A Red Breasted Grosbeak visiting my feeder last month. They only stay around a few days before leaving to build their nest elsewhere. Click on picture to see a larger view.
Ahhh, 6:00 in the morning, my favorite time of the day during the summer. Peaceful and quiet, no cars or people about except for my neighbor who also enjoys these early morning hours. Sitting on the ground by her flower bed methodically pulling weeds. I should be so dedicated. My one self says "pull those weeds and straighten out those beds". My other self says, "weeds? what weeds? I don't see any weeds, and if there are any, the growing plants will soon hide them" Guess which self I listen to. So I take myself and my coffee cup to the back yard to sit lazily in my chair surrounded by the sweet smell of stocks and strong smell of lavender, and to enjoy the sights and sounds of the birds while they flutter and fly about looking for bugs and insects (mosquitos, I hope) for themselves and their younguns. The wren house is full of babies squawking up a storm and poor mom and pop are furiously trying to find enough food to satisy their hungry mouths. I can see the babies heads peeking out of the hole. Maybe this year I will actually see them leave the house. I never have before. Usually they're here one day and gone the next morning, sneaking out in the middle of the night like some bad tenants, never to be seen nor heard from again. Fingers crossed.
The Nuthatch is usually the first visitor to the bird feeder, trying to get some chopped peanuts before the Woodpeckers arrive to grab them all. The Red Breasted Woodpecker is next to arrive, keeping a watchful eye out for Big Red (the Red Headed Woodpecker). Big Red will chase him off of the feeder, through the yard, and clear down the street before coming back and announcing to the world that he is indeed the king of the hill, or in this case the back yard, by his rat-a-tat-tat on the gutter. He then will take some peanuts and fly off to feed his kids, who I can hear but haven't seen yet. Soon, he will be bringing them closer to show them where the feeder is, and they will be on their own. And then he will be chasing them out of the yard and down the street, because that is HIS feeder and they have to find their own!!
The Downy Woodpeckers have already brought their kids to the suet feeder and from the looks of it, I will have to buy a lot more cakes this year to keep up with demand.
Next is the Brown Thrasher which is a first this year. They always show up here in the spring but then leave to go elsewhere to build their nest and raise their kids. This year they decided to stay and build their nest in the bushes behind my fence and rummage through the leaves that were left over from last fall (leaves? what leaves? I don't see any leaves) searching for I don't know what. Hopefully slugs. They are usually very shy and elusive but now one of them actually comes to the feeder to eat the shelled sunflower seeds. An unexpected and pleasant surprise seeing that the feeder hangs just a foot away from my dinning room window.
And of course, the Orioles. Love this gorgeous bird!! They show up the first of May and will continuously use the Oriole feeder until the middle of Sept. They slow down a bit during the summer but still come every day to fuel up on sugar water. Later on they will bring their kids to the feeder too, but it takes a few days for the kids to figure it out. Once they do, I have to put 2 feeders up. The kids say "whoa, what is this good stuff? forget the bugs!!" They will sit on that perch and just drink and drink. I'm surprised they're not all diabetics by the time they leave to fly south for the winter.
Well, it's 8:30 now and the lawn mowers are starting to come out so I guess it's time for me to start pulling those non-existent weeds. I'll finish this at another time.