Thursday, May 26, 2022

Red shoulders and red tails

Spring migration has been a bust, at least for me. Cold, windy and rainy days have kept me inside and may have encouraged the birds to fly around or ahead of the storms. This week I had to settle for summer resident species, not bad at all. 

Indeed, on Monday I was treated to an aerial show over the back yard, as a crow bombarded an immature  Red-tailed Hawk.

The hawk was circling lazily until a single American Crow protested the invasion of its air space:







The next day, the local pair of the smaller Red-shouldered Hawks paraded above the lawn...




...followed by their two recently fledged youngsters, which called incessantly:



Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were quickly emptying the feeder. I have seen as many as three drinking the nectar at the same time, all females so far:

Eastern Towhees have returned and will nest in the shrubby edges of the forest:

This male House Finch was in bright breeding plumage:

On May 11, the trees in the woodland surrounding the house were beginning to leaf out:

On May 22, lush foliage encircled the back yard:

Late in the afternoon, rays of the sun pierced the rain clouds:

On our morning walk, we viewed the tranquil surface of Diamond Lake:

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:



Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

BirdD'Pot

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

________________________________________________

Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display
________________________________________________

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Spring migration and Flower Moon eclipse

The northward migration of land birds is highly anticipated by birding enthusiasts. I have childhood memories of trees festooned by several species of warblers. Spring migration is shorter and more intense than the southbound fall migration. For many bird species, the plumage of spring migrants is more colorful than in autumn. 

Over the years I have noted a decrease in numbers of migrating birds, a trend which has been documented in many studies.* The overall population of neotropical migrants has decreased, although some species have increased in number, probably due to differences in their adaptation to changes in climate and loss of habitat in breeding and overwintering areas.

Because of nasty weather and also some health issues I have not been able to take full advantage of this season. Nearly all my observations have been confined to the back yard and adjacent wooded areas. My yard list has grown to 58 bird species, of which 25 are neotropical migrants, all but 5 of which I have been able to photograph. 

This past week my sightings have included...

Male Northern Parula:


Rose-breasted Grosbeak, at the feeder...

...and singing from a treetop:

Male Yellow-rumped ("Myrtle") Warbler


Female Black-and-White Warbler:

Red-eyed Vireo:



Male Brown-headed Cowbird, a short-distance migrant:

Yesterday I put up our hummingbird feeder. Only a few seconds after I walked away, a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird landed on it and began feeding. I quickly retrieved my camera and obtained these poor shots through the door window:


My attempts to obtain photos of the total eclipse of the Flower Moon on May 15 kept me up until midnight, but the clouds interfered, allowing me a few poor partially obstructed shots...

...at 11:28 and 11:31 PM...


...and finally, just before the last reflections of sunlight, at 11:38 and 11:40 PM


The trees in the Loveland Preserve which borders us just to the west, have leafed up between May 7...

...and May 17, as storm clouds gathered:

The storm passed overhead rapidly. A few drops began to fall as I snapped this photo from the upstairs patio:

The sky quickly cleared, providing one last look at the sun as it sank behind the distant hills:

Radiating from below the horizon, the sunbeams illuminated the cloud tops:


*REF: Vanishing: More Than 1 In 4 Birds Has Disappeared In The Last 50 Years: Nearly 3 Billion Birds Gone
______________________________

Linking to:



Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

BirdD'Pot

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Wild Bird Wednesday

My Corner of the World
________________________________________________

Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display
________________________________________________