Meet some of my garden friends

Here is the patheticat we call Bubba. I always thought that cats innately chased winged animals, but obviously I was mistaken in that theory. The fact that the ducks are not even the slightest bit bothered by his presence is almost as eerie as his lack of enthusiasm to attack the ducks.

This is the neighbor's cat. Shhh!! She thinks she's a lawn ornament!

This is a tui that caught me taking his picture as he dined on the nectar of the kowhai (ko-fie) tree. They have a white tuft at the throat of a metallic black/green body. Their own song is hauntingly metallic, but beautiful to hear, but they are also mimics of humans and other animals--it's strangely funny to hear a duckling calling from a treetop!

I believe you have met the fantail in a former post. They are very nice to have around, especially in the summer, as they eat flying bugs like mosquitoes (called mossies, here). They are not particularly afraid of humans and seem to be showing off their beautiful tails all the time. There is a pair of these that have discovered our compost barrels!

I know this isn't the mental image you get in the US when I mention the word 'pigeon'. It's a wood pigeon and is much larger than those in America. I love their red beaks and feet, such a distinctive trait. They eat berries, so they are attracted to the strawberry trees across the lane in the summertime.

Earlier in this blog, I mentioned Einstein, who seemed to know when I was going to put out bread or seed. These are a few more of the gorgeous yellow finches that beg for food on the back patio. Their color is quite striking and they apparently don't mind getting wet if there is birdseed involved.

These are cute little waxeyes. Click the picture to get a better look to find out where they got their name (warning, the pictures are big). They are smaller than the finches that come around and they definitely let the other birds get to the seed first! But, I find them fascinating in their color and deftness of flight. I don't recall anything quite like them in Kansas.

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