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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Around the backyard

In the bluebird box in the vegetable garden, the latest family of little Eastern Bluebirds has hatched and the busy parents fly on hunting missions from dawn until dusk to find insects to keep the little ones fed. Lucky for them, there is no shortage of insects.

Meanwhile, the oriole invasion seems to be over. Last week was very exciting with all the Baltimore Oriole and Orchard Oriole visitors, but the last Baltimore was seen on Saturday. It appears they have all moved on. Orchard Orioles generally nest in the area, but even they have been absent from the yard these last few days.

The hummingbirds have done their best to make up for the orioles' absence. There were at least five Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the yard over the weekend. There may have been more - it's so hard to be sure of a count of the fast moving little critters as they chase each other around. Their antics certainly were entertaining, and though some of them seem now to have moved on also, there are still at least two, a male and a female, in the yard.

There are still a few Pine Siskins in the yard as well. Very few. Many fewer than even a week ago. Two were seen yesterday and, so far, only one today. The large flock that spent the winter here is well on its way north now.

The doves we always have with us, of course. Especially the White-winged Doves.

Recently, a male Red-winged Blackbird has been coming to the feeders in the backyard. His mate never comes around, but they must have a nest somewhere in the area.

The Red-bellied Woodpeckers can be counted on to visit the feeders throughout the day, every day. This is the male. When their young ones fledge, they will bring them to the feeders as well.

As always, that sentinel of the backyard, the Blue Jay, is on duty.

The cast of characters may change from day to day and week to week, but whatever the action is, there is never a dull moment around the backyard.


  1. We have almost the same cast of characters here Dorothy, except I haven't see a red-winged blackbird in a couple of years. Your photos are great. Your garden habitat provides the perfect backdrop for your bird photos.

    1. We tend to take our permanent resident birds for granted, I think, but they are beautiful, too, and endlessly fascinating.