Hummer Haven UnLtd.: Blog http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog en-us (C) Hummer Haven UnLtd. (Hummer Haven UnLtd.) Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:29:00 GMT Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:29:00 GMT http://hummerhavenunltd.com/img/s/v-5/u594331759-o146253739-50.jpg Hummer Haven UnLtd.: Blog http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog 120 80 Rusty Blackbirds, Pine Siskins and another surprise 12-13-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/12/rusty-blackbirds-pine-siskins-and-another-surprise-12-13-17 Rusty Blackbirds have been seen on a few days this past week or so.  Sometimes it's just a couple birds and on Friday, 12-8-17 there were approximately 50 within a much larger flock of 200 or more Common Grackles and European Starlings.  They were feeding in the leaves in every bed surrounding the house and would rotate in small groups to the Bubbler and the Pond.  

 

Rusty Blackbirds  12-8-17Rusty Blackbirds 12-8-17 Rusty Blackbird  12-8-17Rusty Blackbird 12-8-17

 

This one is standing on the ice in the Bubbler Pond - it was only 14 degrees that morning.

 

Rusty Blackbird  12-8-17Rusty Blackbird 12-8-17

 

The grackles and starlings tend to move together and tolerate each other's presence.

 

Common Grackles and European Starlings  12-8-17Common Grackles and European Starlings 12-8-17

 

The Rusty Blackbirds are the last ones to spook and lift off in a mass, like the other two species.  They're also the first to come back down to feed and drink.

 

Rusty Blackbird  12-8-17Rusty Blackbird 12-8-17 Rusty Blackbird  12-8-17Rusty Blackbird 12-8-17

 

There were also two Pine Siskins at the feeder that morning.  Like the goldfinches, they drink at the fountain, too.

 

Pine Siskins  12-8-17Pine Siskins 12-8-17 Pine Siskin  12-8-17Pine Siskin 12-8-17

 

More Pine Siskins showed up a couple days later.  There were 3 in the Bubbler Basin and I was trying to photograph them when another bird popped in to bathe.  What?  It was an Eastern Bluebird!  They are uncommon in the winter.  I've seen one in the garden in December before, this one surprised me more!

 

Eastern Bluebird  12-10-17Eastern Bluebird 12-10-17 Eastern Bluebird  12-10-17Eastern Bluebird 12-10-17 Eastern Bluebird  12-10-17Eastern Bluebird 12-10-17

 

Three Pine Siskins did come back to the basin to drink together, while three others were at the west feeder with many of the American Goldfinches, who were staging from the nearby trees.

 

Pine Siskins  12-10-17Pine Siskins 12-10-17 American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins  12-10-17American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins 12-10-17

 

That fountain on the deck provides very easy access to water for them.  We refresh it often, put a birdbath heater in it and keep it insulated with a rigid foam surround that Dan made.

 

Pine Siskin  12-10-17Pine Siskin 12-10-17

 

The Brown Creeper that's been in every day has its preferred spot now on the big Bubbler Rock to get its drink or bath.  When I see a bird repeat the same activity over and over, well, it's likely to be the same individual I think.

 

Brown Creeper  12-10-17Brown Creeper 12-10-17

Brown Creeper  12-10-17Brown Creeper 12-10-17

 

The usual suspects were in and out getting water all day long.  That included this female Northern Flicker. 

 

Northern Flicker female  12-10-17Northern Flicker female 12-10-17

 

It is very, very dry and red flag warnings are up with the elevated fire danger.  I do hope we get some substantial rain soon.  There were three Rusty Blackbirds back at the Bubbler very briefly on Tuesday, 12-12-17.  This was the only one I managed to photograph.

 

 

Today, the juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was working on the bark of one of the white oaks, looking for insects.  This bird hadn't been seen since 12-1-17.  

 

 

Temperatures are still fluctuating like a bit of a rollercoaster.  The colder days do bring more birds in to feed and drink.  I can't decide which is more of a distraction - the birds or my ever-growing to-do list!

 

To view all the photos for the month begin here:  December photos

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/12/rusty-blackbirds-pine-siskins-and-another-surprise-12-13-17 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:29:19 GMT
December is upon us! http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/12/december-is-upon-us Where did November go, December is here with its ever shortening days!  The sun seems to hang so low in the sky.  We've lost over 5 hours of daylight since the Summer Solstice and it will be a few weeks yet before we start to gain.  

 

Since my last post, there have been some very slow days interspersed with bursts of activity.  Flocks of American Robins have been coming in to drink and bathe.  Some Cedar Waxwings got brave and joined them at the pond on Saturday, 11/25/17.  

 

Cedar Waxwings 11-25-17Cedar Waxwings 11-25-17 Cedar Waxwing 11-25-17Cedar Waxwing 11-25-17 Cedar Waxwing 11-25-17Cedar Waxwing 11-25-17 Cedar Waxwing 11-25-17Cedar Waxwing 11-25-17

 

The robins have been feasting on the American Beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) with the flock of birds numbering in the dozens.

 

American Robin 11-25-17American Robin 11-25-17

 

Northern Cardinals are foraging for the berries and eating seeds they find as well.  Here, a female eats a 'maple squirt' from the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum).

 

Northern Cardinal eating Sugar Maple seed 11-25-17Northern Cardinal eating Sugar Maple seed 11-25-17

 

And, my little friend, the Tufted Titmouse still prefers the safflower seed.

 

Tufted Titmouse  12-1-17Tufted Titmouse 12-1-17

 

A young Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was seen on Friday, 12/1/17.  It went to the Bubbler several times.  A second sapsucker, an adult was chasing after it in the woodland.  

 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker juvenile  12-1-17Yellow-bellied Sapsucker juvenile 12-1-17

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker adult  12-1-17Yellow-bellied Sapsucker adult 12-1-17

 

On Sunday, 12/3/17 a Brown Creeper scooted down the oak and decided to check out the Bubble of water on the large rock to take a quick bath there. Too many robins were in the basin!

 

Brown Creeper  12-3-17Brown Creeper 12-3-17 Brown Creeper  12-3-17Brown Creeper 12-3-17

 

It was another busy day with a large flock of American Robins.  A female Northern Flicker drank while they bathed.

 

American Robins and female Northern Flicker  12-3-17American Robins and female Northern Flicker 12-3-17

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see my first Rusty Blackbird of the fall/winter in this mixed flock.  I had last seen a single bird on 1/3/17.  They are an uncommon winter resident in the south and rare in the north and the flocks are very nomadic.  It spent a bit of time at the Bubbler, easily holding its own with the robins.

 

Rusty Blackbird  12-3-17Rusty Blackbird 12-3-17 Rusty Blackbird and American Robin  12-3-17Rusty Blackbird and American Robin 12-3-17

 

The Rusty then went down to the sump puddle, tossing leaves about and foraging for insects.  Swampy wet woods and damp meadows are this bird's preferred habitat and its coloring is absolutely perfect to help it blend in.

 

Rusty Blackbird  12-3-17Rusty Blackbird 12-3-17  

 

The Rusty Blackbird is listed as a Vulnerable species and partly due to loss of habitat its numbers are in decline.  I feel very fortunate to be able to see them and glad they can find some food to sustain them here.

 

The deer have been seen early in the mornings.  One of the larger bucks came within view on 11/19/17.  It was collecting a young doe.

 

8-point White-tailed Buck 11-19-178-point White-tailed Buck 11-19-17 8-point White-tailed Buck with Doe 11-19-178-point White-tailed Buck with Doe 11-19-17

 

There were 3 does together on Saturday, 12/2/17 and this one took to the beautyberries with gusto.

 

 

I have identified some birds that I was not able to photograph before they flew.  Two Pine SIskins were at the Bubbler and were spooked by the larger birds on 11/25/17.  Hopefully, they'll be back.  There was also a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker in the maple by the pond, looking down at the water on 12/2/17.  

 

The temperatures have been warm and it's still very, very dry.  We are in for a big change and snow is in the forecast for later in the week, so we'll be on the lookout.  Last but not least, Dan put together this video from the trail cam clips.  It does show a bit of the night life!

 

 

 

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/12/december-is-upon-us Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:39:41 GMT
Birds of November 11-15-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/11/birds-of-november-11-15-17 Bird activity has slowed down a bit.  I'm still hoping to see some winter finches as it is an irruptive year for them, but none have come in as yet.  Winter finches would include birds like Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, Common Redpolls and Red Crossbills, all of which have been seen in the area parks.  Fingers crossed on those, they have all found their to our yard in the past if only for a day, as happened with the Common Redpoll.

We have been hosting a Brown Thrasher since 9/30/17.  Typically, this species moves on south and by early October few remain.  "Primarily only single birds are seen through the remainder of October, and thereafter it is rarely encountered." Description from Birds of Missouri, Their Distribution and Abundance, Mark B. Robbins and David Easterla.

This bird has been popping out every 3 or 4 days and I was able to get some photos in good light on 11/13/17.  We have lots of leaf matter for it to forage in and it has been coming regularly to drink at the Bubbler, sometimes staying 15 minutes or more.  The thrasher seems comfortable here, but for how long?

 

Brown Thrasher 11-13-17  3:14 pmBrown Thrasher 11-13-17 3:14 pm

 

The last Ruby-throated Hummingbird was seen on 10/15/17 and I have had them as late as 10/30.  I am still keeping one feeder going, just in case a vagrant species zooms by.  So far, the goldfinches and this female Downy Woodpecker have been the only visitors.

