Monday, August 11, 2008

Yard Birds

This past week, we've been too busy painting and getting floors tiled to fit in any birding trips. However, I have had time to look out of our windows and also to look around our yards while watering them.

Our backyard hummer feeders and Turk's Cap plants are the scene of constant skirmishes between 3-5 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. It's hard to know how many birds we're seeing, because only one female is tough enough to stay and feed for more than a few seconds. The others fly in and are immediately chased away.

The front yard is busy with a variety of birds. White-winged Doves are frequent visitors to the feeders, a Mourning Dove often browses the lawn, and a pair of Inca Doves turned up the other day to use the bird bath. Whenever I put the sprinkler on, several Blue Jays and some of our 6-7 resident Northern Cardinals sit on branches and preen in the spray.

One female House Finch is a constant visitor, but a family of six others also comes to eat our sunflower seeds. The latter draw a Carolina Wren and Carolina Chickadees, too.

The suet feeder in our elm tree really belongs to our resident Northen Mockingbird. However, when he/she isn't around, it attracts White-winged Doves, Carolina Chickadees, a pair of Downy Woodpeckers and another Mockingbird. The elm is also very popular with our family of three Red-bellied Woodpeckers. On Saturday, the latter were outraged to find another Red-bellied trying to muscle in. They kept chasing him away. Then they'd leave and he would sneak back. They would return and chase him off again. It went on like this for hours.

So although there are no unusual or exotic birds in our yards at present, the antics of our normal residents and visitors are always worth watching.


Birdwoman said...

Good luck with your home decoration projects! September, after our daughter moves out and into her new house, will be our month for that sort of thing.

Isn't it nice that we can depend on our old faithful "yard birds" when we are not able to get out to more exotic places?

Jeff said...

Part of the reason we're redecorating is that my daughter is coming over (with her son) from Spain in September. She's an occasional birder and I think she'll enjoy our yard birds, as most of them are different from the species she's seen in Europe and California. We've rented a beach house in Surfside for part of her visit and I should be able to show her some new birds there and at Brazoria, Galveston and Bolivar. Withluck, I may even see some new birds myself.