Thoughtful Thursday Bird Rescue

Featured

It’s funny but you would think all the birds in our neighborhood have our address memorized. Whether they’re hungry, thirsty or need help, they know exactly where to go.

Last Saturday, hubby came home and saw something odd in the street in front of our house. When he took a closer, he saw it was a young bird, a fledgling. You could tell he wasn’t doing well because he was slumped over. It was getting dark so we put him in a box in the garage till morning because the rescue center had already closed for the day and mama bird was nowhere to be found.

We tried giving him some water but he refused so we just kept him safe for the night. First thing Sunday morning, we took him to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they rescue over 10,000 animals every year.

I couldn’t figure out what kind of bird he was. I’ve seen these birds a lot on my walks and the adults are gray with a bit of brown and a black patch on the head. They have pointy beaks and are everywhere here.

After searching the internet I finally found a bird that looked like him. It was a gray catbird.

Apparently these guys make a call that sounds like a cat’s meow and thus their name. They are masters at mimicking the calls of other birds and are known for singing beautiful songs. Sometimes they sing for as long as 10 minutes at a time. Very impressive!

I found this short video on Youtube that gives some pretty interesting facts about these birds.

I called the Wildlife Center to check up on the little guy and they confirmed he was indeed a gray catbird. They did everything they could but sadly weren’t able to save him 😥

I was really saddened by the news because I had high hopes. We gave it our best effort and sometimes that’s just how it goes. That’s life I guess. I will say that I keep my eye out for these catbirds on my walks and really appreciate their beautiful songs even more.

I hope that you get to enjoy these beautiful birds in your neighborhood too. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!!

Share the Happy 💖

Thoughtful Thursday Yellow Crested Night Heron

Featured

Yellow Crested Night Heron Fledging

I was very blessed this spring to watch these beautiful birds make their nests high up in the oak trees that line our streets. A few years ago we started with only 1 nest and now we’re up to 5 nests in all. As I went on my daily walks, I was eagerly watching each nest as babies began showing their heads one by one. These new birds have now taken up residence in our neighborhood and I see them often by the lakes.

When they were very young we would come home at night to see them walking in the middle of the street. I guess they were still trying to figure it all out. They would even visit me in our backyard every now and then.

These herons forage for food at dusk and into the night. However, you may also see them foraging during the day. They tend to walk slowly on land or in shallow water and will sometimes stand completely still waiting for dinner to come to them.

Yellow Crested Night Herons are primarily found in the Southeastern parts of the United States. Adult herons will lay anywhere from 2-8 blue-green eggs in a nest. Both parents will incubate the eggs for 21-25 days. Once the eggs hatch it’s up to both parents to feed the babies. They haven’t been studied enough so there is no data as to when they take flight and leave the nest. Fully grown they measure 1 ft 10 in to 2 ft 4 in. They are simply beautiful and amazing to watch.

I hope your enjoyed this little snippet about the Yellow Crested Night Herons and are able to see some. These are some of the photos I was lucky to get on my walks.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Share the Happy 💖

“Beyond even the darkest clouds the wide, open blue sky goes on forever. Trust, let go, and allow yourself to take flight. So fly! Only then can you soar.” ~Martta Karol

Baby Mocking Bird Rescue

You never know what the universe has planned for you. It always amazes me how the timing has to be so perfect in order for things to happen. Yesterday morning I went on a walk with my hubby. On our walk I was busy looking up in the trees for our new herons. Thankfully, hubby was looking on the ground and saw this tiny little chick just sitting in the middle of the road.

We quickly scooped him up and got him out of danger but weren’t having any luck finding the nest or mama bird anywhere. He was too small to be on the ground and on his own, especially on a busy street. We ended up taking the little guy to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they will care for him and release him when he’s ready. This also gave us the opportunity to donate to the center for all the great work they do. I love their slogan: “Saving Wildlife in our Urban Jungle.”

