Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Bird News

(In true journalistic style, I'm starting this post with the bad news.)

Tragedy struck the summer tanagers' nestlings. We don't know whether it was marauding blue jays or grackles, or if the sudden cold snap last week did it, but we found the two baby birds dead on the ground. So sad. The parent birds have left, and we do miss them.

We loved this male tanager. So personable!

They were so colorful, red and yellow, and were always flying about, often landing close to us and chattering away. They were fantastic bug catchers too.

Tanager on her nest

On a more cheerful note, the robins' nest, which was located almost next door to the tanagers, is fine and the babies are growing well. So we will have little ones flying around soon, if all continues to go well.

The Carolina wren babies have flown the nest--or rather, the gourd--so that's also good news.

Mama wren on her nest, a couple weeks back.

You know, we felt somehow at fault for the loss of the tanager nestlings, as if we could have dome something to have prevented whatever happened. But nature takes its own course, whether we like it or not, and we have to accept that.

We have new visitors to the mulberry trees. The trees continue to ripen berries for a longer time period that ever before. They have had ripe berries now since the end of May, almost 3 weeks and are still full of green berries yet to ripen.

The cedar waxwings came in large numbers.

Some are still here. Yesterday we saw a Baltimore Oriole in the trees, so he must have stayed around after we spotted him in May. There is a female as well so maybe they are nesting here.

Took this a month or so ago--he liked the hummingbird feed!

A new visitor, or at least new to our yard, is the Brown Thrasher. We have seen them in our woods, and hear them every morning and evening but I have never seen one near the house. There were three last night, all making forays into the mulberries. They are back again today.

Today we spotted a Scarlet Tanager in the mulberry tree.
This photo is from earlier this Spring. I haven't been able to catch a good recent photo--yet.

We usually have these, too, but they nest in the oaks across from the house and we catch only fleeting glimpses of them. And an Orchard Oriole is hanging around, presumably also for the berries. And the pileated woodpecker is making forays from the deep woods to the mulberry trees too. If you want birds, a mulberry tree sure is a good way to attract them. Just make sure the tree is in a location where falling berries and bird droppings won't be a mess on your vehicles or other things.

A couple more hummingbirds have arrived. For a while we had three, then only one poor fella, but now there is another male and a female coming to the feeders. It's far fewer than the past couple years but it is nice to have them darting about.

Larry is surprised at how much he enjoys watching the birds. Our binoculars are always handy on the porch so we can keep an eye on the action. It's more fun than people-watching!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

1 comment:

Quinn said...

I also have fewer hummingbirds at the feeder this year, but I'm hoping that will change when the bee balm and hyssop begin to flower. Last year it seemed the hummingbirds were everywhere, all the time, and it was really nice :)

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