It has just been announced by British automotive supplier, Halfords, that bright red cars attract more bird droppings than any other colours. Halfords researchers checked out 1,140 cars in Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol over two consecutive days and found that 18% of red cars were marked with droppings, compared to 14% for blue, 11% for black, 7% for white, 3% for grey or silver and just 1% for green cars. What colour is my Jeep Liberty? Bright red! Car polish company Autoglym says the damage to vehicle paintwork comes not from the acid or alkali in bird faeces, but from the paint lacquer softening and expanding to form an uneven mould around the dropping and producing a dull patch. Apparently, the grainy poop of seed-eating birds produces the most blemishes, so that pigeons are worse than seagulls, for instance. My Jeep Liberty is now 11 years old and I estimate I have washed it about 600 times, or a little over once a week, since 2001. It was one of the first ever made and imported into Canada from the USA. I'm starting to think I may keep this great vehicle as my own personal collector's item. I've already resigned myself to knowing that I will have to re-paint it if I want to turn it over to my grandkids one day. I've also decided that life is too short to be worrying about falling bird poop. Besides, I've heard in some places in the world, it's a symbol of good luck.
This Purple Martin House has been occupied for over 20 years. It is located on Louis Bierling's front lawn on the west side of Dufferin Street, between Wilhelmena Ave. and Juliana Road, in the community of Ansnorveldt, in the Holland Marsh area of King Township. Purple Martins (Progne subis) are the largest of the North American Swallows. They are deep blue in colour but often appear to be black all-over, including the belly. Roger Tory Peterson's Birds of East and Central North American states that Purple Martins nest in "...towns, farms, open or semi-open country, often near water...attracted to martin houses, especially with water and large open areas nearby". The Holland Marsh is certainly a suitable habitat. Louis Bierling told me that his Purple Martins usually head south in August of each year. Please comment if you wish. BtheB
According to my National Geographic Society Field Guide to the Birds of North America, the call of the Yellow Warbler is " sweet sweet sweet I'm so sweet". That's a bit too cutesy for me. I'll go with Roger Tory Peterson's description: " weet weet weet weet tsee tsee". This the yellowest of our warblers and the male, with his red breast stripes, is one of my favourites birds. The photo above was taken on the shore of Lake Jonda at Seneca College, near King City. Yellow Warblers are perennial victims of cowbirds, which lay their eggs in Yellow Warbler nests, as well as many, many other bird species. Here's what my Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds has to say about this nest parasitism: "In temperate North America it (Yellow Warbler) is one of the principal victims of the cowbird, which lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. The warbler often responds to the unwanted egg by burying it, along with some of its own eggs, under a new nest lining. Occasionally, a nest is found with up to six layers, each containing one or more cowbird eggs".
Tree Swallows at Cold Creek Conservation Area, on the 11th Concession of King, don't need to refer to this map to find their way around, but it makes a great perch. Of the approximately four dozen birdboxes at Cold Creek, most are occupied by Tree Swallows. In mid-June the swallow parents are kept busy by their nestlings. The pictures below show them coming and going, passing in the doorway, plus doing some housekeeping as well. Looks like '...no rest for the wicked'.
One-month-old Canada Geese float across an attractive, landscaped, storm-water retention pond at the new King Oaks subdivision on Keele Street South in King City. Previously, the forebears of these goslings were paddling about the marshes of the old Rumble Farm. Do these young birds realize they are the first residents of King Oaks and that they are enjoying 'luxury estate living'?
Canada Geese goslings huddle on a wet lawn in King City's Kingcross Estates, during Friday's all-day rain, which most likely was the first rain these wee, feathered creatures have experienced. They did seem puzzled as to what they should be doing.