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Gardens of Magic, Pt 2

The sharp eye may have realized that the last post was strangely devoid of feathers. They are, of course, some of my favourite subjects to photograph, and even though I try to convince myself that I really should be aiming my lens elsewhere instead of battling a dark viewfinder and manual focus; I just can’t help myself. This post features some avian friends from some of the same “Gardens of Magic” I spoke about a couple days ago.

The drab looks of the House Wren are comfortably compensated for by this bird’s ability to socialize with humans, at times even intruding into our homes to borrow some space to build its own nest. Nest boxes in yards are used very often by this species, if you do plan on putting some nest boxes out – do ensure that the opening is just big enough for the House Wren alone to enter. They’re targets for brood parasites. More on this eventually.

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House Wrens are inquisitive creatures, and generally do make cooperative subjects. Even if I’m not photographing them, I wholeheartedly enjoy their song. I love having a House Wren close by, they sing their sweet song incessantly from the time the first rays of light touch the sky. Fortunately, they adapt relatively well to our encroachment, and can be found regularly in suburban gardens.

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Another song that’s familiar to many (non-twitchers included) is that of the “Jumbie Bird” – known in other circles as the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl. Our smallest species of Owl, it’s actually diurnal and will frequently cause a huge racket in the treetops as it stirs all resident passerines into a frenzy. Insects form a large part of this tiny predator’s diet, and luckily for it, there aren’t any shortages of cockroaches and crickets even within city limits.

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As we’re on the train of couples, Violaceous Euphonias are usually seen in pairs. Sexually dimorphic, I’ve heard numerous local names for this species, some say “Semp”, some say “Vaymal”, and some alternate between the two, perhaps assuming males and females to be different species. I’ll stick with the conventional name, thank you.

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Gardens with native flowers will naturally attract their attendants. Bees, wasps, and hummingbirds. Perhaps my preferred hummingbird subject is the White-chested Emerald. This might just be because it’s the most photogenic, it always seems to perch in just the right places – this particular bird decided to share its branch with a rather bedraggled dragonfly.

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In the spirit of a strange vein of Numeracy OCD, I’m including yet another White-chested Emerald, perched in the absolute best spot it could possibly be. Note that there are now two pictures of the White-chested Emerald, two pictures of the House Wren, two Ferruginous Pygmy Owls and two Violaceous Euphonias. I guess this just has to be Gardens of Magic, Part Two.

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