 

Downy Woodpecker on Hummingbird feeder 11-10-17Downy Woodpecker on Hummingbird feeder 11-10-17

 

Dark-eyed Juncos began arriving on 10/29/17.  These birds seem to signal the beginning of the winter season for us.

 

Dark-eyed Junco 11-4-17Dark-eyed Junco 11-4-17

 

Birds have been feeding on the American Beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) in the garden.  American Robins and Northern Cardinals are frequent visitors to these shrubs but this was my first time to see an American Goldfinch enjoying the fruit!

 

Northern Cardinal eating American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 11-2-17Northern Cardinal eating American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 11-2-17 American Goldfinch eating American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 11-2-17American Goldfinch eating American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 11-2-17

 

An Eastern Phoebe was around for a few days.  I always enjoy watching them splash bathe in the pond.  It spent some time sallying out from the arbor to catch flying insects, too.

 

Eastern Phoebe 11-1-17Eastern Phoebe 11-1-17

Eastern Phoebe 11-5-17Eastern Phoebe 11-5-17

 

A Brown Creeper actually got in the basin to bathe one day, without holding on to the perch.  That little bird is pretty darn cute! 

 

Brown Creeper bathing 11-4-17Brown Creeper bathing 11-4-17

 

When things are really quiet, I begin to check for hawks.  That was the case last Tuesday, 11/7/17 when a Cooper's Hawk was looking for a meal.  The hawk was unsuccessful in its quest.

 

Cooper's Hawk 11-7-17Cooper's Hawk 11-7-17

 

On the other hand, when things get really noisy, as with several American Crows fussing up a storm, it's time to look for a Great Horned Owl!  This predator was well concealed in the neighbor's Norway Spruce.  Have you spotted it yet?

 

American Crows harass Great Horned Owl 11-11-17American Crows harass Great Horned Owl 11-11-17

 

The owl was quite indignant about being disturbed.  It was giving the "look that could kill".  In fact, American Crows are a favorite meal for these owls.  No wonder the crows make such a stink!

 

Great Horned Owl 11-11-17Great Horned Owl 11-11-17

 

On Monday, a Golden-crowned Kinglet stole the show when I spotted it splashing and flashing its flaming crown.  What joie de vivre!  So, November does have its bright and joyful moments in these darker days, and for that I am grateful.  

 

May you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends!

  

Golden-crowned Kinglet 11-13-17Golden-crowned Kinglet 11-13-17

Golden-crowned Kinglet 11-13-17Golden-crowned Kinglet 11-13-17

Golden-crowned Kinglet 11-13-17Golden-crowned Kinglet 11-13-17

 

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/11/birds-of-november-11-15-17 Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:59:30 GMT
The Titmouse and "The Tree" 11-6-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/11/the-titmouse-and-the-tree-11-6-17 “If you spend too much time in the woods you know, you can become a little squirrelly,” said dear friend #1, kindly, as we discussed the possible need for me to occasionally be in the society of humans.

 

“This is my dear friend, Margy, who photographs birds and butterflies, and always dresses in nature's colors so that she can blend in,” introduced by dear friend #2, effusively, on one of those rare occasions.

 

Yes, well, I’m probably more than a little squirrelly by now and yes, I always dress to become a part of the woods, to “make like a tree” so that the birds will ignore me and go on about their business. I have always figured that if the locals accept my presence, our sanctuary space will be that much more comfortable and inviting for the migrants who come through.

Now, with cold winter days upon us, birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and titmice will cache seeds away, just like squirrels do when they bury their treasured acorns. Here are a couple examples, a White-breasted Nuthatch is about to tuck a sunflower seed into the vine, and a Tufted Titmouse has a beak full to stash in a secret place.

 

White-breasted Nuthatch caches seed 10-16-17White-breasted Nuthatch caches seed 10-16-17

 

 

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. But there are times when there can be no picture,

only the story because the bird got

“up too close and personal”.  

 

The Titmouse and "The Tree"

 

On Saturday, I was focusing on a bird at the Bubbler when I felt a fluttering wing brush my right hand.  I slowly pulled back from the camera to see a Tufted Titmouse with a safflower seed in its beak clinging to my camera strap.

(Use your vivid imagination here, photo taken post-experience.)

 

Camera strap 11-4-17Camera strap 11-4-17

 

Hmm, it was attempting to conceal the seed in a nook of my tripod.  The little gray bird then looked up at me and oh-oh, it flew off. I chuckled and went back to watching for birds. 

A few minutes later, the Titmouse was back. This time it perched on the cedar post that was maybe five feet in front of me.  

 

Cedar post 11-4-17Cedar post 11-4-17

 

The bird had another seed. It looked me right in the eye, flew straight to me and landed on my shoulder. I could feel its smooth little bill against my skin as it gently deposited the seed under my hat, at the back of my neck, into the collar of my sweater.  It then hopped onto the brim of my hat and flew off. 

 

Eureka, metamorphosis!

The moment had finally come, I had become "The Tree", or at the very least, a completely accepted part of the landscape

by one trusting little bird!

 

 

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life."  

Rachel Carson

 

 

For all the images taken since the last post, begin here:  November Week 1

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/11/the-titmouse-and-the-tree-11-6-17 Mon, 06 Nov 2017 22:34:15 GMT
Halloween Treats 10-31-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/halloween-treats-10-31-17 More birds have arrived that will spend their winter days here. White-throated Sparrows have come in, like this 'white form' with white stripes on its crown. The composite photo shows the tan form as well.

 

White-throated Sparrow 10-16-17White-throated Sparrow 10-16-17

White-throated Sparrows 1-19-16White-throated Sparrows 1-19-16

 

The Golden-crowned Kinglets are still flitting about, visiting the Bubbler some days.

 

Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-19-17Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-19-17

 

The last Summer Tanager of migration was seen on 10/19/17. 

 

Summer Tanager 10-19-17Summer Tanager 10-19-17

 

This Brown Creeper is in an unusual position clinging to the moss-covered rock behind the Bubbler.  One can really see its russet tail, when usually its colors blend into the bark of a tree.

 

Brown Creeper 10-20-17Brown Creeper 10-20-17

 

The first Hermit Thrush of fall has been seen several days and was at the Bubbler on 10/20/17. This bird also has a rusty tail that it raises, then slowly lowers.

 

Hermit Thrush 10-20-17Hermit Thrush 10-20-17

 

An Eastern Towhee was seen near the pond, foraging under a 'Blue Muffin' Viburnum on 10/29/17.  Now that's a bird that blends in with the leaves.

 

Eastern Towhee 10-29-17Eastern Towhee 10-29-17

 

A juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was here with another male. This bird is the 'scruffiest' one I've seen here, without any signs yet of a yellow belly or red feathers on its head. It may stay in this plumage into March. I confirmed its identification with an expert because it did have me scratching my head and wondering if it was a vagrant sapsucker. The next photo is of a young male that I took exactly a year ago. There is always more to learn about birds!

 

Juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 10-29-17 confirmedJuvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 10-29-17 confirmed

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 10-29-16Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 10-29-16

 

It was very breezy yesterday and the wind was keeping the birds down. I went into the front room to sit by the window for a bit, thinking that we really do have a lot of hiding places here for birds. Anything could be tucked into the garden! Just then, a Winter Wren popped out of the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle on the arbor, did its bouncy little dance and then dashed back into cover. I smiled to myself, cheered by the antics of the tiny brown speckled bird. I got the camera and it took about 20 minutes to find it again working over, under, around and through the leaves like a little mouse. See what I mean? It is #105 for the year.

 

Winter Wren 10-30-17Winter Wren 10-30-17

 

The Yellow-rumped Warblers will be here into April before moving north to their breeding grounds. We may see an Orange-crowned Warbler again, but most of the warblers have gone south for their winter.

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler 10-30-17Yellow-rumped Warbler 10-30-17

 

Now for some Trick-or-Treaters!  I have suspected for some time that we had a coyote around because of some still images taken with the Trail Cam. Now, we both feel certain. This video was taken on 10/18/17 at 3:25 am.

 

Coyote 10-18-17 3:25:38 am

 

The beautifully marked fox came for a drink a couple times recently. This video was from 10/25/17 at 6:30 am.

 

Red Fox at the Bubbler 10-25-17 6:30:08 am

 

The White-tailed deer are becoming much more active with bucks strutting through in the night and even in broad daylight. We have at least 5 different bucks.

 

White-tailed Buck 10-28-17 1:53 am 2 White-tailed Bucks 10-28-17 1:54 am White-tailed Buck 10-29-17 at 1:12 pm

 

That's scary enough for me!  Happy Halloween!

PS.  To view all the short video clips, start here in the Wildlife Gallery:  Video clips

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/halloween-treats-10-31-17 Wed, 01 Nov 2017 02:13:03 GMT
Ways to prevent birds from hitting windows 10-24-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/ways-to-prevent-birds-hitting-windows It happens far too often, a bird is fooled into thinking it can fly through a window and instead, the bird collides with it. We saw a solution in Costa Rica that we have adapted to two of our windows. It has helped to reduce the incidence greatly. Dan drilled holes in PVC pipe and threaded simple twine threaded through it, then hung the barrier on the outside of the window. The holes must be spaced 4 to 4 !/2" apart at most for it be effective.

 

Window protectorWindow protector

 

Recently, we did have a bird hit a narrow window that was not protected. Fortunately, the bird did recover! Here's the story.

 

A Blue Jay had made an alarm call and a Black-throated Green Warbler took off, colliding with the window.  I turned to see it and took a quick photo.

