Monday, May 23, 2016

NOT MUCH TODAY


I don't have much for you today as I have been playing caregiver.  Callie had to have surgery on her bum last week.   Due to frequent impaction and infections they had to remove her anal glands.  Yikes.

I understand it is quite a painful recovery, kind of like hemorrhoid surgery  in humans.  My job is to make sure she doesn't lick or bite at her stitches-- something we humans seldom do:))  Even with the Elizabethan collar, she can still reach her butt. The advantage of a long nose.


It is a pretty constant job. Just now I had to yell at her to "stop it" and I hate having to do that.  She looks so hurt at my stern warnings.

Mostly she is liquored up on pain killers and a sedative to keep her quiet. I give her almost nonstop petting for distraction but she still manages a quick lick when I leave her to attend to regular chores. Oh well, hopefully for her sake, this will pass soon.

Only other thing I have is to report on is this visitor to my Hummingbird feeder.

That is one honkin' big Hummer  

Ok, maybe it really is just a Red Belly Woodpecker but who knew they could become sugar addicts. I have been feeding Hummers here for 12 years and this is a first. He has been hanging from the feeder almost constantly. I really think he is hooked on sugar and I am pretty sure that is chub around his belly and not fluffed up feathers.

I apologize  for both pictures. They were taken thru a window and screen. 
This poor little gal has to wait her turn and keep an eye out for the Big Guy. Have you ever had one of these big bruisers hog your nectar feeder?? They really drink a lot and I am not sure how to cut him off yet still have the feeder available for the little ones.  Any ideas?

51 comments :

  1. Wow! I have never seen a woodpecker at my hummingbird feeder. For some reason our resident woodpecker likes to peck on our (metal) bistro table and chairs. I'm tempted to leave some aspirin for his headache. I don't know what to suggest for your clever woodpecker. If only there was some way to prevent him from hanging on...

    Poor Callie. It's so hard when our beloved pets don't understand what is going on. Hopefully each day will be a little better, for her and for you.

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    1. Carole,
      Know what you mean. I had one peck on my antenna pole back in the day. Sure was noisy. I think you may have a good idea. If I remove the perches, perhaps that will do it. I hate taking the chairs away from the hummers though. They love to slurp perching.

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  2. So sorry to hear little Callie is in recovery and probably hurting quite a lot. And no, I have NEVER seen anything like your monster guest at the hummingbird feeder. I'll be watching here to see if anybody else figures out a cure. You come up with the darndest things, Patti. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Djan,
      This is really a first for me. Sure hope someone can solve the problem. He really drinks a lot.
      Callie is doing better today. I took the e-collar off and is she grateful.

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  3. Ouch poor Callie, and poor you have to monitor her butt licking. That can't be fun. I must say she looks quite sad in the photo. I hope she recovers very quickly.

    That is a very beautiful woodpecker I have to say.

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    1. Joey,
      You are so right. Butt watching leaves a lot to be desired. I also hope I am unemployed soon.

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  4. Aw, poor little Callie.
    I never had a woodpecker on the hummingbird feeder although they did hit the other feeders pretty hard.

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    1. Olga,
      From what I have seen on Google, it is becoming more common. Think they are evolving and seeking the easy life.

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  5. Poor puppy. It's that sad, pleading look in their eyes that I can't take.
    Birds are so acrobatic in their zeal to get food. I never had one at the hummer feeder. You may have to enlist him in AA.

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    1. Belva,
      Ha ha, maybe a 12 step program for tubby?? As hooked as he is on sugar, I think he might get around any measures to stop him.

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  6. My feeder's not set up at home yet, but now I'll keep an eye out.

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    1. Marty,
      Google indicates it is a newish and growing problem. If your nectar disappears quickly, they may be the culprit.

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  7. You may have a first. Never heard of a woodpecker going to a hummingbird feeder. Surprised it can get its beak into the nectar hole. My only solution would be a seconded feeder. The woodpecker can't be two places at once, thus giving hummingbirds a chance.

    Poor Callie. That surgery sounds awful. I do hop she's over the worst now. Bless your heart for being a constant caregiver. Callie was one fortunate dog when she landed in your home.

