Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer at CyFair

Now that summer has really arrived, bird activity on the CyFair campus has dramatically decreased. Monday morning I walked the nature trail boardwalk and didn't see a single perched bird; not even a Northern Cardinal or Mockingbird. The only birds I did see were some of our Purple Martins, wheeling and swooping overhead as they hunted for bugs.

There are some birds on other parts of the campus, of course, like this Great Egret that has taken to fishing near the cafeteria.

The parking lots still have Northern Mockingbirds, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and Great-tailed Grackles. Some of the latter are subject to begging by their recently-fledged young.

I'm glad to see that we also have plenty of Mourning Doves, because a few years ago it looked as if this species was being displaced from our area by White-winged Doves.

The Killdeer nest is now empty, with no trace at all of the three eggs that it held last week. Presumably, once the eggs hatched, the adults either ate the shells or moved them away from the nest. I'll keep my eyes open for the next couple of days in hope of spotting where the family has moved to.

For the eighth year in a row the female Western Kingbird is sitting on her nest under the roof of the basketball court. 

The Kingbird eggs will probably hatch next week and I'll be interested to see how many chicks there are. (For six years this pair of Kingbirds raised four young each year but last year they raised only three. I suspect this was because the drought we were in had reduced the food supply.) I'm really looking forward to watching the parents as they busily ferry in food to the chicks and carry out their fecal sacs. 

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