May 26, 2013
Written by Jack Sanders
Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:32
Bears at the feeder are one thing, as we learned last week, but aren’t foxes supposed to be eyeing grapes, not birds and their seeds?
Not the fellow who has been visiting Mary Walsh’s backyard in Ridgefield.
“While I have not had any new birds visit my bird feeder recently,” Mary writes, “the past several days I have had a new visitor at my bird feeder. He appears to be a bird watcher, too!
“But I guess when you can’t catch the birds, you might as well join the birds. Snout to the ground, he appears to enjoy munching on the seeds that the birds have discarded.“I am surprised that he is quite skittish when the birds fly to the feeder, but he settles in for a good 15 to 20 minutes and lets me sit just a short distance away. He is definitely not camera-shy, either.
“My second-grade students, who enjoy researching foxes, have informed me that while foxes are usually nocturnal, they do come out during the day to feed.
“I hope that the town doesn’t determine that we need to implement a fox hunt as I believe the fox population, at least in my neighborhood, is on the increase.”
A reminder to change your hummingbird feeder “nectar” at least every three days, especially now that we are in the season of heat (103 in Ridgefield last week). Potentially harmful bacteria can grow quickly in very warm sugar-water.
And another reminder: You don’t need fancy, store-bought concoctions to feed them: just a quarter cup of white sugar to a cup of water. Some people believe that you can keep bacteria from forming longer if you use water that has been boiled.
Brian M. O’Rourke Jr., who works in Darien and lives in Ridgefield, was driving home one day last week on Route 123 in Lewisboro when a “massive white bird swooped down and landed on the power lines” near the West Lane intersection.
“I hit the hazards and pulled over to take a closer look,” he said, determining it was a hawk — and probably the same albino or leucistic Red-tailed Hawk that has been hanging around the Lewisboro area for a couple years.
Birding with Luke Tiller: Sat., Aug. 6: Westport Shorebird Hotspots, 8:30 a.m.; Sun., Aug. 28: Westport Shorebirds, 1 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 17: Trout Brook Valley, Easton, 7:30 a.m.; Sun., Sept. 25: Westport Warblers, 7:30 a.m.; Sat., Oct. 8: Allen’s Meadows and Secret Hotspots in Wilton, 7:30 a.m.; Sat., Oct. 29: Sparrow Big, 7:30 a.m.; $10 each. To register visit www.sunrisebirding.com/walks.htm.
Norwalk Island Birdwatching Cruises, aboard the C.J. Toth Quest ferry, with guide, Sunday, Aug. 7, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 7:30 to 10:30, Adults $22, kids $12, Norwalk Seaport Association, from ferry dock at Water and Washington Streets, South Norwalk, seaport.org, 203-838-9444.
Sharon Audubon Festival, nature walks, displays, talks, music, food, more, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 14, 9 to 5, Audubon Sharon, (860) 364-0520 or check www.sharon.audubon.org.
Birds in their Habitat art exhibition and sale, featuring bird carver Floyd Scholz, Sept. 23 to 25, Connecticut Audubon, 2325 Burr Street, Fairfield, 203-259-6305, ext 407.
Copyright 2011 by Jack Sanders. Send sightings or comments to: jackfsanders [at sign] yahoo.com, or to Bird Notes, Box 1019, Ridgefield, CT 06877; or call 203-438-1183, extension BIRD (2473), and leave a message with your report, spelling your first and last names and telling us your town. If you need help identifying a bird, try your local nature center. If you find an injured bird, call wildlife rehabilitator Darlene Wimbrow of Redding, 203-438-0618, Wildlife in Crisis of Weston, 203-544-9913, or Wild Wings of Greenwich, 203-637-9822. The columnist’s website is www. sandersbooks. com.
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