 

Black-throated Green Warbler - window strike 10-9-17Black-throated Green Warbler - window strike 10-9-17

 

Dan heard the bird hit, too and brought out a container lined with a towel. (We have also used a shoebox as is sometimes recommended.) I held the bird in my cupped hands for a few minutes to keep it warm and then placed it in the container to rest. It was stunned and took about 20 minutes before it hopped up to the edge when it was ready and flew deep into a nearby dogwood, where I lost sight of it. What a relief it is to see a bird recover after this happens.

 

Black-throated Green Warbler - window strike -rest 20 minutes  10-9-17Black-throated Green Warbler - window strike -rest 20 minutes 10-9-17 Black-throated Green Warbler - window strike - recovered 10-9-17Black-throated Green Warbler - window strike - recovered 10-9-17

 

We are very fortunate in the St. Louis area to have the organization Wild Bird Rehabilitation to help our native birds. This is their website:  http://wildbirdrehab.org

 

To read more, each page will open in a new tab:

 

Why Birds Hit Windows

Making Windows Safer for Birds

Better Glass Can Save Millions of Birds

 

To look at more options for windows:  Bird-smart Glass

 

Thank you for learning ways to help our native birds! 

 

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/ways-to-prevent-birds-hitting-windows Tue, 24 Oct 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Warblers, Creepers, Kinglets, and more, oh my! 10-16-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/warblers-creepers-and-kinglets-oh-my-10-16-17 A lingering female Chestnut-sided Warbler was still visiting the Bubbler this past week. The last day that I saw it was on Monday, 10/9/17.

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler 10-9-17Chestnut-sided Warbler 10-9-17

 

A beautiful male Northern Parula came in on the same day.

 

Northern Parula 10-9-17Northern Parula 10-9-17

 

I chased this warbler quite a while to get even one image to share, a Bay-breasted Warbler that had found a meal.

 

Bay-breasted Warbler with insect 10-10-17Bay-breasted Warbler with insect 10-10-17

 

The first Brown Creeper of the fall season arrived on Wednesday, 10/11/7 with a cool front after 2.4" of rain. 

 

Brown Creeper 10-11-17Brown Creeper 10-11-17

 

Birds were actively feeding in the garden that day. A Tennessee Warbler was finding small insects in this 'Blue Muffin' viburnum (Viburnum dentatum x 'Blue Muffin').

 

Tennessee Warbler on 'Blue Muffin' Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)Tennessee Warbler on 'Blue Muffin' Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)

 

A Northern Cardinal was feasting on the seeds of Leather Flower, a native clematis (Clematis versicolor).

 

Northern Cardinal eating seed of Leatherflower (Clematis versicolor) 10-11-17Northern Cardinal eating seed of Leatherflower (Clematis versicolor) 10-11-17

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglets have been seen in triplets. This one was foraging in the Pond Cypress (Taxodium ascendens).

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens) 10-11-17Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens) 10-11-17

 

A Black-throated Green Warbler flew from the same tree over to a small elm (Ulmus americana).

 

Black-throated Green Warbler in American Elm (Ulmus americana) 10-12-17Black-throated Green Warbler in American Elm (Ulmus americana) 10-12-17

 

Golden-crowned Kinglets arrived that day, too. Several were busy in the Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum). Listen for their "tsee tsee tsee" call.

 

Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-12-17Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-12-17

 

I was able to get another photo of the Brown Creeper on the trunk of the same maple.

 

Brown Creeper 10-12-17Brown Creeper 10-12-17

 

Both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets have been very active near the Bubbler. They are the most challenging subjects, barely stopping for a second or two.

 

Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-13-17Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-13-17 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10-14-17Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10-14-17

 

Summer Tanagers have been around for the past few days. Just after the Kinglets had come in, this bird slipped into the basin. It blends in so well with the color of the Meramec river gravel.

  Summer Tanager 10-14-17Summer Tanager 10-14-17

 

The White-tailed deer are coming into the woodland frequently now. On two mornings, we've seen a doe with her twins, getting up from where they had slept. Last Sunday night, the lame 3-legged buck came to the basin to drink.

 

3-legged Buck at Bubbler 10-8-17

 

A couple nights later, a buck with a large rack munched on the Celandine poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum). My comfort zone is disturbed knowing that these beasts are coming in so close. On 10/14/17, the same buck took a long drink from the basin after eating some of the native hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens).

 

10 point Buck eating Celandine Poppies 10-10-17 10 point Buck at Bubbler 10-12-17

 

I discovered a 'hidey-hole' for one of the raccoons that have been around. On Friday, 10/13/17 it emerged to scratch an itch before climbing back in to sleep the day away.

 

Raccoon in White Oak 10-13-17Raccoon in White Oak 10-13-17

 

We see an opossum occasionally and this is one of the smaller ones.

 

Opossum at Bubbler 10-15-17

 

Some days, we're just grateful that we both get to see something special though the perfect photo remains elusive.  I was sitting at the table in the breakfast room, when a head with two furry ears popped up right alongside the deck. It was the beautiful Red Fox. I called to Dan, the fox's ears twitched as it heard me so I dared not move toward the camera at the window. The fox moved off the rock wall and down under the feeders, then toward the garden. We both went in to the other room and watched it as it stood for a moment, stalking. It then turned and went back toward the woods. I got the camera on the off chance it would reappear. It did briefly, in a standoff with a feral cat. The fox then loped up to the street before trotting up the neighbor's hill. It is such a beautiful, healthy animal.

 

Red Fox 10-15-17Red Fox 10-15-17

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/warblers-creepers-and-kinglets-oh-my-10-16-17 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:14:09 GMT
Locals share with more October migrants 10-9-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/locals-and-more-october-migrants-10-9-17 Some days it truly feels like 'so many birds, so little time'. It has only been a few days since the last post and we are still seeing warblers, vireos, flycatchers, tanagers and hummingbirds. The Brown Thrasher that has been frequenting the swampy thicket was looking for food there again on Wednesday, 10/4.

 

Brown Thrasher 10-4-17Brown Thrasher 10-4-17

 

One of the Northern Flickers got into the basin for a rousing good bath that day.

 

Northern Flicker 10-4-17Northern Flicker 10-4-17

 

In the afternoon, a larger flock of warblers came in. At one point, there were at least 5 Tennessee and 3 Black-throated Green Warblers on the Bubbler rock!  See the one 'waiting in the wings' in the upper far right?

 

Tennessee and Black-throated Green Warblers 10-4-17Tennessee and Black-throated Green Warblers 10-4-17 Tennessee Warblers 10-4-17Tennessee Warblers 10-4-17

 

That day I saw the first Summer Tanager of the fall season, a male molting from its red summer coat to the dull yellow green of winter.

 

Summer Tanager 10-5-17Summer Tanager 10-5-17

 

Another female Northern Parula was well-camouflaged as it came in to the Bubbler area.

 

Northern Parula female 10-5-17Northern Parula female 10-5-17

 

There are those times when I just feel extremely lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I might have missed this one entirely.  I was listening to several of the Tennessee Warblers making their soft little 'tsip' calls as they were finding tiny larvae in the bark of a small elm by the deck. Then, I thought I heard a more rapid, excited 'chip' a few times and turned to see this Yellow-throated Warbler going to the fountain! What a joyful time it was having!

 

Yellow-throated Warbler 10-5-17Yellow-throated Warbler 10-5-17 Yellow-throated Warbler 10-5-17Yellow-throated Warbler 10-5-17 Yellow-throated Warbler 10-5-17Yellow-throated Warbler 10-5-17 Yellow-throated Warbler 10-5-17Yellow-throated Warbler 10-5-17

 

That species has only been seen here a handful of times and now twice this fall. It is considered rare to be seen after September 1, and this was on 10/5/17. 

 

On Friday, 10/6/17 there were some Tennessee Warblers bathing in the waterfall of the pond. 

 

Tennessee Warblers at the pond 10-6-17Tennessee Warblers at the pond 10-6-17

 

A Magnolia Warbler was spotted briefly in the sump puddle on Friday, 10/6/17. This bird is noticeably late getting to its wintering grounds, and so is the Chestnut-sided Warbler.

 

Magnolia Warbler 10-6-17Magnolia Warbler 10-6-17 Chestnut-sided Warbler 10-6-17Chestnut-sided Warbler 10-6-17

 

I have been asked whether one can tell the difference between two birds of the same species, and yes, sometimes you can even if the sexes are similar. There were two Blue-headed Vireos, one of which splash-bathed. The fourth photo is a second bird which has a grayer head and may be a younger bird.

 

Blue-headed Vireo 10-6-17Blue-headed Vireo 10-6-17 Blue-headed Vireo  10-6-17Blue-headed Vireo 10-6-17 Blue-headed Vireo  10-6-17Blue-headed Vireo 10-6-17 Blue-headed Vireo - 2 10-6-17Blue-headed Vireo - 2 10-6-17

 

Another female Northern Parula, on the right, was seen bathing with a Northern Cardinal and a Nashville Warbler.

 

Northern Cardinal, Nashville Warbler and Northern Parula  10-6-17Northern Cardinal, Nashville Warbler and Northern Parula 10-6-17

 

Late in the afternoon, a Summer Tanager was foraging in the Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and a second bird was out in the garden. Subtle differences but it looked a bit more reddish to me.

 

Summer Tanager in Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) 10-6-17Summer Tanager in Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) 10-6-17 Summer Tanager 10-6-17Summer Tanager 10-6-17

 

A very thirsty Red-eyed Vireo perched and took many drinks at the small bubbler rock in the basin on Saturday, 10/7/17. I have not seen this behavior before with a vireo. It's dry!

