Friday, July 10, 2020


We have had a pretty good year for birds on the farm and we are certainly hopeful that it will continue.  Of course, we are about to enter the season where fields around us will be sprayed with insecticides and fungicides and we know full well that it does not help our local bird populations.

That said, I didn't want this post to be entirely about that.  While I do want you to care about the over use and improper use of agricultural chemicals, I would rather you understand the value of some of the things that are threatened when we don't recognize that pesticides are dangerous tools that require extreme caution.

One of our pleasant surprises this year has been the contingent of Dickcissels that have decided our farm is a good place to nest this year.  We realize that we have had Dickcissels other years on the farm.  But, unlike many birds, Dickcissels do not go back to the same nesting sites year after year.  Depending on weather and available food, they may opt for one site over another each season.

This year, the Genuine Faux Farm is a good place for Ree-chard!  Yes, we call them "Richard," but we try to make it sound like a French pronunciation.  And, just in case my former college French professor every reads this.. No, my very bad American accent had not improved.  So, yes, it is true that it does not actually sound very French when I say it.

Click on the picture to see a larger version!
Reechard is not terribly shy, but he does like his physical distancing!  We have identified at least three male Dickcissels that reside on the farm and they love to find the tallest part of our younger trees or bushes so they can make their song heard.  The Youtube video below provides you with the song we hear most of the time when they find these prominent perches.

If you go to the Audubon Online Field Guide for the Dickcissel, you will find that they provide a quick sample of each of the several songs our friend(s) named Reechard will sing for us.  Just take the link I have provided and scroll down and look at the bottom left where it says "songs and calls."  Song #1 is what we hear most of the time.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, as always, has additional information for bird identification, including photos and videos.  If you would like to learn more about any bird, we highly recommend their site.  Allow yourself to dig around a bit and I think you'll be surprised by how much you find there. 

And, just another note regarding our friends named Reechard.  We had some stormy weather pass through today.  We noticed that their songs stopped just prior to the point that we started noticing lightning.  We're pretty good at recognizing when the weather is going to turn, but they just might have a leg up on us.

And, yes, we did get everything closed up and inside before we got completely soaked.  Let's just say we were 'lightly soaked' and call it a day. Have a good Friday everyone!

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