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    Replies
    1. Linda,
      I am tempted to put out another feeder. I usually have 3 going during peak season as I have around 50 of them and make 3 quarts a day. This guy will really cut into my budget and I can only hope there is one of him.
      Thanks about Callie. She gives more than she gets.

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  8. Sending healing butt wishes to Callie. I can see by the eyes she's milking it - good girl! I can't put out bird feeders because of the wild animals, but that sight is a first for me.

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    1. Barb,
      You saw right through her. She is getting down right pushy about constant petting. Good for now but eventually she will have to quit milking it. I have other stuff to do.

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  9. So sorry to hear about Callie's surgery. Sending her good healing vibes for a speedy and excellent recovery. She really is such a cutie! About that woodpecker, that's really interesting behavior. Would it be okay if I send that photo to Julie Zickefoose? She and her husband are excellent birders; they publish the Birdwatchers Digest; and they are incredibly smart and kind people. They will probably have an answer for you. Let me know via comments or email. Take care there.

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    Replies
    1. robin,
      I am aware of Julie and please do send the picture to her to see if they have any ideas. I will email you about it. Thank you so much.

      Delete
  10. Poor Callie. :( I have one hummingbird feeder with oval holes and that is the one the downy woodpecker uses. I have another one that has round holes with a little flower around it and the hummingbirds use that one. It is my first year to have woodpeckers at my hummingbird feeder too.

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  11. Unless I read the information wrong. I understand that the woodpeckers have a tongue they are using to get to the nectar.

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    Replies
    1. Rita,
      Thanks. Maybe I will invest in additional feeders with round holes and no perches. I know the hummers have tongues also. I think the woodpecker thing is spreading.

      Delete
  12. Callie--get well soon so your mama will let you lick again!!

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    1. Fran,
      Ha, she really wants to so badly. It is almost an obsession unless she is liquored up. That will be a good day for us both. Butt watching is boring.

      Delete
  13. I think the feeders that are simply glass or plastic with a tube at the bottom would work to keep your woodpecker off. And if not, I'd sure like to see how he figures that one out.

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    1. Rian,
      I thought of those single feeders but peak season here, I usually have around 50 hummers. I have had all three feeders filled with hummers quietly feeding at the same time.

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  14. That would be a first for me... I have tons of Red-Bellieds here --and they have never ever gotten into the hummer feeders... Crazy. Do you have SUET for the Woodies? IF not, get some (Walmart --it's cheap and even the containers are cheap).... That may distract your Woody....

    Poor Callie. She looks SO sad... don't they make those gorgeous helmets LARGER--so that she can't reach her rump????

    I laughed at your comment about us humans not licking ourselves... AND--how do you know????? Could it be that we can't reach down there with our mouths?????? ha ha ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    Replies
    1. Betsy,
      Ha, we will never be that limber.
      I would put out suet but that might just attract more Woodies. So far, I think I only have one. I may leave that one and get some perch-less feeders for the hummers.

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  15. Owwwwch! Poor Callie. I do hope that The Area of Great Discontent heals quickly and the problem is fixed. You will be tired with all the nursing, but it must be lovely seeing the Red Belly Woodpecker getting its sugar fix!

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    1. Peter,
      She is improving greatly every day. I removed the cone today and was she grateful. It has been interesting seeing that giant on the feeders.

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  16. Replies
    1. Gail,
      She is doing much better than I had hoped. I took her collar off today and she is pretty much leaving her butt alone. She still groans a little when she poops but is much more lively.

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  17. We have several Red-bellied Woodpeckers and several hummingbird feeders. But I have never heard of a woodpecker taking the nectar. Fascinating.

    Hope dear Callie heals quickly.

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    1. Carolyn,
      Thank you. She is doing so much better. Hope you don't get the Woodies, they really drain a feeder fast and keep the little guys at bay.

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  18. Callie needs a bigger collar...poor pooch.

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  19. Poor Callie! Perhaps I am medically challenged when it comes to dog butts, but what happens with Callie's medical situation now? Since I consider emptying canine anal glands one of the ickiest chores imaginable, that must mean that the glands are v e r y busy. What happens without them?

