Monday, August 17, 2009

Morning in our Yards

I spent yesterday morning in our yards
and there was a lot going on there.

In the back yard, a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird was determinedly defending the feeder - and a nearby Turk's Cap plant - from several three females. He would lurk in the tree above the feeder and swoop down aggressively every time a female moved in to feed. The only time any of the females managed to feed was when he was occupied chasing another female away.

This female almost got to drink

This female snuck in to feed on the Turk's Cap

Meanwhile, the rest of the yard was busy with bugs. Bumblebees were constantly visiting flowers while digger bees were making nest holes in the dirt. Gulf Fritillary butterflies were laying eggs on one of our Passion Fruit vines, too.

The front yard was attracting plenty of birds. The suet fe
eder was largely monopolised by a Downy Woodpecker and a Northern Mockingbird, although a young female Northern Cardinal also managed to eat from it occasionally. The seed feeders drew in a constant succession of adult and young House Finches and Northern Cardinals. Several White-winged Doves tried to cope with the feeders but eventually settled for eating the seeds that had fallen onto the lawn.

The most active bird was a Carolina Wren. I just love the way they rummage all around the yard looking for bugs and seeds. If I didn't know better, I could think they were the inspiration for Shakespeare's line about "a snapper up of unconsidered trifles."

One of our Carolina Wrens

Yesterday's Wren started by exploring one of the flower beds, before rummaging through the leaves of our photinia. Then it started on the feeders. The suet feeder was occupied by a Downy Woodpecker but the Wren squeezed onto the feeder and had a few bites of suet alongside the Woodpecker. Then it flew down to work through the ferns at the foot of our oak before going back to check out more leaves in the photinia. After this, it was up to the round cage feeder. The latter was already occupied by a Northern Cardinal and two young House Finches but the Wren managed to muscle its way in, too. A few bites later and it was back to the photinia and then up to check out the eaves of the house before moving on to explore the hanging baskets, fence and Passion Fruit vine in our back yard. What an amazingly busy and curious little bird!

The hummingbird feeder in the front yard was quieter than the one in the back but still drew in a male and a couple of female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. These were really jumpy but I did eventually get one
almost-in-focus photo of a female.


Texas Travelers said...

Great post on the birds.

Since you are on my blogroll,
you know I like your blog.
I Like the great photos and writeups.

I am back blogging again.
I just started a new WordPress Blog, 'I C U Nature' for Nature Only!
Click here to see the blog.
It will take some learning to work out the differences between WordPress and Blogspot.
The new blog is bare bones right now, with just the masthead and two posts.

Come visit and tell me what you think,

Jeff said...

Looks good, Troy. I haven't a clue what the bug is but it's a great photo.