to attract the hummers. This will be my start to next year.

What I did see at a nature store here are - well - they're like wide square short leg stools that have mesh across the top to catch spilled seed but keep it UP off the ground.

These would be simple to make and my brain is turning about how I can do this cause the ones that are made are super expensive. I like the idea of trying to catch the seed before it hits the ground as it'll give other birds a second chance to feed. Birds feeding is a messy business.....

The man in the nature store also told me that what attracts birds to the garden is running water

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Some wise words there LLL and I am sure that few would argue about the scroungers in our society.

I was still a bit sad on finding the one that didn't make it. :(

Even if you don't have running water, any shallow water container will be used by the birds....too easy to forget, they also drink and I have to fill my water dish every day because they all come for a drink, even the foxes. ;)
:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

What I'm hoping to do is have the bird feeder on the wooden post as the 'focal' area. I can see it directly out the back door. I'm going to plant a clematis to climb up the pole which will help soften that it is an 8' post and add foliage which I think the birds will like to hide in. I'm hoping to get a shepard's hook put in for the small tube feeder up against the fence (again going with the notion of a bit of shelter) and I forgot I have another cedar style house feeder that will have to get hung somewhere.

In the USA I had a bird waterer but so far haven't found on for here that I can place central enough that it'll catch water when I have the sprinkler on thus keeping the water a bit fresh.

I'm hoarding the cedar ends of wood off the front deck and am going to try and make some bird houses. I'm keeping an eagle eye out for cute pieces of drift wood that can maybe be used as perches. IF I can get the bird houses done I'll hang them off the fence. Even if they're not used I'm figuring them to be decorative.

At the same nature store and I thought this might be of interest to you Grandad as you already have the mature backdrop of plants/trees etc - there were bird houses there built specifically for swallows. The entrance was not a round hole. It was a very narrow oval with the very centre slightly more round. The man in the store said that swallow are the only bird who can enter this horizontal opening with their wings spread meaning they can fly through a really narrow space and the slightly roundish middle accommodate their body.

I LOVE watching swallows so am hoping to get at least 2 of these type houses hung out there but am also thinking it'll be a couple years before the roses and buddleia grow enough to give enough shelter to attract them.

Here we get 2 variety of hummingbirds. One variety (name escapes me) are here all year round while the other variety migrate through. I know from past experience of having a hummingbird feeder it is a joy to watch these guys buzzing around. Am hoping to get the camera set up to get some GREAT shots too. :up :up

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Oh boy LLL, you are really getting this wildlife bug :up And as you say, bird boxes can be decorative and if birds take up residence, that's a bonus.

I know that different birds use different boxes. For robins a box like mine but with the front half open (no hole) is the recommendation but, although I have tried that it has never been successful. Great tits and blue tits are the easiest to attract here in boxes but blackbirds, thrushes, robins and chaffinches all nest locally and use the never ending food source. :lol:

We don't have humming birds but to catch them I think you would need 'shutter priority' of about 1/2000 second.
:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

As I was watching this I was thinking about Grandad's squirrel family. Sure hope they never star in a version of this.

No idea who or how it was filmed, but it's great to watch!

phpBB [video]

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Absolutely beautiful LLL. and like you I have no idea how they filmed that sequence. :up

What a coincidence that you brought my old thread to the top today. I was going to do just that but will have to come back later. Mrs G is waiting for her taxi :lol:
:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

Agreed, beautifully filmed, it must have taken ages to get all of that together :up
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Kiya »

Fantastic video :)

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Spring has come early this year. On Thursday 6 March I noticed some activity at one of the nest boxes. We now have new residents, a pair of bluetits. It was great tits last year so space for more chicks this year. :)
The hen is in the box, hopefully laying, and the cock is feeding her......will have to watch closely from about 10 April because they could fledge quite early....
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

Great start Grandad, I am starting to feel that Spring is finally here after what for me has been an awfully long Winter, The daffs are out in my garden and the new green leaves are bursting out on the Hawthorn bushes, may be that Little Annie and I finally get to go out walking again :up
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Today we had a really unusual day - the SUN was out AND there was NO RAIN!! Sooooo I was out in the backyard, was able to get all the dead stuff off all my plants from last year and basically got the garden beds cleaned off and ready for plants this spring.

The crocus I planted are blooming, the daffs are up 3" or so in the backyard but I'll probably be gone by the time they bloom. The daffs out front are hardly breaking the ground. Was able to plant a dozen multiplier onions and will enjoy them during the summer.

All my spireas are budded out, the heathers are blooming (the ones that lived after the deer ate them) and the buddleia has actually already leafed out (which is surprising).

I've got to get my front garden planted but it will be open to the deer so I have to make a list of what they don't typically eat and then plant those plants. I'm planning on spraying the plants with a rotten egg/soap/hot pepper concoction and hope that keeps the deer from chowing down.

@ Grandad - you'll have to keep an eye on the bird nest and capture the 'first flight' of the babies for us! ;) :) :)

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

:lol: :lol: I like the 'rotten egg' idea, not sure it will actually work though ;)
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

I'm hoping the rotten eggs work AND I'm having some rather - what I'll call - interesting vampire thoughts about how I can my hands on 'blood' as blood, as per Google re: deer repellent also keeps them away - if you MIX blood in with the rotten eggs!! ;) Am wondering if buying Blood Meal might work? Am getting quite obsessed with keeping Bambi's lips OFF my plants!

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

A better idea would be to obtain some natural predator poo from a local zoo if you have one, say mountain lion or Wolf would do. ;)
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