Tag Archives: Birds

The Chili Reaper

8 Oct

The habanero plants are gone, and in its place is a more palatable chili plant. The habaneros were too spicy for us. So no point in planting something that we cannot eat. And lately, there’s been a new visitor to our garden to enjoy the chili as well.

The new chili plant has provided lots of chilis, and now and then, we will give our bumper harvests to our neighbors, friends, and family. Sometimes if hubby does not harvest the chili, the Chili Reaper comes along to eat the chili!

The Chili Reaper is specifically the Yellow-vented Bulbul, and this bird eats only the red chilis! Not the green ones but the red ones. It would perch on the branches and peck away at the ripe chilis.

The Bulbul chili reaper!

I can’t decide whether it is a friend or foe. After all, the chili is in abundance. But it irks us that the bird gets the first choice on the red chilis. Then again, this is one garden visitor who does not wait on us to feed them–like the doves–it just helps itself to what the garden has to offer.

Feeding the Garden Friends

9 Aug

It has come to a point whereby the daily garden visitors expect food laid out for them. The doves, sparrows, squirrels, or rather, tree shrews wait on us to provide for them. So hubby bought birdseed from the online shopping site since we try not to go out so often. The birds love it.

Sometimes when we are slow to have the seeds out on time, we find the two regular doves wandering into the garden porch to remind us. There have been occasions when they would even saunter cooly into the house!

Sometimes they sunbathe and of course, eat.

The shrews are more fortunate as they have more choices. With the various fruits that we eat, they get to eat them too. We set the tray in one spot, and every morning I can see one or two bouncing over to check the offering.

Enjoying a sweet offering

We do not mind the animal demands as they have to eat as well. And when we keep them satisfied outside, they won’t venture inside to create problems for us.

Double Celebration, Part 2

2 Jul

Mother Nature was good to us, for it didn’t rain on the big double celebration day. It was cloudy and did threaten to rain a little, but the hot weather held for us to have the outdoor barbecue as planned.

There was a constant stream of deliveries that morning. From my usual online shopping items to dessert cakes, more cakes and pastries, and the ultimate cake towards the evening, we were busy receiving all the deliveries. The fridge was almost bursting with all the delectable goodies, on top of all the barbecue food.

All sorts of mouth-watering yummies!
The funniest 4-inch tall birthday cake!
Our private garden birthday party
A colorful spread

It was a lovely garden dinner affair for the three of us. The birds left us alone, unlike our last barbecue for our Reunion Dinner. Even the mosquitoes did not disturb us. As our little one turned 20 that day, I guess we have to face the fact she is not so little anymore. Happy birthday M2, and many happy returns! Love you to the moon and back.

A Rescue, Part 2

6 Apr

Just when we thought the situation was going well for the little birdie we rescued, things went awry. We had our usual weekend golf game, and as always, I would check with the halfway hut attendant who adopted our feathered rescue on its well-being.

Initially, little birdie was cared for by him, but he gave it to his brother because the brother wanted the bird. And since brother dearest had a birdcage, he agreed.

But he questioned the decision of leaving the birdcage outside the house. Brother dearest explained that it was too hot inside the house for the little bird. And if hung outside, it’s not so warm and more comfortable.

Unfortunately, this proved to be a terrible decision as the birdcage went missing the next day! The little birdie was bird-napped! Dear, oh dear.

While I am mildly upset, I’m just appalled at the fate that has befallen our feathered friend. I hope whoever swiped the birdcage is a true bird lover and would provide for the little birdie with just as much love as the attendant and his brother.

Our Garden

26 Mar

Our garden is a sanctuary of sorts for all the critters in the area. Birds flock to our place for bird seeds provided on a timely schedule, squirrels romp here hoping for the same fortune as the birds, and earthworms make a mess of the garden surface while having a galore underground. The smaller critters – the bees and caterpillars enjoy the nectar and leaves at their own pace without any disturbance. It is a very fertile and happy place.

Recently we spotted an injured squirrel from the kitchen window. Unfortunately, I was too slow with the phone to get a picture. The poor thing looked like it got scalded for its tail, and part of its face and body is missing some fur with the bare pink skin showing. The poor critter is constantly looking very frightened and wary of the surroundings and still surviving.

One day, hubby – out of pity – threw out a piece of bread for the injured squirrel to eat. It came around and sniffed at the bread, unsure what it was. It is evident bread is something that is not in the squirrel’s natural environment. It even sniffed at the surrounding plants, wondering if the bread fell off from one of the nearby potted plants.

We couldn’t wait for it to eat the offering and left for the office soon after. That night, when we got home, the bread is gone. I am assuming the squirrel ate it, and we have not seen it since. Hopefully, it gained some strength from the offered food and is recovering well. We have to keep a lookout for it to appear again.

Bird Tales

8 Mar

The pesky woodpecker is certainly pesky. It tried to make another hole in the staghorn fern! Grr. Hubby sprayed organic vinegar to protect his prized staghorn, and it seemed to work, but only for a day; there are no more damages to the fern.