 

Red-eyed Vireo 10-7-17Red-eyed Vireo 10-7-17

 

Several American Goldfinches were feasting on the seeds of the Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) late in the afternoon. This plant is a true workhorse with its abundant purple blooms supplying nectar for hummingbirds, bees, Monarchs and other butterflies, and now seeds for these birds and others. It provides a perfect blend of autumn colors for these molting goldfinches to find protective cover in as well!

 

American Goldfinches eating  Eastern Blazingstar seeds (Liatris scariosa) 10-7-17American Goldfinches eating Eastern Blazingstar seeds (Liatris scariosa) 10-7-17

 

Yesterday was another day of warblers with seven species seen in the afternoon! American Redstarts, Black-throated Green, Tennessee, and Nashville Warblers were in the flock. A female Yellow-rumped Warbler made an appearance.

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler 10-8-17Yellow-rumped Warbler 10-8-17

 

I was surprised to see a female Chestnut-sided Warbler still in this mix. Perhaps it is staying with this flock for protection, but this is late for this species.

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler 10-8-17Chestnut-sided Warbler 10-8-17

 

My last warbler of the day was a Common Yellowthroat who was very tentative at first about making an appearance. It finally did after coming in 'the back door'.

 

Common Yellowthroat 10-8-17Common Yellowthroat 10-8-17 Common Yellowthroat 10-8-17Common Yellowthroat 10-8-17 Common Yellowthroat 10-8-17Common Yellowthroat 10-8-17 Common Yellowthroat 10-8-17Common Yellowthroat 10-8-17

 

And, that's a wrap!

For all the images:  Photos beginning 10-4-17

 

 

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/locals-and-more-october-migrants-10-9-17 Mon, 09 Oct 2017 11:19:56 GMT
Red-breasted Nuthatch - ps http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/red-breasted-nuthatches---ps In the last post, I featured the Red-breasted Nuthatch that showed up on Friday, 9/29/17. Kathy Bildner asked if it was different than the one we usually see here and the answer is 'yes' - great question!

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a year-round resident for us in Missouri. The Red-breasted Nuthatch only shows up in 'irruptive' winters, when food is scarce to the north of us. There were only a couple reports last year of any Red-breasted Nuthatches being seen and maybe this year we'll have more sightings.  Here's a comparison photo so you can watch your feeders and bubblers for them. 

 

Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches 1-24-17Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches 1-24-17

 

Their calls are different, too. The Red-breasted Nuthatch sounds like a little tin horn. Just look for the 'Sound' tab at the links below to listen to them. 

 

More on the species:  White-breasted Nuthatch

More on the species:  Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

More information about the phenomenon of massive winter irruptions known as: Superflights

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/red-breasted-nuthatches---ps Wed, 04 Oct 2017 02:47:21 GMT
September has flown and October has brought in many migrants! 10-3-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/SeptemberOctober10-3-17 It has been very busy! So I'll hit the highlights.

Tuesday, 9/26 was slow going until a female Golden-winged Warbler came to bathe about 11 a.m.  Taking photos has become more challenging with the sun sinking lower in the sky.

 

Golden-winged Warbler female 9-26-17Golden-winged Warbler female 9-26-17 Golden-winged Warbler female 9-26-17Golden-winged Warbler female 9-26-17

 

It was nearly 6 p.m. and I saw a Gray Catbird checking the basin from a high perch.  It flew over to the garden and another catbird popped in to get a closer look.

 

Gray Catbird 9-26-17Gray Catbird 9-26-17 Gray Catbird 9-26-17Gray Catbird 9-26-17

 

It exited the scene as the first bird came back, or maybe it was a third one. This is a handsome bird, velvety looking, and often heard before seen.

 

Gray Catbird 9-26-17Gray Catbird 9-26-17 Gray Catbird 9-26-17Gray Catbird 9-26-17

 

One, possibly two Blue-winged Warblers were at the 'bubble' on the large rock on 9/28. My friends gave me a heads up on this one. Wally George told me that the latest date for fall on record was 9/15 and I should report it. Connie Alwood recommended I submit these photos to eBird, which I did. This adds to the scientific data overall. The first bird seen was at 12:47 and the second at 2:44 pm. It may be the same bird, but  the wing bars looked slightly different to me.  

 

Blue-winged Warbler 9-28-17Blue-winged Warbler 9-28-17 Blue-winged Warbler 9-28-17Blue-winged Warbler 9-28-17

 

The first Red-breasted Nuthatch for the year came in on Friday, 9/29 just after noon and stayed about 15 minutes. This is an irruptive year for them, and perhaps we'll all see more.  

 

Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-29-17Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-29-17 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-29-17Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-29-17

 

Birds have been busy feeding and I was fortunate to capture this Tennessee Warbler with a meal of some kind of Lepidoptera.

 

Tennessee Warbler with Lepidoptera species 9-29-17Tennessee Warbler with Lepidoptera species 9-29-17

 

Robins and Cardinals have been eating the fruit of the American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) in the garden.

 

American Robin eating Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 9-28-17American Robin eating Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 9-28-17 Northern Cardinal  eating Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 9-28-17Northern Cardinal eating Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 9-28-17

 

We all need rain in the area, it has been very dry.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that birds are drawn to the water that is available.  The Bubbler has been very busy the last few days!  Here are some examples, but be sure to check the gallery.  I've added nearly 100 photos just from the first two days of October! I'll add the link at the end of the post.

 

A Northern Parula and a Black-throated Green Warbler were on the big rock together, splashing in the 'bubble' on 10/1.

 

Black-throated Green Warbler and Northern Parula 10-1-17Black-throated Green Warbler and Northern Parula 10-1-17

 

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet checked out the area that day. They first arrived on Friday 9/29 as well.

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10-1-17Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10-1-17

 

A Red-eyed Vireo was also eyeing the bathing options. Typically, the vireos splash bathe. For the first time that I've ever seen, it hopped down to the rock and got in to bathe.

 

Red-eyed Vireo 10-1-17Red-eyed Vireo 10-1-17

Red-eyed Vireo 10-1-17Red-eyed Vireo 10-1-17 Red-eyed Vireo 10-1-17Red-eyed Vireo 10-1-17

 

A Blue-headed Vireo looked and then returned the next day to do some belly flops!

 

Blue-headed Vireo 10-1-17Blue-headed Vireo 10-1-17 Blue-headed Vireo 10-2-17Blue-headed Vireo 10-2-17 Blue-headed Vireo 10-2-17Blue-headed Vireo 10-2-17

 

Cover, food and water - that's what we all offer to these beautiful birds when we provide a habitat garden for their benefit.  A female Northern Parula found a meal before a bath. 

 

Northern Parula female with insect 10-2-17Northern Parula female with insect 10-2-17 Northern Parula female 10-2-17Northern Parula female 10-2-17

 

And, there have been more Black-throated Green Warblers in the last two days than I saw in the spring.

 

Black-throated Green Warbler 10-2-17Black-throated Green Warbler 10-2-17 Black-throated Green Warbler 10-2-17Black-throated Green Warbler 10-2-17 Black-throated Green Warbler 10-2-17Black-throated Green Warbler 10-2-17

 

Here is the link for all the photos added since the last post. Enjoy!

Migrants and more

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/10/SeptemberOctober10-3-17 Tue, 03 Oct 2017 11:42:50 GMT
Fall has arrived! 9-25-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/9/fall-has-arrived-9-25-17 Fall has arrived as of last Friday, 9/22/17. One wouldn't know it by the temperatures as new records have been set for daily highs around 93 degrees. The light has certainly changed as we have lost nearly 3 hours of daylight since the Summer Solstice. Migrants have been coming through the yard in small flocks at different times of the day, and it seems much less predictable without strong northwest fronts to help the birds along. Still, there has been a good variety!

 

A first year male Common Yellowthroat showed at the Bubbler on the same day as the female Black-throated Blue, Wednesday, 9/13/17.  

 

Common Yellowthroat 1st Fall male 9-13-17Common Yellowthroat 1st Fall male 9-13-17

 

Nashville and Tennessee Warblers are two of the more common migrants, but even they have been few and far between.

 

Nashville Warbler 9-14-17Nashville Warbler 9-14-17 Tennessee Warbler 9-14-17Tennessee Warbler 9-14-17

 

A young Rose-breasted Grosbeak came down on 9/20/17.

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 9-20-17Rose-breasted Grosbeak 9-20-17

 

Another young bird, this Blackburnian Warbler hugged the corner of the basin.  

 

Blackburnian Warbler 1y Male 9-20-17Blackburnian Warbler 1y Male 9-20-17

 

American Redstarts in varying plumages have been regular on different days.

 

American Redstart 9-20-17American Redstart 9-20-17

 

This is one of the last of the male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds seen here this year. The young ones still have their first long journey to complete.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-20-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-20-17

 

A first year male Northern Parula was a really nice find at the Bubbler on Thursday, 9/21/17.  This bird has more 'greenish wash' than an adult male would have, and what a beautifully colored bird!

 

Northern Parula 1yMale 9-21-17Northern Parula 1yMale 9-21-17 Northern Parula 1yMale 9-21-17Northern Parula 1yMale 9-21-17

 

A female Black and White Warbler was in the mix that day, too.

 

Black and White Warbler female 9-21-17Black and White Warbler female 9-21-17

 

Another bird that I've been waiting to see this fall is the Bay-breasted Warbler.  This one looks to be a female, probably a first year bird.