Sadly I’ve seen quite a few birds that have died this summer. The National Audubon Society sent out an email blaming the extreme heat for killing lots of babies. Although there’s no one better than a mama bird caring for her young, the odds were stacked against this little guy and the staff at the wildlife center agreed we made the right choice to bring him in. It was a small deed but nevertheless a good one and it felt great saving this little life!

I was surprised that we still have little babies like this in the middle of summer. Always thought this was more of a spring time event. Do you have the same where you live?

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Share the Happy 💖

Thoughtful Thursday Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia

Anna Ruby Falls photo by Maria Vidaurre

There’s something to be said about slowing down and spending time in nature. This past fall I was fortunate to take a hiking trip to northern Georgia with my husband. One of our visits was to Anna Ruby Falls which is in Unicoi State Park, located just outside of Helen, Georgia. It was a stunning drive to the falls as we drove on the windy road through the forest with accents of mother nature’s foliage of yellow, orange and red leaves glistening in the sunlight.

The hike to the falls is about a half mile on a paved path. Officially it’s .4 of a mile, but my Garmin and phone tracker showed it was a bit more. Nevertheless, it was a majestic hike the entire way as the path followed the creek and you were serenaded by the flowing waters. The path was a little steep but there were plenty of benches along the way to rest if needed.

James H. “Captain” Nichols was a Civil War Colonel who retired and moved to Nacoochee Valley in 1870. Even though he had been promoted to Colonel he was reverently referred to as “Captain.” While out horseback riding one day, Nichols discovered the falls and named them after his daughter, Anna Ruby.

The falls are made up of Curtis and York Creeks that run down the steep slopes of Tray Mountain in 2 falls. In the photo above Curtis Creek Falls is shown on the left and drops 153 feet and York Creek Falls is shown on the right and drops 50 feet. These 2 falls combine to create Smith Creek which is what you see when walking on the path.

I hope you enjoyed this little travel tidbit. Anna Ruby Falls was a beautiful place to visit and I hope you’ll be able to visit it too!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Share the Happy 💖

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu

All photos were taken by Maria Vidaurre

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird fledgling

I have to share with you the progress our baby Mockingbirds are making. There were 3 babies born around March 25th. Both parents have been feeding these ever so hungry little ones nonstop from sunrise to sunset. Last Friday we noticed the babies had left the nest but could hear them scattered in the bushes in the front of our house.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to witness one of the parents feeding this hungry little one. It was quite a show with the wings spread and the mouth wide open, waiting for food. The tail feathers in the front are from one of the parents coming in to feed. The babies long tail feathers haven’t grown in as of yet.

In between feedings, the parents are teaching the babies to fly. You can see them sputtering about in front of the house. They fly for short spurts and safely land back in the bushes where they’re completely camouflaged.

It amazes me how much they have grown in 2 weeks. The parents started by feeding them little worms and small insects. Now we see them coming in with large dragon flies for the babies to eat, it’s just incredible.

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!!

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird fledgling

Watercolor Sailboat – Tutorial

I enjoy sailing, but never seem to do it enough. It is so very peaceful to sail in the open waters. I love listening to the waves splash against the boat as it zips through the water at the mercy of the wind.

I created this painting last month from an online tutorial. My art for this week is a bit behind schedule with the Thanksgiving holiday but I’m working to catch up. It was my first try at painting waves with watercolor and it was harder than I originally thought. I used a pen for a little outlining and that was it.

This is probably the only painting I’ve ever done without adding bling with Stickles. It was hard to do, but thank goodness I survived, lol.

I hope it inspires you to create!

Thanks for stopping by.

Share the happy!

SillierThanSally – Mushroom Tutorial

I wanted to share a quick post with today. Sally Walsh at SillierThanSally is a super talented artist who creates gorgeous art!!! Sally was kind enough to create a FREE watercolor painting tutorial that you can view on Instagram or Facebook.  Just look her up.

This is the painting I created from her tutorial over the weekend. I had lots of fun. 

Thanks Sally!!!