Additional critters and birds

Food can be scarce in the late winter out here so i help suppliment at the bird feeding stations.  With spring on the way and this area being a migratory area for many breeds heading north this is a busy time at the stations.  Several new breeds passing thru resting and feeding up for the travel north to their summer grounds.  The doves out here are year round and round as a ball and ready to nest.  Some are hanging feeder fed and others want to peck it on the ground like the chickens.  My favorite time is when the hummingbirds come thru.  Its fast and furious.  Lots of hummer fights for food rights and their is always one bird that wants to own that feeder.  it will stand sentry all day trying run the others off.  They get very creative running the guard off so others get to feeder before the guard comes back.  All other hummers seem to be different colors and breed.  We had a brown tinted bird the last few years, a returning bird.  its a brown rufous.  Its a very unusual tan and brown color. Very pretty.  when i lived out here in the rv i would hang the feeder on the window overhangs and just wait, with the window open i got wonderful close up pictures, they werent camera shy.  They actually seemed to flutter longer for the camera.  they want to be a star.  They often come into the area in groups.  might be 3 at the feeder one day and twelve running from feeder to feeder the next day.   During the peak we sometimes fill feeders two or more times a day.  Of couse the many bees out here hover the feeders also, nothing wrong with a free meal.  After the hummers rest up sometimes a week or two they move on.  It slows down at the feeders till the next group comes through.  Sometimes if its a mild winter we will continue to feed them and see them on the return route back to the south for the winter.  Lately we have had several late travelers that get here late and just stay for the winter, only if its a mild winter.  I do know the hummers are excited by the color red.  I wore a red shirt one day last year working outside and they spent the day hovering me.    We also had a beautiful peregrine falcon out here visiting last year.  It was one of those times when the camera was not on me, hate when that happens.  We have a lot of large ravens out here soaring and teasing the dogs that chase them across the acrage.  I dont know how the dogs think they can catch them but they sure try.  The rabbits and jack rabbits are scarce lately.  Think the coyotes are winning that battle.  Multiple packs of coyotes run out here in the open desert.    Due to the many mining caves we have so close to us we also have several types of bats.  the usual bug seeking night riders,  but during summer we get fruit bats.  They are weird, long tongues made to feed on plants but perfect for the small feeders for the hummer feeders.  They come in mass repeatedly hit the feeder move off for the next one do a big circle and hit it again til the feeder is empty and move to the next feeder. when they run out of food they move to someone elses hummer feeders.  They seemed oblivious to the porch light so it was easy to watch their feeding patterns.  It was interesting to watch the bats up close and personal, but much funnier to watch the ticked off hummers when they showed up at daybreak and i hadnt refilled the feeders yet.  They can be very persistent.  A lotta people out here dont want the bats at their feeders so they remove them at night and rehang them the next day.  Talked to a guy at walmart one day, he had several large bags of suger in his cart, he explained it was for the hummers.  They hang ten feeders. That takes lots of sugar water for that many feeders.  The hummers are due in soon and i will try to get some great pictures for you to enjoy.

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One of the feeder stations are in and under the tree next to the red smoker.

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