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Friday, December 28, 2007
Today we spotted a few teals, male and females. Teals (in Dutch: Wintertaling) are small dabbling ducks and especially the males have a beautiful color pattern. Their heads are chestnut coloured with broad green eye-patches, a spotted chest and a black-edged yellow tail. Females are mottled brown.

The first photo shows a teal couple enjoying the few hours of sun one can get during wintertime. On the left the male and on the right the female teal.

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Here you can see very clearly the chestnut coloured head and the broad green eye-patches. Also the spotted chest is clearly visible.

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And this photo shows the black-edged yellow tail which really is an eye-catcher. Just lovely small ducks to watch.

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Elgar the Moose • 12:47 AM • Filed under: Birds • (0) CommentsPermalink

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Today we watched a Kestrel trying to catch some food on this rather cold and breezy Christmas Day (yep ... in the Netherlands we have 2 Christmas days). This time we had brought along our birding scope and managed to get some pictures.

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Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behaviour, which is to hover at a height of around 10–20 m over open country and swoop down on prey. Their prey consists out of small mammals (mice, voles), large insects, frogs, earthworms and sometimes small birds.

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A Kestrel does not make its own nest. It merely accepts sites in church towers, old windmills or hollow trees or nest boxes set up by humans.
Even deserted nests of other birds are sometimes used.

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We hope to show you some pics of a Kestrel’s nest next summer, as they are breeding in a nest box just nearby.

Elgar the Moose • 04:36 PM • Filed under: Birds • (0) CommentsPermalink

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Saturday, September 08, 2007
On our daily evening stroll we encounter a kind of children's farm adjacent to a working farm. All those animals are their own property and although you can't touch them, you can .......feed them ofcourse.
We most of the time give the animals old bread, which they seem to enjoy.

And one day these cute little tiny chickens came running toward us. Aren't they just adorable?
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They grow really fast and one day must look a bit like these beautiful chickens (click to enlarge).
We are not quite sure about the breed of this chicken. Anybody any idea?

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At this "children's farm" also goats, rabbits, turkey and other animals run around and they already seem to know when we are coming cause they are all standing at the gate waiting for diner.
Elgar the Moose • 10:14 AM • Filed under: Birds • (0) CommentsPermalink

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Saturday, July 28, 2007
In former times the house sparrow could be found every where you looked: in cities, in suburban areas, in the countryside. Nowadays the house sparrow numbers are declining rapidly and this is happening over much of Western Europe.

Studies show that there are several reasons for this decline. For instance the use of pesticides in gardens but also the disappearance of so-called “wild gardens”.
The trend for low maintenance and smaller gardens with more concrete, gravel, paving and evergreen shrubs see to it that less and less insects are available in the breeding season for the house sparrow.

Our garden is full with shrubs and hedges, it has several birdfeeders and thus the reason why we can still enjoy these cute creatures. There is a whole bunch of them living in our relatively small suburban garden. Here are just two pictures we shot recently. The first picture shows a juvenile house sparrow looking for food on the ground

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And in this picture a male house sparrow is eating from an elderberry.

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Do you want the house sparrow back in your garden? Well, here are some tips:
- provide for food (a.o. bird seeds) and water in your garden
- plant trees, shrubs and climbers to provide shelter to the house sparrow.
- don’t cut your lawn every week but let the grass grow a little bit.

And there are many more things you can do. Just search for it on the internet.


Elgar the Moose • 03:15 AM • Filed under: Birds • (3) CommentsPermalink

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