 

Bay-breasted Warbler female 9-22-17Bay-breasted Warbler female 9-22-17

 

It did get in to bathe with a Chestnut-sided Warbler.

 

Chestnut-sided and Bay-breasted Warbler females 9-22-17Chestnut-sided and Bay-breasted Warbler females 9-22-17

 

On Saturday, 9/23/17 it was really quiet until about 1:30 in the afternoon when a flock of American Robins came in along with some warblers.  The robins were really sparring over space in the basin.

 

American Robins 9-23-17American Robins 9-23-17

 

And all the activity drew in some other hopeful birds, like this Magnolia Warbler. It looked, popped away and perched again. It had to wait its turn.

 

Magnolia Warbler 9-23-17Magnolia Warbler 9-23-17 Magnolia Warbler 9-23-17Magnolia Warbler 9-23-17

 

A male Chestnut-sided came in to watch the fray. Once the robins cleared out, the warblers had their chance to get in.

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-23-17Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-23-17 Magnolia Warbler  and Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-23-17Magnolia Warbler and Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-23-17

 

A female Chestnut-sided was also around that afternoon. It seemed to have some words for the Eurasian Tree Sparrow.

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler female 9-23-17Chestnut-sided Warbler female 9-23-17 Chestnut-sided Warbler female and Eurasian Tree Sparrow 9-23-17Chestnut-sided Warbler female and Eurasian Tree Sparrow 9-23-17

 

Two flycatchers came into the woodland. The first was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and it took a couple quick splashes in the Bubbler pond.  The second was an Eastern Phoebe.  The birds quickly took cover after these photos - a Cooper's Hawk came in and caused quite a ruckus.

 

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 9-23-17Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 9-23-17 Eastern Phoebe 9-23-17Eastern Phoebe 9-23-17

 

Yesterday was just slightly cooler with a bit of a breeze from the northwest and, with it came a few more warblers.  A Black-throated Green enjoyed bathing. 

 

Black-throated Green Warbler 9-24-17Black-throated Green Warbler 9-24-17 Black-throated Green Warbler 9-24-17Black-throated Green Warbler 9-24-17

 

Another Chestnut-sided Warbler was here and later, another Blackburnian Warbler. Could it have been the same bird seen on 9/20/17?  Its markings are nearly identical, but we'll never be certain.

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-24-17Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-24-17 Blackburnian Warbler 1yM 9-24-17Blackburnian Warbler 1yM 9-24-17

 

Last but not least, one of the youngest Northern Cardinals discovered the joy of the "Bubble"! Cooler temperatures are in the forecast. With any luck, that will bring in a lot more of the migrants. 

Happy Fall!

Northern Cardinal juvenile 9-24-17Northern Cardinal juvenile 9-24-17

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/9/fall-has-arrived-9-25-17 Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:48:31 GMT
One day wonder - female Black-throated Blue Warbler on 9-13-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/9/one-day-wonder---female-black-throated-blue-warbler-on-9-13-17 On Wednesday, I was away for a good part of the morning. When I returned, some warblers started showing up at the Bubbler, two American Redstarts and a Black-throated Green.  

 

American Redstart 1st Fall male 9-13-17American Redstart 1st Fall male 9-13-17 American Redstart 9-13-17American Redstart 9-13-17 Black-throated Green Warbler 9-13-17Black-throated Green Warbler 9-13-17

 

The Black-throated Green Warbler was having a good old time and I was having fun, too. I can literally become very focused on one bird. I realized I needed to look around. A different bird was working its way up the oak next to the Bubbler rock. "White supercilium, white under-eye arc and handkerchief"- neurons firing- all diagnostic field marks of a female Black-throated Blue Warbler!

 

Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17

 

Well, that photo might just be enough to identify the bird, but I hoped for better. Now, I kept my eyes on that bird and followed it. It was hungry, but really wanted to check out the bubbler.  

 

Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17

 

It went behind the Bubbler to the Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens).

 

Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17

 

I watched it finding caterpillars and even a small butterfly while working through the small elms, rough-leaf dogwoods, and oaks. Then, it was in the American Elm (Ulmus americana) above my head, chipping at me. I made little chipping sounds back. It flew to my left in the oak near the deck and looked at me. I quietly told the bird how beautiful she was and she allowed me several photos at very close range.  

 

Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17 Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17 Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17

 

Friends, it does not get any better than this, truly! This species is a 'very rare' migrant here and to have this bird be so curious, cooperative and close almost defies description. This bird was not timid at all and seemed to trust that no harm was intended with my large lens aimed at it just eight feet away. To be able to share this soul-satisfying view with others is what drives me to document what comes into our conservation sanctuary to be nourished and refreshed. It is pure joy to see these birds here!

Twelve years ago, on the morning of 5/13/05, I barely had a sip of coffee before birds started popping in at the Bubbler. This was my eighth shot of the day and again, a magical moment with a male Black-throated Blue.

 

Black-throated Blue Warbler on 5-13-05Black-throated Blue Warbler on 5-13-05

 

This species is considered the 'Holy Grail' of birders here in Missouri and a report of one always get the adrenaline rushing. They are typically found in the Eastern migratory flyway and nest in the Eastern states. Was 'my' bird brought in by Hurricane Irma? Well, hurricane winds do have an impact on migration. 


 

To view all 28 of the photos of this warbler and others:  Birds since 9/8/17

 

To read more about Black-throated Blue Warblers:  Black-throated Blue Warbler

 

To read about the records on Black-throated Blue Warblers in Missouri:  Black-throated Blue Warbler

 

To read about Hurricane Irma:  Hurricane Irma's impact

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/9/one-day-wonder---female-black-throated-blue-warbler-on-9-13-17 Fri, 15 Sep 2017 17:40:09 GMT
New month, new Bubbler bird! 9-11-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/9/new-month-new-bubbler-bird My thoughts these past weeks have been with friends and their families who have been directly affected by the wrath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. It is so difficult to begin to comprehend the devastation that these storms have caused. It will be a long road to recovery for my friends and many others. 

September is a time for migrants to go back to their winter homes, but these birds will also have difficulty with their own journeys considering the current conditions in Texas and in Florida. I wonder what will happen to them, too.

 

More of these nomads have been seen here in our Shady Oaks yard. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been buzzing around the garden and the feeders, sometimes I'll have six or seven within my sight at once. Here, one rested on the tiny branch of a Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-1-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-1-17

 

Warblers have been coming in to feed, drink and bathe.  This Black and White warbler had a good time by itself on September 1.

 

Black and White Warbler 9-1-17Black and White Warbler 9-1-17

 

Now, I must digress. There are three of us birders who share our yard bird sightings regularly with each other and that would be Connie Alwood, Wally George and myself. Wally put in a bubbler pond in 2004 and Connie has a fairly new bubbling stream along with a smaller one. We recently toured each other's yards to look at plants and our bubblers. Wally had given Connie a few dead cedars to act as perches for the birds while his nearby plants took hold. And on September 2, about 9:30 a.m. Wally stopped by with a gift for me, a lucky cedar tree. I was so excited! There will be a whole blog post later on this idea, but here is what it looked like.  I stuck it in a pot and filled it with gravel to stabilize it temporarily. It went next to the Bubbler Rock, its branches to be used by the birds as steps down to the water.  

 

 

Wally's cedar 9-2-17Wally's cedar 9-2-17

 

That day I saw four warbler species, but was not able to get any photos because the birds were frantically feeding higher in the canopy. The next day brought more opportunities as birds came closer to the Bubbler area. 

There were several Swainson's Thrushes and this one came in early.

 

Swainson's Thrush  9-3-17Swainson's Thrush 9-3-17

 

An Ovenbird worked through the ground cover of Wood Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) looking for insects. This warbler walks along and reminds me of a little chicken.

 

Ovenbird 9-3-17Ovenbird 9-3-17 Ovenbird 9-3-17Ovenbird 9-3-17 Ovenbird 9-3-17Ovenbird 9-3-17

 

A bird flew over my head and I just saw its black and white sides at first.  Then, it landed, turned and I realized it was a Yellow-throated Warbler!

 

Yellow-throated Warbler 9-3-17 Bubbler Bird #118Yellow-throated Warbler 9-3-17 Bubbler Bird #118 Yellow-throated Warbler 9-3-17 Bubbler Bird #118Yellow-throated Warbler 9-3-17 Bubbler Bird #118

 

It perched on different branches and popped over to the lucky cedar!  Here it could get a different view of the Bubbler.  It came closer but other birds were dominating the scene and it flew off.  The Yellow-throated Warbler is a bird that has only been seen here twice before and now it counts as Bubbler Bird #118.  I could hardly believe it.  I didn't think that lucky cedar would work its magic that fast!  I could hardly wait to share this news with my friends. 

 

Yellow-throated Warbler 9-3-17 Bubbler Bird #118 in WCYellow-throated Warbler 9-3-17 Bubbler Bird #118 in WC Yellow-throated Warbler 9-3-17 Bubbler Bird #118Yellow-throated Warbler 9-3-17 Bubbler Bird #118

 

Isn't that bird a beauty?  It is also Warbler #35 (+ 1 Hybrid) at the Bubbler.

The Black and White female was still foraging in our woodland that day and found a small insect which looked like a katydid. In a gulp, it was gone.

 

Black and White Warbler with insect 9-3-17Black and White Warbler with insect 9-3-17

 

A young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak stopped by for a drink while the House Finches were bathing. I had been hearing its sweet little song and knew it was close by.

