Wild Kingdom

Living on the edge of the wilderness makes for interesting interactions with all kinds of creatures, some of which are annoying [too freaking many hungry deer] and others that are a bit magical.

I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I feel like my personal space is being invaded. But most of the time I’m very grateful.

Last night’s experience fell into the grateful category.

I was out in the garden after the sun had been down quite a while, pulling a few weeds here and there. I was on my hands and knees near a stand of Sweet Williams that is particularly beautiful this year. I heard a rustle at the base of them. At first I thought it must be this creature that is living in my garden that I have seen many times:

Then I thought… no, it’s the cool of the evening, not the time for lizards to be out and about. Then I wondered if it was the snake I had seen up in my flower bed a few days before. As far as I can tell, it was one of these:

A yellow bellied racer. Though the one I saw was quite a bit bigger than this.

I wasn’t afraid of either of these, so I started pulling back the Sweet Williams to see what was in there. Then I heard a sound and knew I wasn’t dealing with anything reptilian.

It was a baby Bullock’s Oriole!

This picture was taken in the sweet peas where he flew. I only suspect it’s an Oriole because the adult male landed on the garden fence when it heard this little thing peeping.

I picked him up and it opened it’s mouth like baby birds do, thinking I was going to feed it. I put my finger out for him to perch on and he DID! He then flew over to the fence… where I got one more picture.

I got him to hop on my finger again and I walked him over to the Big Leaf Maple where they have their nest. [I’ve seen them coming and going]. I told him this was a story he could tell is grandchildren. 🙂

I put him on a branch of the tree and then went into the house. When I went out at almost dark to see if he was still there, he was nowhere to be seen. I think the adults probably coaxed him limb to limb back to the nest. He could fly fairly well, and was certainly capable of doing some limb hopping.

The Orioles seem to be moving into our area as I saw another adult male about half a mile from my house last night. This is very exciting to me because they are beautiful things, and quite out of the ordinary for us.

Anyway, that’s my little garden adventure last night….

Then in the bleary eyed morning, I went out to let the chickens out of the coop and lo and behold there were six wild turkey chicks in my dog pen. They were trying unsuccessfully to get through the fence to their mother on the other side. They had gotten in under the gate. I herded them out all except one who seemed to be the dimmest bulb in the pack. I finally was forced to pick him up and walk him over to the bank of the ice pond. I let him loose and he flew [very well by the way!] down into the ice pond and hid in a burn pile down there. The mother hen saw him… and eventually they were reunited because I saw them out in the field a while ago and all six chicks were with her.

Kids these days…..


  1. The wonderful adventures of the wilderness wild!!

  2. Teresa Auldridge says:

    There is some kind of avian karma from both sides of the country. K and J from Ohio have been staying with me since April and K is a real animal lover and outdoors girl. First we had a robin nest on the back deck that had two broods back to back this spring. We tried to give them their space but the last fledgling got caught up in a piece of string that the parents had used in the nest and didn’t get out before it was too late.

    Yesterday K found another nest – and fledgling – that had fallen from my weeping cherry tree in my front yard. The nest looked very well used and the mud that had been in the bottom at one point was mostly gone. I scooped up the little one and the nest and tried to wedge it back into the tree notch from whence it had fallen. This morning, the nest was still up there but the little one had fallen the 2 meters and was again on the ground. This time I went inside the house and cut a couple squares of cloth left over from mask-making and put them in the bottom of the nest and then put the little one (who also opened its mouth wide and yellow) back in the nest again. We are hoping it will stay until it’s ready to fly. The momma and daddy robins for this nest are hanging around and expressing their concerns and perhaps displeasure with us being around so we are hoping they will forgive us and still take care of the little one,

  3. Oh, how wonderful! Exciting time…and it sure beats looting!

  4. Wonderful to see how many birds are making a comeback.

  5. Mamallama says:

    Now how cool is that!!

  6. I love the wildlife that visits my little world, the birds especially.
    Their song begins my day and their presence throughout the day is good soul food.
    Put out a feeder and a bird bath and you will enjoy hours of pleasure.

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