Saturday, May 10, 2014

The First Days of May

Our first full week of May passed much too quickly. Helping that along was the soaring mercury that told us we had the highest temps of the calendar year so far.  From the inside, the lovely Ms. Yellow enjoyed the warmth of the evening sun as she closely watched the Eastern Phoebe that has built its nest above the front window.
A quick peak inside the nest yesterday showed that there are 4 Phoebe eggs, and another egg which belongs to a cowbird. (A cowbird lays its eggs in nests of other birds.Unfortunately they hatch first, grow large very quickly which allows them to command the most food which usually results in the loss of the other hatchlings in the nest.) I couldn't decide if I should remove the egg or not, so I called our wildlife center and asked them. Cowbirds are native to the US and are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and it is unlawful to remove their eggs from a nest.  Finding that out didn't change my mind about the fate of the cowbird's egg. What would you do?    
The dogs are much too busy to concern themselves with trivial things like the Phoebe and its eggs. With the warm days and evenings, we've been outside more. One evening when we were out, the dogs were exploring the yard and I heard Josh bark in a high pitched tone, and CarrieAnne joined in.  They had wandered a little too far down the driveway and from where I was standing, I could see that Carrie's ears were forward as she pointed to the ground with cheerful excitement. Before I even got to where they were, I knew what they were looking at, and I was right, because this is what was there.
I will just confess, that I am very phobic about snakes. When I see them, I just scream and run, and that was what I did. I frantically called the dogs to come with me, which confused them a little because they couldn't figure out what was wrong. (Although you'd think by now they'd be used to my moments of near hysteria.) But once we were (safely) inside the house, I did the only thing I could do, I made CARL go take a look at it, and take pictures.  From what I briefly saw of the snake, I thought that the dogs may have somehow managed to kill or injure it.  Thankfully they hadn't, it was only 'playing dead' which is what the (non-poisonous) hog-nose snake does when they feel threatened. I am just glad it wasn't like the turtle last week, and didn't need to be rescued.
~The snake-finders, Josh and CarrieAnne~
Speaking of 'being rescued' I was more than a little surprised this week when after 10 months, the rescue I volunteer for asked me if we had room for a new senior dog. Her name is Cricket, and she's 16 years old.  Her owner recently passed away, and she has nowhere to go.  I am picking her up this afternoon, and will introduce you to her in my next post.  Enjoy your Saturday!!


  1. How sad for Cricket to be that old and lose the one person she probably knew and loved all her life. But what a good thing it will be for her to come to your place. Interesting about the rescue, but so good that they contacted you.

  2. We have a bird here called the Cuckoo, that takes over other birds nests! As for that snake...eeek!!! Glad you have been asked to have another senior, I thought the same as you, that the rescue had found somebody else, but in the end they know you are such a good home. Hope it works well for Cricket with you and that your crew accept her.

  3. oh, poor, sweet cricket! bless you and carl!

    (i think i'd have removed the cowbird egg.)

  4. Here in So Cal, the Fish and Game department traps cow birds and then euthanises them as they are not native to our area. We see big cages/traps on our walks. We are so pleased that Miss Cricket will be joining your pack. What a wonderful diversion from the grief she must be feeling.

  5. How about feeding the birds so all the birds have enough to eat? Pay no attention to what is legal and what is not on YOUR property.

  6. Cricket, so sad her owner has gone, but wonderful you got that phone call, and another girl will join your family. Snakes, we do not have any here, and I'm so thankful, a tiny mouse scares me SO much!!! Cheers, Jean.

  7. I probably wouldn't mind putting the snake 'on the other side of the road' as long as I knew it wasn't poisonous. It would be a shame for the dogs to kill it. I'm sure that would have been up Master Todd's alley.
    I hope Cricket has a smooth transition into your home, such a sad case, she must be confused.
    Cowbirds are an endangered species? Maybe they should move some of the ones we have here...
    Have a most lovely weekend!

