Friday, March 27, 2009

Busy with New Birds

Spring migration is really getting underway now. A 10-minute walk around the campus yesterday turned up two new year birds.

A Purple Martin was checking our one of the gourds on our Martin house.

The small patch of trees that had a Black-and-white Warbler yesterday had a White-eyed Vireo this morning.

Back at home, the female Ruby-throated Hummingbird was having to defend "her" feeder from a newly-arrived male.

Hummingbird Defense

Most of the books and articles that I've read suggest that male hummers are usually the ones that defend feeding sources most aggressively. I've never found this to be the case. In fact, the most active defender I've ever seen was a female Anna's in California. For several weeks she successfully defended two feeders, 15' apart, against dozens of other hummers: Anna's males, Rufous females, Allen's males, you name it. We were amazed by her persistence and by how rarely she seemed to get a chance to drink in peace herself.

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