The next day, hubby awoke to the evil screech of the woodpecker. He jumped out of bed and went out to check on his staghorn. Two staghorn ferns are now damaged! Damn, this woodpecker is persistent. A new hole in the first staghorn, making it three holes now. And two holes in the other staghorn. Ooh, hubby is very upset.

The damages on two staghorn ferns

He stuffed the latest hole of the first staghorn with garden refuse again. The holes on the second fern were not too deep, so he left it as is. What must it take to protect the staghorn ferns? Hubby must not sit on his laurels and will have to reinforce the protection. The pesky woodpecker must be discouraged at all cost!

On a brighter note on bird tales, the rescued baby bird is doing fine. We were updated on its well-being over the weekend by the attendant who adopted the little bird. It is eating well and growing stronger every day. That is good news indeed, especially after our other horrid bird encounter.

Pesky Woodpecker is Back!

2 Mar

Hubby discovered a new problem on his prized staghorn fern in the front garden. The pesky woodpecker is back! It seems that Sunday was a day of bird stories. After our golf game and the little bird rescue, we got home, and hubby did his usual routine – watering the plants in the front garden. When he looked up to spray the staghorn, he saw two holes on the shield frond! He was not pleased. This time, the pesky woodpecker made two holes instead of one. Hrmph.

Top: The staghorn looks like Baby Groot with the two holes! Bottom: We’re stuffing your efforts, you varmint!

The next morning, he heard the noisy woodpecker and decided to do something to deter the pest. He stuffed the holes with twigs, leaves, and whatever garden refuse he could find. Later, when we were getting ready to leave the house for the office, we heard the woodpecker’s screeches. It was almost evil sounding as it was angry to discover the holes plugged.

We managed to see the small and feisty brown feathered pesky culprit, but I was not quick enough to take a picture. I can assure you it’s not the same bird as the previous one, although it is the same species, the Rufous Woodpecker. With the holes plugged, I hope it won’t attempt to make another hole! We have to monitor the situation. If it turns for the worse, hubby will do whatever necessary to protect his staghorn fern. We do not welcome woodpeckers in our garden.

A Rescue

1 Mar

We played our usual golf games over the weekend. Sunday’s outing, however, was unusual. Hubby stumbled upon a baby bird after his tee-off at Hole 6. It fell from the nest above the tree. The poor thing!

When he picked it up, I thought we were going to be parents again, having to care for it. He couldn’t leave it there because firstly, the ants especially would devour the hapless thing alive, and secondly, mummy bird cannot lift it back to the nest. She has to accept the loss.

The little fella slept in the cup holder of the buggy

We had to care for it to ensure it has a chance to grow up. So little birdy came along with us in the golf buggy. After two holes, we went to the halfway hut and asked the attendant for a container. A makeshift nest would make it easier to carry it home.

When hubby explained the need for a container, the attendant took a look at the little birdy and was keen to care for it! So after a short debate, we gave the little birdy to him.

We will have to check on its health and well-being the next game we play and when we see the attendant. Stay tuned on this.

A Garden Party!

12 Feb

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year or the Lunar Year of the Metal Ox. A very muted occasion for us because our status remains under lockdown, with no place to go or family to visit. Honestly, it is no different from the past 12 months. There’s nothing to celebrate. Sniffles.

We did, however, made an effort to liven up our situation for the Reunion Dinner. Instead of having dinner at the kitchen counter like every other night, we chose to eat in the garden patio last night! And have a barbeque while we were at it. We even had some feathered guests joining our party, but they ate earlier than us because bird seeds didn’t need grilling.

The birdies having a feast on the newly painted wall!

I thought we had to take precautions against the evening mosquitoes but there were none thankfully. We set up the table plus a side table at the patio and cooked up an eight-item BBQ menu for the occasion.

Typical Reunion Dinners are either six or eight dishes to signify abundance, but since it’s just the two of us this year, the eight-item course is more than enough and equally meaningful. And even though the dinner was technically not a Reunion Dinner, we enjoyed the change in ambiance.

Not the typical and traditional menu, I labeled it as an eight treasure platter.
The colorful spread on our Barbecook grill

Both of us laughed about whether the dinner qualifies as a Reunion Dinner because, firstly, we are always together, and secondly, it’s more like a garden barbeque party. The lengthiest duration that we are separated so far this past month has been five minutes? Having long showers does not count, though. Whether it is indeed a Reunion Dinner or just a garden party, we need to inject variation and humor into our lives to keep sane. Let’s hope the current MCO status will revise for the better come 18 February.

Until then, steer the Ox by the horns towards having a happy and safe celebration during this Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai folks.

Back to Glory

26 Oct

The giant staghorn fern at the front garden is back to its beautiful glory. This second fern is the one that the pesky woodpecker made a hole when it tried to make a second home. The fronds have grown well, and I managed to take a picture of the semi-covered damage before it was closed out.

Unfortunately, the first staghorn, a more precious species, could not be revived. Even after removing it from the tree to a better environment for intensive care, the fern did not make it. The hole made by the woodpecker was too deep, and the overall structure of the staghorn damaged beyond rescue.

We have not seen or heard the woodpecker for months now. I hope it stays away so that our revived staghorn can continue to thrive.

The second fern looking good now!