Cat update for week ending January 2

Welcome to the first Caturday of 2021! Mostly with pictures from 2020, of course.

Here’s Bella about to jump onto the camera housing:

Bella about to jump onto camera housing

Bella about to jump onto camera housing

Spud and Porcini in the cabins; unusual for her to be there:

Spud and Porcini

Porcini and Poppy:

Porcini and Poppy

Spud:

Spud

Porcini:

Porcini

Wide eyes:

Wide eyes

Oh hi:

Oh hi

Porcini looking out the back door:

Porcini looking out the back door

Mirrored cabin cats:

Cabin cats

Porcini and Poppy snuggling:

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy

Three cats:

Three cats

GIF of a possum approaching the cabins, being startled by Pommie, and retreating:

GIF of possum and cat

Three cats inside their house:

Three cats

Cabin cats (the twins, Spud and Pommie) looking concerned by heavy rain:

Cabin cats

Comfy cabin cats:

Cabin cats

Super-relaxed Porcini:

Porcini

Flock Friday for January 1

Happy New Year! 🍾🥳🎊🎉

Today, a surprise revelation about the ducks… but first, some chicken pictures:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

The ducks in the back corner of the pond:

Ducks

Ducks

Our pond partially froze for the first time this season on Tuesday. Here’s a time-lapse GIF of about an hour of the ducks swimming around in the non-frozen portion:

Ducks

A still shot:

Ducks

Another time-lapse GIF:

Ducks

When I went out there on my morning rounds, the ice had already somewhat melted, but there was some left:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

So what’s the surprise? Well, we noticed that we had misgendered one of our new ducks. In the second batch of ducklings in 2020, we expected to have all females, including a Khaki Campbell, who we named Clara. When ducklings are young, it can be hard to tell their sex, and apparently the hatchery made a mistake. Ducklings initially develop feathers like females when young, but as they get older, males start to show distinctive plumage. So apparently Clara is actually male; we now have two male Khaki Campbells, and one female. So Clara’s true name is now Cam.

Looking back at my photo archive, I can now see the first signs of a change as far back as October, but I didn’t notice until Jenn pointed out the change on one of the rare times she accompanied me on my evening rounds. I’m so observant!

Here are the ducks on the back lawn. The front rightmost two are the two Khaki Campbell males, Clyde and Cam:

Ducks

Ducks

In the pond, from the pond deck:

Ducks

Collision while going after mealworms:

Ducks

A closer view; Clyde and Cam, the two Khaki Campbell males, are the lighter ones with dark heads on the left; Cora, the female, is in the center, with a Rouen behind her:

Ducks

Peeking through the duck house:

Duck

The bank by the duck house:

Ducks

Another couple of pics from the pond deck:

Ducks

Ducks

Cat update for week ending December 26

It’s Caturday!

A rare picture of Bella; she doesn’t hang around as much as the others:

Bella

A Steller’s Jay stealing some cat food spilled in the water dish:

Steller's Jay with food from water dish

Paladout, watched from the cat house:

Paladout

GIF of Porcini going out the back door:

GIF of cat going out back door

Poppy and Porcini:

Poppy and Porcini

Three cats:

Three cats

Porcini watching me from the window:

Cat in the window

Spud trying to sneak up on Porcini; she sensed his approach:

Spud and Porcini

Three cats:

Three cats

Can you see Porcini and Poppy? Watching me when I went to the cat house to refill their food:

Two cats

Here’s a closer look:

Two cats

Another day, I flushed them out again; Porcini on the rock, Poppy next to the tree:

Two cats

Poppy watching me:

Poppy

Flock Friday for December 25

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! It’s also a Friday, which means it’s time to peek at the flock.

Literally — peeking through the nesting box at a duck in their house:

Duck

Some ducks eating from the feeder tube:

Ducks

Ducks

Rainy night ducks:

Rainy night ducks

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Several are sleeping, with their heads tucked against their bodies, while others are on watch:

Ducks on the lawn

Bert flapping his wings:

Ducks on the lawn

The chickens waiting to greet me in the corner of the veggie garden:

Chickens

Looking through the fence separating the new and old runs (there’s a chicken-sized doorway connecting them):

Chickens

Coming through that doorway to receive treats:

Chickens

Some closeups:

Chickens

Chicken

Chickens

Pictures of hummingbirds, some of which were previously posted on my personal blog, some new ones:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Scattering when the dog approaches:

Hummingbirds

On a rainy day, the chickens tend to hang out in the coops; here some are on the new roosts:

Chickens

A few hours later, the hummingbird feeder level is looking much lower; I had to refill it an hour or so after this:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Another day, the sugar water was partially frozen, due to subfreezing overnight temperatures; I haven’t put the heating pad on it yet, since it is warming up during the day, but probably will soon:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Stay tuned for a video from the pond, to be posted shortly.

Cat update for week ending December 19

It’s that most Caturdayish day of the week.

Plus some wildlife: a possum visited the cat feeder while there were a couple of cats inside the house:

Possum and cats

On that occasion the possum left without bothering the cats, but the following night it went inside the cat house; here’s a sped-up GIF:

GIF with possum

The cats aren’t too concerned about possums; they’re about the same size, and generally leave each other alone.

