I grew up in rural Green Country. Our house was on half an acre, more or less, we had neighbors across the field, the lake down the big hill and a general store within bike riding distance.
As far back as I can remember, we had a bird feeder just off the patio. The birds would flock to our house for a meal. In the winter times, the yard looked like a rainbow of colors with Bluejays, Red Birds, Finches, Robins and other winter birds.
If we were lucky, my Dad would let us refill the feeder. If we were really lucky, we'd get to put seed on the railroad ties.
There were many years in a row, that a Swallow built her nest under the carport. She raised her families, pooped on my Dad's beloved pickup and moved on.
Outside my sister's bedroom window was a Purple Martin house. When I'd spend the night in her room, we'd wake up to them singing. It was a glorious way to open your eyes. When I hear a Purple Martin, I have flashbacks. I miss that sound.
It was my Dad who taught me how to call in a Bobwhite. I still have that ability today.
It was my parents, who taught me 'never pick up a baby bird.' Yet, every time I found one, I picked it up. FYI, birds can't smell well enough to care about you touching it.
Once, a typical Oklahoma thunderstorm rolled through and with it came hail. After the storm passed, Dad and I went on our nightly post dinner walk. We found a Red Winged Black Bird dead on the road. It broke my heart and I'm pretty sure we buried it. I'm also pretty sure the burial was not for the bird but to prohibit our bird dog named Rusty from having Red Winged Black Bird for dinner.
We lived near Keystone Dam, which is prime real estate for Bald Eagles in the winter months. We'd take a drive to the dam, pass by the trashcan that Oscar the Grouch calls home. He's lived there since I was 5.
After my salutation to Oscar, we'd mosey down to the water, keeping ours eyes peeled for the then elusive Bald Eagle. They aren't as elusive today, so if you keep your eyes open you may spot one. I see them all over. A few years ago, I saw one nowhere near a body of water, eating road kill.
They may be pretty, but they to are scavengers.
Four years ago, I discovered a local website that has a camera on an eagle's nest. I got to see the babies first hatch, get fed, see the parents bring in fish, turtles ducks and rabbits. Here is the link. They are not nesting now and have not chosen their nesting site as of yet. But sometimes you will see them perched on the 'tower nest' bars. They raised a family in that nest last year. Very cool.
Have you ever seen a Red Tailed Hawk up close? They are huge! Matt and I count how many Red Tails we see between the house and Tulsa. Once we counted over 40!!
I heard if an Owl lives nearby, that it's a good sign of the areas ecosystem. About a year ago, I heard an owl outside our house. I was super excited. I ran to the door to try and locate it only to never hear it again. I guess he thought our area stinks.
When the 3 Baltimore's appeared on my Hummingbird feeder I almost had a coronary. I couldn't believe how lucky I was. Baltimore Orioles are not from Oklahoma! I guess the family of three was passing through after spending winter down South. They hung around for about 3 weeks, then vanished. They are orange, the picture makes them appear to be yellow. I think the red feeder throws off their coloring.
Late Spring of 09, I ordered some Butterfly Bushes off QVC. I have always wanted Butterfly Bushes, but never bought them due to their price. I scored a fabulous deal when I found these. By August, they were in full bloom and the butters were coming. I'm sure this Fall will show to be a more successful with more butters finding my house.