Birds in the garden

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 12 Jun 2008 06:55:35 PDT

Just wanted to share two bird stories from the past week or so. I watched a 
very beautiful bird busy in my garden doing something I couldn't quite make 
out. It appeared to be picking out something from the ground and then 
smashing it with its feet. At first I thought it was perhaps working on a 
nest and then I determined that it was eating what had been smashed and 
then finding some more. I got more and more curious about what was so tasty 
and finally move slightly and it flew away. On closer inspection it 
appeared to be some Moraea corms. Homeria (in the Moraea group) is supposed 
to have some toxicity. I'm not sure what species was being consumed but 
Moraea bellendenii produces hundreds of little corms and there are some in 
that section of my garden and the bird is welcome to share them if that is 
the one.

A few days ago I watched a hummingbird visiting various flowers in the 
garden. I grow a hybrid bright orange (my husband calls it red) short 
Gladiolus in my garden.…
It's pictured here flowering with a Clarkia as it generally blooms in June. 
The bird flew over to it and began to check it out. Liking what it found, 
it landed on some of the unopened flowers and used it as a perch to lean 
over and revisit a flower. Of course I didn't have my camera. It may not be 
an official perch like Babiana ringens has, but the hummingbird was 
resourceful. It was off in a moment to briefly check out a South African 
Erica that is currently in bloom.

Mary Sue

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