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1st fall male 9-3-17Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1st fall male 9-3-17 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1st fall male and House Finches 9-3-17Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1st fall male and House Finches 9-3-17

 

A female Chestnut-sided Warbler was also in this mixed flock.

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler female 9-3-17Chestnut-sided Warbler female 9-3-17

 

The next day was a bit quieter and I spent some time near the garden.  The hummingbirds have been busy at the Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).  They also take turns on the wind sculpture as a lookout post.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)  9-4-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) 9-4-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird on wind sculpture 9-4-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird on wind sculpture 9-4-17

 

On September 5, American Redstarts showed up again.  The male is shown first and the second photo could be an adult female or first year male.  It is often difficult to tell them apart in the fall.

 

American Redstart 9-6-17American Redstart 9-6-17

American Redstart 9-6-17American Redstart 9-6-17

 

A Tennessee Warbler got into the basin with a Northern Cardinal and a House Finch before going solo.

 

Tennessee Warbler, Northern Cardinal and House Finch  9-6-17Tennessee Warbler, Northern Cardinal and House Finch 9-6-17 Tennessee Warbler  9-6-17Tennessee Warbler 9-6-17

 

A female Canada Warbler was chased out by the Carolina Chickadee a couple times, but managed to get a quick bath.

 

Carolina Chickadee and Canada Warbler female 9-8-17Carolina Chickadee and Canada Warbler female 9-8-17 Canada Warbler female 9-8-17Canada Warbler female 9-8-17

 

This Nashville Warbler was looking for insects on a small green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica).

 

Nashville Warbler on Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvania) 9-8-17Nashville Warbler on Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvania) 9-8-17

 

A lone White-tailed Buck was in the woodland on the morning of September 8. It has a bum leg, we've seen it before on the trail cam. You can tell if you look closely in the second photo that its right hoof has not been worn down, instead it is long and pointed! The buck still can take off and run on three good legs.

 

White-tailed Three -legged buck 9-8-17White-tailed Three -legged buck 9-8-17 White-tailed Three -legged buck 9-8-17White-tailed Three -legged buck 9-8-17

 

One last treat the past week was catching a fox on the Bubbler Cam, another of nature's most beautiful creatures in my humble opinion.  And, that's a wrap!

 

Fox drinks at the Bubbler 9-3-17

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/9/new-month-new-bubbler-bird Mon, 11 Sep 2017 10:41:43 GMT
8-21-17 Total Solar Eclipse and the first migrants of early fall http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/8/solar-eclipse-and-first-migrants-of-early-fall August 21, 2017 arrived.  It was warm, muggy and the forecast was for clouds to move in around the time of totality, 1:17-1:18:30 p.m.  We were ready with our viewing glasses and remained hopeful.  The garden was busy all morning with bumblebees, hummingbirds and butterflies visiting Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and the purple flower stalks of Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa).  Bumblebees were buzzing and a female Monarch laid eggs, while a Silver-spotted Skipper and Orange Sulphur nectared.

 

Bumblebee on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-21-17Bumblebee on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-21-17

 

Monarch laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-21-17Monarch laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-21-17

 

Silver Spotted Skipper on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-21-17Silver Spotted Skipper on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-21-17 Orange Sulphur on  Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-21-17Orange Sulphur on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-21-17

 

Ruby-throats sipped from Marsh Milkweed, Cardinal flower and Eastern Blazingstar.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-21-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-21-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird  at Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-21-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-21-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird  at Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa)  8-21-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-21-17

 

An American Goldfinch kept checking the sky.  The bird seemed to sense that something was happening.  

 

American Goldfinch at 12:59 pm Solar Eclipse 8-21-17American Goldfinch at 12:59 pm Solar Eclipse 8-21-17

 

The goldfinch flew off while this Monarch was still nectaring at 1:15 pm.  

 

Monarch at 1:15 pm just before totality of Solar Eclipse 8-21-17Monarch at 1:15 pm just before totality of Solar Eclipse 8-21-17

 

I stayed near the garden while Dan got some very different photos.

 

 

I took a video of the garden as the moon continued on its final moments toward overshadowing the sun.  The light was dwindling in a rather eerie way.  

 

Solar Eclipse 8-21-17

 

The light was gone, and it was as if time stood still.  I shivered with the slight temperature drop and went to see where Dan had set up the telescope near the driveway.  Totality!

 

 

 

Within less than two minutes, the sun's light began to return.  Dan took this image of the shadows as they played upon the front walk.

 

 

Within ten minutes, one of the hummingbirds returned to the Cardinal flower, using a tiny foot to balance.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-21-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-21-17

 

Monarchs were mating again in the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) by 2:44 p.m.

 

Monarchs mating 8-21-17Monarchs mating 8-21-17

 

A Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse took a quick bath together at 2:57 p.m.  Everything seemed to be returning to the normal pace of activity.  The solar event was complete.

 

Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse 8-21-17Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse 8-21-17

 

On Wednesday, 8-23-17 the first warblers arrived with a cool front overnight.  There were Black and White Warblers, American Redstarts and this female Chestnut-sided Warbler.  It was the only one to come to the Bubbler and it was soon joined by a female American Goldfinch.

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler female 8-23-17Chestnut-sided Warbler female 8-23-17 Chestnut-sided Warbler female 8-23-17Chestnut-sided Warbler female 8-23-17 Chestnut-sided Warbler female and American Goldfinch female 8-23-17Chestnut-sided Warbler female and American Goldfinch female 8-23-17 Chestnut-sided Warbler female and American Goldfinch female 8-23-17Chestnut-sided Warbler female and American Goldfinch female 8-23-17

 

The next morning before 7:00 a.m. a real ruckus was being made by half a dozen American Crows who were soon joined by a Cooper's Hawk, Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals and a Carolina Wren.  The crows were LOUDLY protesting an invading predator.  

 

American Crows mobbing Great Horned Owl 8-24-17

 

I had to get closer to see it and it meant shooting nearly straight up to get a photo.  A Great Horned Owl peered back at me, species #97 for the year.  The bird finally had enough of the squawking and took off to the south before I could try again.  We've been hearing both Barred Owls again in the evenings.  I wonder which species will take command of the territory.  We have had both species nest and produce young in different years in our neighborhood.

 

Great Horned Owl 8-24-17Great Horned Owl 8-24-17

 

The last time I had been able to photograph a Great Horned was nearly four years ago on 12-28-13 as it was harassed by a crow in the pine tree next door.

 

 

Today, I was visiting with friends until about 2:30 when I went to see what was up in the garden.  I found two Monarch caterpillars and when I took Dan down later to show him, I found a third.  They are not always easy to see!  These three were different sizes, and all in the same little patch by the pond.

 

Monarch caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-30-17Monarch caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-30-17 Monarch caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-30-17Monarch caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-30-17

Monarch caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-30-17Monarch caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-30-17

 

For the second day in a row, I've had two female Monarchs in the garden.  

 

Monarch female on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-30-17Monarch female on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-30-17 Monarch female on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-30-17Monarch female on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-30-17

 

I also saw two male Blue-faced Meadowhawks and this one was perched low on a Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata).

 

Blue-faced Meadowhawk on Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata) 8-30-17Blue-faced Meadowhawk on Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata) 8-30-17

 

Well, August is nearly done - what's going on in your garden?  

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/8/solar-eclipse-and-first-migrants-of-early-fall Thu, 31 Aug 2017 01:34:37 GMT
Monarchs and more 8-20-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/8/monarchs-and-more-8-20-17 To the untrained eye, our garden may look to be quite a jumbledy-jungle at this point in the summer.  Some of the plants are bent over after 3.25" of rain.  Yet, there is so much to be observed when one takes a closer look.

 

Monarch in the Garden 8-19-17Monarch in the Garden 8-19-17

Have you found the Monarch?  Well, there have been several each day for days now and they often seem to disappear in the vegetation.  Another word for that vegetation is 'cover' and the plants serve as shelter while the butterflies rest in between nectaring forays with a myriad of bees, tiny wasps and other pollinators.

 

Bumblebee and Monarch on Marsh Milkweed (Ascepias incarnata) 8-15-17Bumblebee and Monarch on Marsh Milkweed (Ascepias incarnata) 8-15-17 Hidden resting Monarch on Purple Coneflower 8-15-17Hidden resting Monarch on Purple Coneflower 8-15-17 Resting Monarch on Purple Coneflower 8-15-17Resting Monarch on Purple Coneflower 8-15-17

 

On August 16, another Painted Lady joined the Monarchs.  It still preferred the Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) for its meal and it probed around the top of each flower.

 

Painted Lady on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 8-16-17Painted Lady on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 8-16-17 Painted Lady on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 8-16-17Painted Lady on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 8-16-17 Painted Lady on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 8-16-17Painted Lady on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 8-16-17

 

The juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been very active throughout the garden, too.  They slip in to drink from many flowering plants with a wary eye to the sky at times.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at rest  8-16-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at rest 8-16-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird  at Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-16-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-16-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-19-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Salvia x Black and Blue 8-19-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Salvia x Black and Blue 8-19-17

 

The garden provides cover for another very important activity, especially for the threatened Monarch butterflies, and that is mating.  How does one tell a male from a female first of all?  Take a look at this composite photo to see some of the differences.  They are not always obvious to the naked eye.

 

Monarch male and femaleMonarch male and female

 

There have been several males around but yesterday another female was in the garden early.  She was strong and healthy looking, basking in the sun and warming up for the tasks ahead on the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). It was 10:15 a.m.

