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Plantidote/Birdidote of the Day 2012-10-30

twig's picture

bananaquit bird

Thanks to Correntian YesMaybe, we have our first hybrid post combining a plant and a bird. Some details from YM:

This is a Tabebuia rosea tree that's in our yard. The common name
here is 'savannah oak.' It's semi-deciduous, losing its leaves during
the dry seasons, and then producing big pink flower clusters and (a
little later on) new leaves, so it's very popular as a decorative
tree. The bird is a bananaquit.

Here's more information on the tree. It's not in any of my gardening books and online info was pretty scarce, so if anyone knows more about them, we're interested!

Now for the bird, which I know even less about than plants. How about if we turn the information part of this over to Wild Birds Unlimited? Here we learn that bananaquits are considered "vagrants" in Cuba, and "supertramps" in the Caribbean. That's quite a resume. But on the plus side, bananaquits sound like fun birds to watch:

The Bananaquit visits flowers for nectar and insects. They cannot hover as do hummingbirds, so perform entertaining acrobatic maneuvers to pierce the base of the flowers of trees and shrubs to obtain (steal) nectar without pollinating the flower.

If YesMaybe stops by, we might be able to learn more. Or maybe someone else knows. Or we can make it up ;-) In the meantime, thank you, YM!! Great job expanding the Plantidote horizons!


Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

Click on the image for the full-size version. Click here to see the entire series.

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twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

The little cat sleeping on my lap woke up to listen. Her ears were twitching like she was outside with her bird "friends," so she enjoyed it, too!

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Thanks for the first "bird" pic. And such pretty foliage and flowers, to boot. Love the bird song--great idea to include this.

My little 8 MP cell camera has its work cut out for it, now. LOL! Even our regulars have been scarce during this cold snap. They are fed off a couple of feeders, and between 3 and 4 "ground" feeding areas, in a open area so they can easily see predators. Also, the ground feeding areas accomodate our "bunny" friends (and an occasional squirrel). The challenge for me will be having enough "zoom" to get a decent shot. "Our" rabbits are tame enough that I can get close enough for a decent shot. Problem is, they are mostly nocturnal, and the lighting would be a problem with the camera. I guess if push comes to shove, I can always take a photo of our Cockatiel. ;)

And thanks twig, for the addition of 'bird pics.' I already enjoyed the beautiful flower and plant pics, but as an avid 'animal lover' (wild and domestic), this is a real treat.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

it's a great shot. And it's such good news that your camera is up to the job. I'm not sure about mine. And now I'm noticing that almost all the birds that come to the feeder are the same color as the ground, kind of gray/brown, so that's not going to be very exciting. Your Cockatiel picture is sounding better and better :-)

insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

Yesterday, while meeting with a client in her new garden we came across a tree that I had seen a few times but did not know the name of. I had previously asked around at local nurseries for the answer, but nobody was familiar with it. I guessed it was semi-tropical and unusual for this area
( N. Calif). Then I open up Corrente and see the tree right here !!

You have answered my question on the mystery tree. So, cheers to Plantidote/Birdidote for solving a mystery for me.

Now, when I meet my client again next week, I can look smart when I identify that tree for her. Thanks.

insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

Well, that just proves it. It worked.

Give one then get one...makes the world go round.