(This is the Groundhog. I often get comments about what kind of fancy food the birds are getting here, so… I think the company that sells this mix buys stuff that fell to the ground in places that package nuts for human consumption, which is why sometimes there are more fancy nuts in there. I am a birder on a budget and would never buy snacky nuts to feed them to the birds or animals.)
right now, here is another gallery of the blue screemers. Young and old, molting and not, individuals or groups. It feels like they are watching when I come out because as soon as I step away from a refill, they will be on the feeder. The babies are just so wonderfully goofy at that young age.
(Top row: adults, middle row: two young, a parent on the left and a baby on the right in the middle, baby, bottom row: all young ones (the photo in the middle captured Blue Jay spirit perfectly)
change their appearance quite a bit throughout the year and their life. The juveniles are starting to lose their brown baby feathers and growing into the speckled look that is their typical winter coat. The adults are losing their glossy breeding plumage, the yellow beaks of the males are turning dark again and their legs and feet become less vibrantly red. I always like this patchwork stage on them.
coming to an end, and I have not seen Grosbeaks for a couple of days now, I still have quite a few Baltimore Orioles around. It is mostly females and youngsters now, but there also still is the occasional male. They all either grow their first set of proper feathers or molt to get ready for migration. And they have to share the grape jelly with Robins, Woodpeckers and House Finches, too.
there have also been more Chickadees recently. They all raised babies and are starting to come back to the backyard again to delight with their appearance and songs. I always feel a little bad for them because they usually come to the camera when the bowl is empty. (Because then no other bird occupies it.) Nevertheless I am sure they still get their fill as I see them flitting around between feeders and trees a lot.
Mourning Doves can be very dominating at the feeders, lifting their wings to shoo others away, pecking rivals away, or doing this. Just squatting down to digest and snack some more. I hope your Saturday is filled with lots of naps and good food as well.
when the sun starts going down and things calm down a bit, a Cardinal party starts. I have counted up to six adult individuals and several babies in the last few weeks. They are still pretty camera shy, but now that feeder traffic is getting a bit more normal, this beautiful female came to the bowl yesterday. It is my quest each year around this time to capture photos or video of the most adorable babies but so far I have not been very lucky.
are all over the backyard right now, vocally as well as in numbers. I always find it interesting to see how individual birds differ in regards to markings or even age. In this little selection, there are some older ones as well as one that looks like it just stumbled out of the nest (the first one). As you can see, they also love mulberries.
Newer article regarding the "mystery bird illness".
“[The] sudden decline lends support to the tentative hypothesis regarding a cause of the outbreak. The most recent working theory is that the outbreak is related to the emergence of the cicadas this year — the geographic distribution and the timing of the undetermined songbird illness directly coincides with the arrival of the cicadas.”
always ready to pop an artery 😆 There have been plenty of them this year, and they also seem to have had a really good bredding season. I see lots of babies all around the yard, and they also love the pond. Some of them are molting, but in their heads, they still look as impressive and gorgeous as ever 😊
This sweet visitor finally was comfy enough to sit while drinking the nectar. I make my own hummingbird nectar, and recommend you to do it too. It is easy, cheap and healthier for the birds than the store-bought stuff with dyes and preservatives. Use 1 part granulated white cane sugar and 4 parts water. Mix until dissolved and chill. You can boil the water to help dissolving. Don't use chlorinated water. This mix will hold up for a couple of days in the fridge.
Little lady potbelly has been coming around a bit more often. I slowed this down a lot because I love seeing all the little movements she makes to keep herself stable. And it is amazing how she stays up like that with that little belly 😄 Here's to Friday!
are all around right now. It is funny to see them explore because often, they are seemingly shy or timid but at the same time bold and unafraid. I love them all because I know they will only be here for a short time. Pictured: Redwinged Blackbird, Blue Jay, Oriole and Grackle.