 

Monarch female at rest on Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) 8-19-17Monarch female at rest on Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) 8-19-17

 

I made my way to the garden and took a few photos when I saw a skirmish between two butterflies on an Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa).  Aha, not a skirmish, but the mating of two Monarchs!  The male seemed to have difficulty grasping the female at first, pulling her off as they tumbled into the vegetation.

 

Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17 Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17 Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17 Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17 Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17

 

I had to move to the east side of the garden to find them again. The pair's efforts looked to be successful as they were joined and clinging to the Blazingstar.

 

Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 8-19-17

 

They were there only seconds before the male propelled them up to the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum).  They stayed about a half a minute before moving higher up into the trees.  The male is on the outside to power their flight, the female inside.

 

Monarchs mating on Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) 8-19-17 Monarchs mating on Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) 8-19-17 Monarchs mating on Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) 8-19-17Monarchs mating on Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) 8-19-17

 

I continued to watch the hummingbirds chase each other and in less than a half an hour, the female Monarch returned to the garden and began to lay eggs on the Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata).  She worked low among the plants, finding shady places for the tiny tender pearls. Their precious progeny will be the ones to migrate to Mexico, overwinter there and start the new generation next spring.

 

Monarch female laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-19-17Monarch female laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-19-17 Monarch female laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-19-17Monarch female laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-19-17

 

I left the Monarch resting in the Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis).  The butterfly still had a long day ahead with many more eggs to lay, it was just 11 a.m.

 

Monarch female rests on Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) 8-19-17Monarch female rests on Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) 8-19-17

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/8/monarchs-and-more-8-20-17 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 13:46:51 GMT
Into August now 8-7-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/8/into-august-now-8-7-17 Since the last post, there have been quite a few sightings.  A worn Great Crested Flycatcher was busy looking for food for its fledgling on Tuesday, July 25.  The younger bird looks bright and alert with more white on its feather edges.  Such fun to see this species nesting here.

 

Great Crested Flycatcher 7-25-17Great Crested Flycatcher 7-25-17 Great Crested Flycatcher adult feeding juvenile 7-25-17Great Crested Flycatcher adult feeding juvenile 7-25-17 Great Crested Flycatcher juvenile 7-25-17Great Crested Flycatcher juvenile 7-25-17

 

A female Monarch was seen on Friday, July 28 laying eggs on the Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa).  I watched the butterfly work through the garden for about an hour and it finally took a break to nectar on freshly opened blossoms.

 

Monarch female lays eggs on Marsh Milkweed 7-28-17Monarch female lays eggs on Marsh Milkweed 7-28-17

Monarch female nectars on Marsh Milkweed 7-28-17Monarch female nectars on Marsh Milkweed 7-28-17

 

The next day, a female Blue Dasher took a rest on a spent Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).  How beautiful it was in the soft light as its coloring blended in with the spiky seed head.

 

Blue Dasher female 7-29-17Blue Dasher female 7-29-17

 

On Sunday, July 30, a Painted Lady was busy nectaring in the garden, mainly on the coneflowers.  It was my first opportunity to photograph this uncommon butterfly here.

 

Painted Lady (uncommon) on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-30-17Painted Lady (uncommon) on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-30-17

Painted Lady (uncommon) on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-30-17Painted Lady (uncommon) on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-30-17

 

As I followed the butterfly, I noticed a Tufted Titmouse flying down to the garden and briefly laying down, not dust-bathing but sun-bathing.  Another Titmouse joined it, literally laying on top and giving it a hug!  Isn't that interesting behavior?

 

Pair of Tufted Titmice sunbathing in garden cover 7-30-17Pair of Tufted Titmice sunbathing in garden cover 7-30-17

 

They would pop up to a tree branch for a while and down to the garden again, only staying maybe 30 seconds.  This went on for several minutes.  One tried the bench but that just wasn't the same.

 

Tufted Titmouse sunbathing on bench 7-30-17Tufted Titmouse sunbathing on bench 7-30-17 Tufted Titmouse sunbathing in garden cover 7-30-17Tufted Titmouse sunbathing in garden cover 7-30-17 Tufted Titmouse sunbathing in garden cover 7-30-17Tufted Titmouse sunbathing in garden cover 7-30-17

 

A Great Crested Flycatcher got in on the act and I also saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird lay down for just a few seconds.  Look closely as the flycatcher nestled in under the coneflowers near the basil.  It had been very cool overnight at 60 degrees so perhaps they were indeed just soaking up a bit of warmth in anticipation of another cool night.

 

Great Crested Flycatcher sunbathing in garden cover 7-30--17Great Crested Flycatcher sunbathing in garden cover 7-30--17

 

The cool weather brought in more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and they have been chasing each other through the garden.  The Cardinal flower is nestled in between patches of milkweed and coneflowers and not nearly as tall.  The birds find its bright red blossoms nonetheless.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-5-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-5-17

 

Today, one of the young hummingbirds had a chance to drink from a plant near the pond, much closer to where I was waiting.  Fascinating to capture the pollen being deposited on its head as it thrust its bill into the blossom.  See the tiny yellow grain of pollen falling away?  Bird and plant are perfectly compatible.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird pollinating Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-7-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird pollinating Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) 8-7-17

 

A Coopers Hawk has been in the woods on several different days.  It was perched near the Bubbler on Tuesday, August 1.

 

Coopers Hawk 8-1-17Coopers Hawk 8-1-17

 

A Northern Flicker got in to get a good bath the next day when the hawk wasn't around.

 

Northern Flicker 8-2-17Northern Flicker 8-2-17

 

It was Thursday, August 3.  As often happens, I thought I saw the Painted Lady again and by the time I got the camera, I could not re-find it.  I waited on the landing and the Carolina Wren started fussing up a storm.  It circled around me and into the thicket.  I went up to the deck to see what the problem might be and didn't see anything at first.

 

Carolina Wren calling in alarm 8-3-17Carolina Wren calling in alarm 8-3-17

 

Then, the Coopers Hawk dropped in and stared down the wren.  The wren moved on but by then, the birds had heard and heeded the alarm.

 

Coopers Hawk 8-3-17Coopers Hawk 8-3-17

 

Before 7 a.m. on Friday morning, August 4, the twin fawns were in the woodland, grooming themselves.  I guess that's where they had spent the night.  Here is one of the fawns before they moved on.

  White-tailed Fawn #2 8-4-17White-tailed Fawn #2 8-4-17

 

A black female Tiger Swallowtail has been in the garden the last few days.  

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail black female 8-5-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail black female 8-5-17

 

This afternoon, a male Monarch was very active on the Marsh Milkweed.  It was only when I finished going through the images that I saw a tiny Monarch caterpillar in this photo, too!  Can you find it?  The caterpillars are able to eat every part of the plant to grow into a healthy butterfly.  What a positive ending to the day!

 

Monarch adult and caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed 8-7-17Monarch adult and caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed 8-7-17

Hint:  Look in the cluster of buds on the far right for the tiny striped caterpillar.  Eggs were laid on Friday, July 28 so the caterpillar is 10 days old.

 

 

 

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/8/into-august-now-8-7-17 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 03:03:31 GMT
Summertime! 7-19-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/7/summertime-7-19-17 The heat is on!  We have lost 20 minutes of daylight since the Summer Solstice last month, but that fact sure hasn't lessened the temperatures. To help out the birds, we added a new dripper to an old birdbath and it has been getting a lot of attention.

 

Woodard Dripper Bath 7-15-17Woodard Dripper Bath 7-15-17

 

A young American Robin investigated it, took a bath and then took a nap one hot afternoon.

 

American Robin juvenile at Dripper Bath 7-11-17 temperature at 99 FarenheitAmerican Robin juvenile at Dripper Bath 7-11-17 temperature at 99 Farenheit American Robin juvenile at Dripper Bath 7-11-17 temperature at 99 FarenheitAmerican Robin juvenile at Dripper Bath 7-11-17 temperature at 99 Farenheit

 

Tufted Timice and Chickadees come to get a sip at the little spouts on both dripper baths.

 

Tufted Titmouse getting a drop of water 7-16-17Tufted Titmouse getting a drop of water 7-16-17

 

Water is a precious commodity in this heat for birds, animals and insects, like bees, too.

 

A precious drop of water 7-16-17A precious drop of water 7-16-17

 

 

So, you still haven't gotten around to adding a dripper to your birdbath?  It's really not difficult to do.  You can get the tubing and fittings from a 'big box' store if you're a DIY type or buy a kit.  Here's the scoop from an old blog post:

Moving Water for Birds

 

The doe and fawn were in the woodland before 7 a.m. last Wednesday morning, 7/12/17.  Perhaps that is where they had spent the night.  Their noses touched as they greeted each other.  The day would prove to be the hottest of the year so far at 101.8 degrees here.

 

7-12-17 Doe and Fawn at 6:57 am7-12-17 Doe and Fawn at 6:57 am

 

Some well-timed rain brought in a bit cooler air and the nectar seemed to call to the pollinators.  Butterflies are 'local foodies' and focus on the most productive blooms to nectar on at a given point in the season.  An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail passed up the buttonbush, which was juicy and sweet the week before, knowing the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) was now at its peak.

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17

 

The bumblebees and even tiny ants were coming in to feed.

 

Bumblebees and Ants on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17Bumblebees and Ants on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-14-17

 

The next day at noon was much the same, with lots of activity.  A Silver-spotted Skipper finally took a moment to rest on a bloom.

 

Silver Spotted Skipper on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17Silver Spotted Skipper on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17

 

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was back amidst the sea of coneflowers, flitting about. 

