four little robin at homesteadm june 2008 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

The 4 robins have pretty much outgrown their nest, but I haven’t seen them fly out yet.

Little woodpecker at homestead, june 2008 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

There are two little woodpeckers like these. Neither has a red spot on the head, so I think they’re both adult females. They’re so small they are probably Downy (not Hairy) Woodpeckers. But the Hairy Woodpecker is probably around as well: I’ve heard its very rapid, almost smooth rapping sound, like a phone buzzing almost. Very unlike the slow and much louder tok-tok-tok of the big pileated woodpecker.

Bird (?) at Homestead, June 2008 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

This now is a little bully. Can anyone tell me what kind of bird it is? A juvenile Common Grackle? It has that large tail… He chases away the cardinals and even fought the two Downy Woodpeckers to eat at his heart’s content.

Bird in Birdfeeder at RSL, May 2008 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

And lastly this little guy I misidentified earlier. Our neighbor pointed him/her out as a Orchard Oriole, not (as I thought) Yellow-throated Vireo or possibly a Yellow Warbler.

We also spotted a Carolina Wren with a huge green caterpillar in it beak.

I started a bird list in the sidebar. Watch it grow!

Our work-weekend at the new house was cut short by the inclement weather. The humidity reached 91%, which made painting impossible. We decided not to spent another night there and to come “home” (“to our old home,” is how Amie appropriately puts it) to start packing.

While we were there we took stock of our woodpile. Our neighbor had chopped most of the wood and thrown the logs into the yard. It was such a pleasure stacking it and seeing the pile grow… such a pleasure in fact that we couldn’t stop and piled it too high. Now it feels a bit wobbly, so we’ll move some of the top layers to a second pile.

Woodpile 7 June 2008 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

The robin’s eggs hatched. The four chicks were probably a day or two old: eyes still closed, and not a chirp, just wide-open mouths on long necks. The robins made a poor real estate choice when they built their nest under our car port roof, because each time we drive up or approach the car, the Mama Robin flees (and sits in the tree, calling out in alarm). So we parked the car further off to give them some peace. Both parents did nothing but hunt for food and feed the babies. Amie would have been at the window and watched them all day long, if it hadn’t been for the fact that we had to hold her up for her to see them.

Robin’s nest in carport, 7 June 2008 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

Right next door to the Robin’s nest, wasps were busy building a nest. It’s very small (about 3 inches in diameter), as yet. We’ll have to take care of it soon: it’s too close to slamming car doors and loud toddler sounds. Any recommendations?

wasp’s nest, 7 June 2008 (vc) Katrien Vander Straeten

Bird in Birdfeeder at RSL, May 2008 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten


  1. Chickadee
  2. Northern Cardinal (male and female)
  3. Blue Jay
  4. American Robin (male and female – one sitting on her nest in our carport)
  5. Hummingbird (probably the Ruby-throated hummingbird, not because I identified it as such, but because my books tells me it’s the only one that visits Mass. in summer, and it was green)
  6. Yellow-throated Vireo (in the photo), or might this be the Yellow Warbler?
  7. Pileated Woodpecker (it’s big!)

… And many others I won’t even attempt to identify. I was especially thrilled to see the hummingbird. I wasn’t sure they hung out in our neighborhood.

Other animals:

  1. Raccoon
  2. Fox
  3. Squirrels and chipmunks
  4. Lots of dogs of all sorts
  5. Insects of all kind

There are also supposed to be wild turkeys, deer and rabbits and – while we’re on the topic of veggie-eating varmints – woodchucks.