  8. I'd remove the cowbird egg. One year we watched a pair of Cardinals try to raise a demanding cowbird chick that had pushed the Cardinal chicks out of the nest to die. It was sad to watch.

    Can't wait to meet her.

  9. Yeah, we think that cowbird egg should have an accident. SHE always wanted to see a Hog nosed snake playing dead...not that SHE likes snakes. If we see a snake here, we can be 99.9% sure it's venomous, so we try to stay away from snake areas in summer.

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

    Sounds like the Rescue realised that it was cutting its nose to spite its face. We thought some reason should have come to them--but 10 months. Sheesh!

  10. I would definitely get rid of the cowbird egg. OH boy about the snake. I was in my yard today pulling weeds and cleaning under some plants and what did I find, yes a snake on top of the plants I was working under. My husband immediately killed it. I hate and I mean hate snakes. He chopped the head off. It was about 3 feet long. I was so disgusted with it that I did not finish the last area I was working on. I think it came out of a bird house we had hanging on the wooden fence. I was trying to yank it off the fence.
    Glad the rescue came to its senses and called you and Carl. Hope Cricket gets along with the other dogs.
    Have a great rest of the weekend. Ana

  11. I love seeing your beautiful Goldens and Todd! Cool seeing the Phoebe eggs. I am glad the snake was not poisonous.. You are so nice to take in Cricket, how sad for her! I hope all goes well! Have a happy weekend!

  12. What an egg-citing day you had. Snakes AND a new member of GP. Can't wait to meet her.

  13. I find it hard to believe that cowbirds need protecting.
    If a dog happened to eat it, it wouldn't really be your fault, would it?
    Really not sure what I would do either.
    Congratulations on your new addition, Kim. *hugs* ♥

  14. Hello Kim, oh those naughty cow birds, I find it so funny that they do this. I am happy about the snake not harmed, I really do not like them either but do not want anything harmed....always enjoy the dogs out and about, Hugs Francine.

  15. Oh Kim; I am so happy that the rescue people finally figured out their loss in not using your wonderful home all these many months. Better late than never I suppose. And that cow bird egg? It would break my heart to watch that one hatchling push the others one by one out of the nest. Such a decision, but I do think I agree with so many of the others...away it should go me thinks. X

  16. I don't mind snakes but we don't seem to see very many here . We have cow birds here to but I don't know what I would do about that nest of eggs , Hope what ever you decide all works out . Lovely photos . My sister had a cute pug named Cricket ! Looking forward to meeting her ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good and Happy Mothers Day !

  17. The baby Phoebes need protection more than the protected Cowbird egg. Welcome Cricket. Your are one lucky dog. Kudos to you again, Kim.

  18. Hi Kim
    So much is happening in your world.
    I would remove the egg,,, Thats what I would do.
    So glad the snake was not the poison kind,,, and no one got hurt,,, but we understand your fear..
    So,, go get that egg,, and let the rest of the eggs hatch as they should.

  19. Not sure what I would do about the egg but I have the same reaction to snakes. I scream and jump about 10 feet in the air. Luckily we don't have any poisonous snakes around here. I'm sure Cricket will be happy in your home.


  20. We must be sisters in another life. I think you did what I would have done with the extra egg, I would have screamed at the snake and made my hubby deal with it and God bless your heart with your new addition. Heart of Gold!!! Happy Momma's Day Kim. Hope your 4 legged kiddos spoil you.

  21. Great news about the 'rescue' calling.

  22. oh I'm not sure what I would do about the eggs. Are the cowbirds protected because there are of many of them? if so then I would leave it there but........
    I think I would scream and run if I saw that snake too!

  23. I would have fed that little bird egg to the snake.

    Aroo to you,

  24. When I see a snake, not only do I scream, but all the hair on my body stands up. It actually get chills. UGH!!!

    I'm not sure what I would do about that egg. That really stinks. I might try and relocate the egg


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