Monday, April 9, 2007

A Very Cold Easter Weekend

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Austin was extraordinarily cold last weekend. We even had sleet here near the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. I tried to prepare for the freezing temps by covering my flowers with sheets and putting a heater in my new container water garden. The sheets seemed to work, but I still lost a few fish to the cold.

Looks like I have another excuse to visit Hill Country Water Gardens. Not that I really needed one.

One interesting thing we observed during the cold snap last weekend was a lone hummingbird. S/he hung out at our hummingbird feeder all weekend drinking from the feeder and shivering. I felt sorry for the little guy who looked very cold indeed. In the photo below he's drinking at the far side of the feeder. Please forgive the through-the-screen view.

The newly planted passionflower, pentas and milkweeds below the squirrel-proof birdfeeder seem to be doing well despite the cold. The cardinals happily ate sunflower seeds during 30 degree chills.

The milkweed seems very happy in fact. I hope its neighbors do as well.

I visited Wild Birds Unlimited near the Lakeline Mall a few weeks ago and bought this wren house:

The man at WBU said that the 1-1/4 inch entrance hole would be big enough for a Carolina Wren, but all my bird books disagree. If the Carolina Wrens ignore the house I'll increase the diameter of the hole myself.

Speaking of birds, I found a fun Live Birdfeeder Video cam which I believe is in Louisville, KY. Pan all the way to the left or click "Home" and you'll see the feeder. I saw a pair of cardinals feed each other via that site this afternoon. If you know of other live birdfeeder cams, please let me know the URLs. Thanks!

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.


Anonymous said...

I saw my first hummer yesterday, when it was a little warmer.

I'm glad you posted a photo of Hill Country Water Gardens. That's my favorite pond nursery, though they have plenty of non-water plants too.

I like the wren house. They can fit into very tight places. I've found wren nests in a small watering can on an outdoor shelf and in the box part of a greenhouse fan that hasn't been turned on in a long time (thank goodness!). I hope your new birdhouse attracts a couple.

Dawn said...

Hi Pam

I'd love to see a photo of the wren nest in your watering can. How cute!

It would be great if the Caroline Wrens use the new 'acorn' house. They are in my back garden everyday, but I haven't seen them show interest in the house yet. Fingers crossed.

I need to figure out how to take better/closer photos of my birds. Not sure it's possible with my Canon Powershot SD630. Maybe it's time for a better zoom lense.


Anonymous said...

Oh, the nest in the watering can is long gone. But the greenhouse-fan birds are still nesting. I'm afraid to disturb them, however. When I discovered the nest, I really freaked out mama bird (and myself for a moment), but I like knowing they're there.

I'm wanting a zoom lens too. Wish list for now.