    While you're on the subject of bird mysteries, maybe you know the answer to this: We have several bird houses around the back and one we put very much out in the open in the hope of attracting bluebirds. It didn't work, although our feeders are popular a bluebird or two, but mostly with cardinals, woodpeckers, goldfinches--and, of course, the damnsquirrels. I don't know what the tiny little bird is that's nesting in the open area bluebird house, but she has non-stop action going on there from early spring to fall.

    During the past weeks, a cardinal (maybe it's more than one--I'm not sure) has been perching on that birdhouse roof and when the adult bird flies over to go inside, the cardinal buzzes her. What is that all about? The poor little bird has to sneak around to get inside her own house.

    My best to poor Callie, Nurse Patti.

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    Replies
    1. Mary lee,
      Thanks, she is doing much better. I'll send you an email with my thoughts on the glands and Cranky Cardinal.

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  20. Poor Callie! Hope she heals quickly. She certainly looks as though she feels sad, whether it is due to being unable to lick or being yelled at not to lick.

    I've never seen a woodpecker at a hummingbird feeder! He certainly does look chubby. Hopefully he gets his fill and lets the hummers at it.

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    1. Eileen,
      Yep, I do think sugar goes to their belly also.
      Callie is doing so much better. Can 't believe how fast she is healing.

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  21. Your woodpecker looks a lot like what we call a flicker. Both flickers and woodpeckers are closely related to sapsuckers. Maybe this is a sapsucker, or else it has decided to adopt the diet of it's cousins. This feeder is much easier that punching holes in trees.

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    1. Linda R
      I thought it was a flicker at first till I looked him up. I understand they do even sometimes take nectar from plants. I agree that he is a lazy bugger.

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  22. Yikes! Poor Callie! That does sound very painful. You're a good nurse, Patti.

    Sigh... I think I saw hummers in Illinois only a couple of times. Therefore I never had woodpeckers vying for it. I just had squirrels constantly attacking the bird feeder.

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    Replies
    1. Kay,
      Thanks. She is getting better either with or in spite of my correcting her so much.
      I guess I will have to take the same approach as I do to squirrels. I put food out for them so they leave the feeders alone.

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  23. So sorry to hear that sweet Callie had to have surgery and you are having to keep her from licking. Sounds like she needs a cone that is a bit longer. I do not have hummingbird feeders so I have never had the problem you have with the woodpecker. I have four kinds of woodpeckers at my place and feed them suet specifically for woodpeckers. They eat from the feeders some but mostly they prefer the suet. Have you tried putting out suet? Hope you get it all figured out. Hugs and nose kisses all around and special healing hugs for Callie.

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    1. Maggie,
      You are right. She needed a small for her neck size but needed a long for her nose. Being a tiny Ar town, I was lucky the vet had the sm cone at all. I could have driven the 2 hours to Mountain Home but I felt since I don't have to work. I could just really watch her. It is working for she is doing so much better today and I have kept her from annoying her butt.
      I hesitate putting out a feeder for I fear it will just attract more Woodies.
      I will probably leave that one out for him and get some perch less ones for the hummers.

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  24. Vet that I worked for did a fair number of these surgeries. Callie will be fine, she has the best of caregivers.
    That is one addicted pecker bird, I've never seen one do that.

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    1. Brighid,
      Thanks for the encouragement from someone who was in the business. I had heard some scary stories. Now I feel better.

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  25. I have never seen a bird do that! I've had spiders and wasps, but never a huge bird!
    Sorry to hear about Callie's surgery. Hopefully it will heal quickly, she does look sad!

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    1. Terri,
      I have had those spiders and wasps also and even once a big praying mantis. I understand they can attack a hummer. Must be something in my water that attracts the unusual.

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  26. I've never had much luck with Hummingbirds. The ones I would get were VERY aggressive so I'm surprised to see your little one waiting so calmly. I literally couldn't stay out on the deck and read because they didn't want me there and would "dive bomb" directly at my face.

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  27. Isn't there a bigger collar for Callie? Oh I am so sad for your puppy. Ouch! No, never have I seen such a large invader of the hummingbird feeder. Must have to do with global warming:-)

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  28. Never seen my suet eating red bellies do that number. You just never know. This winter my white tailed deer got interested in the suet feeder...:)

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