This is quite a time for us when songbirds arrive in April/May and awake these forests with such beautiful calling ….some mornings it’s a cacophony that is really overpowering……………
ALL winter it’s just us and the quiet calling of our little brave year-round residents. We wait for the arrival of the beautiful migrants and their 4 month visit that happens in stages……….
Usually Males arrive first to set up territory. They are soon calling from the highest trees to show off for the arriving hens ……. promising “they” know the best feeding places in town. Females arrive, mating happens, nests are built, and things get quieter for a while, although Males CONTINUE to whistle brightly and regularly for any single lady who has not yet gotten the “call” to do that tough life thing: mate, nest, incubate eggs, raise young.
You can usually simply LISTEN and KNOW when hatchlings are leaving nests for a “day out” with the folks. Never is there MORE calling with different sounds than now with parents issuing all kinds of instructions and caution calls. If you hear it, simply sit, wait a few minutes, and you’ll likely see a parent feeding a fluffy youngster…..or three. It’s thrilling. We’ve watched that this year with EVERY kind of bird that visits us or lives here.
It’s such a brief time these fledged kids are allowed to be babies for many birds…. Some extend the family time: Chickadees fly around in a family group for weeks, but then again, THEY are here year round, no need to hurry. MOST of the visitors quickly, say, “Goodbye, kids, you’re on your own.”
Not out of selfishness, but rather to maximize the time spent here in the nesting regions….They quickly lay the 2nd set of eggs. HERE is when you KNOW your summer is moving WAY too fast. THIS second nesting period, the bird sounds/calls get VERY quiet, feeding stations go quiet.
Even hummingbirds aren’t seen much…..other than juveniles who are buzzing around with any seeming purpose…………. although they’re fun to watch take a bath in the bright waters coming out of a sprinkler.
The SAD part is the realization the one KNOWS that once this second nesting is completed, the babies fledged, then almost all will begin their southerly migrations……for that long trip back to So Cal, or Mexico. Male Hummingbirds are already gone. If you see a male now, he’s obviously a juvenile. Whew! I was just settling into the enjoyment of this peculiar human hobby of watching/listening to these guys.
Ok, we move on, summer is still moving fast. I like getting “confirmation” that I’m happy the deer fence is up around the vegetables…………..when I see that they’ve been IN the yard munching the raspberry plants:
***and I don’t worry about all the lettuce……………….
Ah, summer……….you’re so powerful an influence on ALL life.
*****UPDATE July 17…..…I watched a baby Evening Grosbeak Female last night feebly following Mom around to feeder, birdbath, learning to fly. It was with a tiny bit of sadness KNOWING in about 2 weeks, she, along with “family” will be leaving us until NEXT May. . …….……..