The following night, another possum encounter at the cabins (another GIF); the possum came face-to-face with Pommie, but backed off immediately:

GIF with possum

Porcini looking happy:

Porcini

A cat looking out a window of the cat house, with another on the deck and a third eating:

Cat looking out windoe

There was one downstairs, too; here you can see four cats:

Cat looking out window

Poppy and Porcini snuggles:

Cat snuggles

Pansy eating from her feeder in the back of the shop:

Pansy in the shop

Poppa spent the day in the cat house, along with Porcini and Poppy:

Poppa

Poppa

Cabin twins, Spud and Pommie:

Cabin twins

Six cats, including Poppa and Paladout:

6 cats

Spud in the breezeway:

Spud in the breezeway

A GIF of a Steller’s jay and a scrub jay rooting through the leaves in front of the cat house:

GIF of birds

A still picture of them:

Birds

Flying away:

Birds

Finally, a screenshot of five cats:

5 cats

Flock Friday for December 18

Who wants to enjoy some pictures of ducks, chickens, and hummingbirds? You’ve come to the right place!

Earlier this week on my personal blog I posted a couple of pictures of our ducks on the duck house path, heading over the “temporary” bridge; here are a few more pictures from then:

Ducks on the path to the duck house

Ducks on the path to the duck house

Ducks on the path to the duck house

Their destination was the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

A shot from a chicken coop cam of them settling down for the night:

Chickens

More pictures from that cam of them exploring the new roosts:

Chickens exploring new roosts

Chickens exploring new roosts

Chickens exploring new roosts

Ducks on the pond:

Ducks on the pond

Ducks on the pond

Rainy night ducks:

Night ducks

A bunch of pictures of the chickens; some quite nice closeups this week:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chicken

Chicken

Chicken

Chickens

Chickens

Finally, I posted some pictures of 11 hummingbirds yesterday; here are some more pictures of them:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Chicken coop extra roosts

In the new chicken coop, the chickens all roost above the nesting boxes at night, preferring crowding together on the higher roost over the more spacious main roosts — chickens prefer to sleep as high as they can at night, for safety, even though they’re safe in the closed coop:

Chickens roosting

(A rather old picture; I don’t have a more recent one, but they’re much the same every night.)

They get there either by flying directly from the floor, or from the main roosts; about the limit of chickens flying abilities:

Chicken coop

A GIF of flying from the main roosts, and knocking the camera off:

Chickens GIF

Here’s a wide-angle shot of the coop:

Chicken coop

To give them more options, and make it easier to get to their preferred roost, I decided to add more roosting bars to the coop, which I did yesterday.

I added two extra 2×4 roosting bars above the existing main ones, plus a third bar connecting the uppermost one with the nesting boxes (the other board on the right-hand side was only resting there temporarily):

Chicken coop extra roosts

That will let them hop from the floor to the two lower roosts, then up to the new front upper one, and either to the nesting roost, or to the uppermost one, where they’ll be able to look out that window, or the vent on the right-hand side when that is open in warm weather.

Here’s a closer look at the left side; you can see the existing lower roosts (with the poop tray below), the two new upper roosts, and the “bridge” bar from the upper one to the nesting box roost on the left, all assembled out of 2×4 boards and deck screws:

Chicken coop extra roosts

(Back when I built the coop, I used pneumatic nails for everything, but nowadays I’m a big fan of screws, and deck screws are great for working with 2x4s, as they are self-drilling and a more secure square drive.)

The right side:

Chicken coop extra roosts

Time will tell if they use those new roosts, but hopefully they’ll enjoy those additional options for high roosting and easier access.

Cat update for week ending December 12

Something new in this week’s cat update — Poppa went inside the cat house, and hung out for a couple of hours. Which was fine with our ferals.

(For those who don’t remember, Poppa is a male cat that may live at a neighboring property, who visits periodically. We call him that because he has similar markings to our ferals, and could well be their father for all we know, though it’s a common pattern. He gets on really well with our cats; they accept him almost like one of their own.)

Here’s Porcini and Poppa:

Porcini and Poppa

Cozy:

Porcini and Poppa

A couple more cats joined them downstairs:

Four cats

Poppa wanted to leave, but had to wait for the others to go, to avoid causing a scene by jumping down:

Poppa wants to leave

Cabin twins:

Cabin twins

Spud, Pommie, and Porcini:

Three cats

A cat in the house and another in the feeder as I approached to refill their food:

Two cats

A closeup of Spud:

Spud

The other one (probably Poppy) ran, and Spud wasn’t sure whether to run or stay (the cats tend to freeze when looking at them, then move when not… much like Weeping Angels):

Two cats

Porcini coming out of the cat house, and Paladout jumping onto the roof:

Porcini and Paladout

Spud about to jump onto the camera housing:

Cat about to jump onto the camera housing

A cam app screenshot showing five cats — two in cabins, two in the house, and one by the feeder:

Five cats

Pansy visiting the front of the shop for some of Pepper’s food, reaching in to pull some forward:

Pansy

Pansy on her heating mat in the back of the shop:

Pansy

Pansy on a chair:

Pansy

Finally, classic Poppy face:

Poppy

Flock Friday for December 11

Lots of nice duck and chicken pictures this week.

Starting with a cam shot of both — some chickens in their run, and ducks on the lawn in the background:

Chickens and ducks

A bunch of pictures of the ducks on the lawn:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

And on the pond, with some leafy treats:

Ducks

Ducks

On the lawn again, another day; unusual for them to be left of the path (on the edge of the flowerbeds area) — they headed to the back lawn when they saw me coming:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Several pictures of the chickens:

Chickens

It’s easy to get them to hold still and give me their undivided attention; I just hold a container of treats above the camera:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

They hadn’t touched the pumpkin I gave them a few days ago, so I cracked it open for them:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Several pictures of hummingbirds; I shared some of these yesterday on my personal blog, but there are a few more here:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Finally, the ducks near their house early this morning:

Ducks