I have NO time to make this a worthwhile post for someone to read. BUT. Something happened a while ago, and I realized the Songbird Summer has reached its GOAL! I KNOW birds have been bringing chicks to the feeders for a week, but I KNOW things are peaking when a favorite brings in the kids the first time. So, I had to stop, and make my BIRD WATCHER entry for 2011. early summer. (LOTS of our interest in this nature enjoyment is due to the patient teaching and encouragement of Nancy G….. she gave us our start up here in many ways. Thanks, Nancy).
After such a DREARY start to this spring, and our annual songbird summer visitors arriving SO late, I thought it would be a slow year enjoying their songs, feeding visits, and breeding success. I have been WRONG! Nature seems to know more than I do. Hm.
NO….NO time to set up photo ops, these are web pics……but these are the birds I’m enjoying every day, and hearing them morning/evening.
It’s just a quick peek at some of our visiting birds with a tiny tribute to our hardy year-round loyalists…who suffer a wet muddy winter along with us.
ONE group of birds I enjoy seeing the most are the communal, beautiful, one-note bright chirping Evening Grosbeaks. This diary entry was prompted, in fact, by seeing them coach in the first fledged chick of theirs to the feeder this morning……. the little guy had a hard time figuring out just how to break open those seeds and get rid of the shells.
They’re a WONDERFUL family group….calling to other couples when food shows up, and staying “in touch”. When chicks hatch, one flies into feed while the mate remains on duty at the nest…..BOTH male/female take turns feeding the chicks. So it IS fun to see them succeed with their broods:
They ARE our not shy and ARE dress-for-dinner guests:
Before they separate for mating, breeding, and AFTER the chicks are raised, they travel in flocks. So, once again, and for 3-4 days prior to leaving as a group, they’ll visit the feeders, feeding heavily readying to fly onto another adventure:
Not really a cousin, and very different are the BlackHeaded Grosbeaks. Also a favorite for their little 4 month visit….because of the fabulous rich calling at the top of the tallest neighborhood tree by the male during mating season. Morning and evening.
A year round FAMILY guy, the Black Capped Chicadees… are another favorite partly because we ALWAYS hope we’re HERE when they first fledge the famiy….. they bring the ENTIRE family to the feeders, not one chick at a time, and they do it with MUCH calling, whistling, cautioning, feeding in the tree until the chicks finally “get it” . . . lovely little birds:
Sure, everyone sees the American Goldfinch all the time. This year, I’m happy to finally really see a number of “Lesser Goldfinch” kids at the feeders….they’re NO less beautiful than their American cousins:
A bird that’s IN the forest for the summer, but we rarely see (because they tend to eat fruit / sap / insects) ….is the Western Tanager:
Our Elderberries/currants are all out front….not where we can watch.
The innocent, peaceful mourning doves are always welcome, and our pair is back….as they’ve been every year:
The Redbreasted Sapsucker has already finished fledging one brood….and I’m thinking they’re back on the nest. Haven’t seem them in a bit:
12 years ago, we given some “stumps” Nancy G….. AND, she taught us to leave a 10′ tall stump from a tree if you cut one down. That’s finally paying off that old wood is invaded by insects. We now have a regular visitor that we haven’t seen before….IN the yard. The large Pileated Woodpecker of course…..you’ll often “hear” them before you spot wherever it is they’re digging out:
Yes, I’d love to see a NEST of these guys:
Robins? No need to see a robin picture….but if you see this ball of fluff, you are seeing a BABY robin that’s fledged, just trying to get his footing, learn how to fly, and grow up. At THIS stage, the parents are often in close trees cooing, calling, nudging them onward, OR…..telling ‘em to shut up. JUST THIS WEEK, I must heard these adults calling to chicks every 500-1000 ft as we walked the Wildwood Trail in the forest. The folks stayed close to us…pretty brave I thought.
One more summer visitor who isn’t so beautiful, and fairly common is under-appreciated in my book is the song sparrow. They DO have beautiful calling songs…usually in the mornings in the forest. Almost as long as the grosbeak, bright, and cheery:
However, those plain song sparrows are often outdone by their showoff cousins the white crowned sparrows. Nice lookin’…..for a sparrow:
I DO feel lucky this year to have seen, a “FEW” times….the Wilsons Warbler….tiny, beautiful, and always after suet:
.Just as cute, are the Wilson’s cousin, the Yellow-Rumped Warbler who IS also seldom seen, but cute when you do:
I LOVE this year round bird……their call isn’t so fancy, but they are NOT shy, and often will come in to feed with you just a couple feet from the feeder….cute LITTLE guys:
About the crows…..I think they pillage a bit if they find songbird nests, but some will go after these guys relentlessly if that happens until they give up. I included them, because THIS morning on the pup walk, some crows were having the most interesting calls, more variation than I’ve ever heard. My guess was, they had a fledged chick with them and trying to teach it something……interesting that the crows have some 20 differents calls in their vocabulary:
And I cannot forget my little favorite, the fabulous: HUMMINGBIRDS, both Rufous and Anna’s. Only here 4 months, the rufous are busy from the moment they get here until the last chicks leave without parents on that mystery trip back to MX. Our volume of sugar/water food varies from 2-3 quarts a day for 3 months, to .01 quart in January for the few remaining Anna’s. They’re a joy to have buzzing around you when the feeders are refilled.
Our short term Rufous male….they’ll soon be gone…..now that the matings about done:
Our tougher year round Anna’s……..I don’t know WHERE they stay safe when it snows:
And we can LEAVE out the annoying Band Tailed Pigeon families that fly onto the poor feeders in groups of 3 – 7 ….tipping things, devouring EVERYTHING in minutes.
MUST Get busy………