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17

 

The tiger also tried the meadow phlox (Pholx maculata).

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Meadow Phlox (Phlox maculata) 7-15-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Meadow Phlox (Phlox maculata) 7-15-17

 

Like a drunken sailor, it kept returning to the coneflowers.  It went deeper into the garden and as I took this image, a flash of orange appeared in front of my lens.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17

 

 It was a Monarch, the first of the summer, a very fresh looking male!  I sent in my report with this photo to Journey North:  Journey North

 

Monarch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17Monarch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17

Monarch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17Monarch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17

Monarch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17Monarch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17

 

A Spicebush Swallowtail soon joined the parade of butterflies. It was such a nice summer day.

 

Spicebush Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17Spicebush Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 7-15-17

 

A nice surprise this past week was catching a short video of a frisky, healthy fox as it pranced through the area of the bubbler.  It comes in on the upper left.

 

Fox! 7/16/17 at 5:47 a.m.

 

On Monday morning about 6 a.m., a ghostly figure moved through the woods.  It was mostly interested in finding insects in the leaf litter and didn't pay much attention to me.  The opossum moved under a spicebush a bit closer and looked up, then moseyed along its way.

 

Opossum in the woodland 7-17-17 at 6:04 amOpossum in the woodland 7-17-17 at 6:04 am

 

Later on in the garden, I noticed an insect I had not seen before.  The best i.d. I could find was that it is a type of Spear-winged Fly, Lonchoptera species.  If any of you naturalists or entomologists know this one, it would be nice to complete its identification.  And, I have no idea what it is carrying, either!

 

Spear-winged Fly species 7-17-17Spear-winged Fly species 7-17-17

 

An annual cicada was moving about and landed on a Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) stalk.

 

Annual Cicada on Marsh Milkweed 7-17-17Annual Cicada on Marsh Milkweed 7-17-17

 

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been chasing each other about and this female sipped some nectar at the Black and Blue Salvia.  It is not a native plant but it is a good nectar source with high sugar content.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Black and Blue Salvia 7-14-17Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Black and Blue Salvia 7-14-17

 

In the evenings, we watch the American Robins come in and feast on the Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) berries, another source of sweet moisture for hungry birds.  Even the young ones have figured out how to perch and reach for them.

 

American Robin juvenile with berry from Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) 7-16-17American Robin juvenile with berry from Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) 7-16-17

 

Temperatures will be beastly over the next four days, topping 100 degrees with high heat indices in the humidity.  It's summertime in St. Louis!

 

 

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/7/summertime-7-19-17 Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:20:52 GMT
Babes! 7-8-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/7/babes-7-8-17 The summer brings evidence of new life with lots of mouths to feed.  I returned to the yard with the hummingbird nest on June 22.  The birds were very active and feeding well. 

 

6-22-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 10 days old6-22-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 10 days old

 

Due to some rain and windy conditions, I was not able to go back for five days.  The homeowner told me on that morning that the chicks were 'beating each other up' and one was exercising its wings vigorously on the edge of the nest with just a toe holding on.  When I arrived a couple hours later, both birds were apparently...gone.  

 

6-27-17 Nest is empty?6-27-17 Nest is empty?

 

The female came in and seemed to be checking the nest.  The bird just rearranged some down and flew off, returned in a few minutes and did the same thing.  We listened for peeping and looked on other branches, but did not see the chicks anywhere.

 

6-27-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird picks up downy fluff lining nest6-27-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird picks up downy fluff lining nest

 

After a while, we confirmed that the nest was indeed empty.  By our calculations, it was day 15 but perhaps we were mistaken.  The earliest that chicks usually fledge is on day 18.  What happened to the birds is a mystery since no one witnessed their departure.  Young chicks are vulnerable and can become a meal for other larger birds, small mammals and even the larger non-native praying mantises.  We were left to hope for the best for these two little ruby-throats.

Here's one link on the non-native praying mantis:  Chinese Praying Mantis preys on Ruby-throats

 

6-27-17 Nest is empty, for certain6-27-17 Nest is empty, for certain

 

Back in our Shady Oaks yard, we're still seeing both male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.  These two males were tanking up one afternoon, sharing somewhat tentatively at the same feeder.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds 6-25-17Ruby-throated Hummingbirds 6-25-17

 

A young American Robin enjoyed the dripper bath on a hot day.  It has been a very popular place.

 

American Robin at dripper bath 6-29-17American Robin at dripper bath 6-29-17

 

This Eastern Wood Pewee was fly-catching right off the deck around noon on June 29.  I could hear it calling over my head later as I weeded on the path to the Bubbler. It might still be feeding young. 

 

Eastern Wood Pewee 6-29-17Eastern Wood Pewee 6-29-17

 

On Monday, June 26, this Northern Cardinal found an annual cicada to pre-digest for its brood.  

 

Northern Cardinal with annual cicada for nestlings 6-26-17Northern Cardinal with annual cicada for nestlings 6-26-17

 

It flew to the nearby viburnum then across the pond and up to its nest.  

 

Northern Cardinal with annual cicada for nestlings 6-26-17Northern Cardinal with annual cicada for nestlings 6-26-17

 

I think it's in this area, it is so well concealed in the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) on the arbor.

 

Northern Cardinal nest in Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) 4-9-17Northern Cardinal nest in Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) 4-9-17

 

We had been hearing the chicks peeping while we were in the gazebo having a few meals.  The 4th of July became Independence Day for the chicks!  This one flew from the viburnum about 25 feet to the cypress!  Wide-eyed, it was taking in this big new world as the male brought in a morsel and gently fed it.

 

Northern Cardinal fledgling 7-4-17Northern Cardinal fledgling 7-4-17 Northern Cardinal fledgling with male 7-4-17Northern Cardinal fledgling with male 7-4-17 Northern Cardinal fledgling being fed by male 7-4-17Northern Cardinal fledgling being fed by male 7-4-17

 

The woodpecker group has had a good spring, too.  This young Red-bellied Woodpecker has already been in the Bubbler Basin to bathe.

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker juvenile 7-2-17Red-bellied Woodpecker juvenile 7-2-17

 

Baby birds of all sizes certainly look like their prehistoric ancestors!

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker juvenile 7-2-17Red-bellied Woodpecker juvenile 7-2-17

 

The Downy Woodpeckers have at least one young bird that is on its own now.  The juveniles have red on the tops of their heads for quite a while. 

 

Downy Woodpecker juvenile 7-6-17Downy Woodpecker juvenile 7-6-17  

 

Pollinators have been busy in the garden.  An unidentified fly was attracted to the Leather Flower vine (Clematis versicolor).

 

Fly species at Leather Flower (Clematis versicolor) 6-21-17Fly species at Leather Flower (Clematis versicolor) 6-21-17

 

Honeybees and bumblebees have been all over the 'White Dome' Hydrangea nativar (Hydrangea arborescens x White Dome).

 

Pollinators on Hydrangea arborescens x White Dome 6-26-17Pollinators on Hydrangea arborescens x White Dome 6-26-17

 

The lacily frilled Wild Bergamot or native Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa) is very attractive to bees, too.   

 

Bumblebee on Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa) 6-29-17Bumblebee on Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa) 6-29-17

 

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) brings in all kinds of pollinators, including Eastern Tiger Swallowtails.

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and bumblebees on Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) 6-29-17Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and bumblebees on Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) 6-29-17

 

A species of dragonfly newly identified in our yard is this Swamp Darner, a female.  Typical to its description, it was in the shade hanging out on the moisture-loving Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).

 

Swamp Darner female on Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentals) 6-29-17Swamp Darner female on Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentals) 6-29-17

 

This is the second year that we've seen the beautiful damselfly named the Ebony Jewelwing.  It likes to land on plants near the riffles in the stream bed like the Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and then retire to trees to rest overnight.

 

Ebony Jewelwing on Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) 7-1-17Ebony Jewelwing on Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) 7-1-17

 

The Familiar Bluets were found mating in the stream bed.  I've already seen some of their young tenerals nearby.

 

Familiar Bluets mating in pond 7-1-17Familiar Bluets mating in pond 7-1-17

 

Today, I saw at least 4 Blue Dashers chasing each other about the pond and displaying to each other.  This one shows the 'obelisk position'.  

 

Blue Dasher in obelisk position 7-8-17Blue Dasher in obelisk position 7-8-17

 

More babes to come, no doubt about it!

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/7/babes-7-8-17 Sat, 08 Jul 2017 21:12:04 GMT
It's the Longest Day - Summer Solstice 6-21-17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/6/its-the-longest-day---summer-solstice-6-21-17 Since the Winter Solstice six months ago, we have gained five hours and twenty-one minutes of daylight.

Enjoy this longest day! 

 

It has been rather eventful in surprising ways since the last post.  The first water lily bloom was opening when I fed the fish last Tuesday morning.  

 

First Water Lily 6-13-17First Water Lily 6-13-17

 

It was so hot and dry the next day that I finished early in the garden and came inside to do some chores.  I looked out the window about 3:00 and the water lilies looked like they had been pushed aside.  Curious, I checked the Pond Cam and I found this. 

 

Doe 6-14-17 2:30 pm

 

I had missed seeing the doe by minutes!  Since I had put a granular deer deterrent around the perimeter of the garden, the deer had not been feeding in there so much.  I also added bars of Irish Spring soap on stakes since they don't care for strong smells.  However, one of the bars had gotten chewed up, probably by a raccoon. It lasted like this for one more day, then disappeared.  Crazy!

 

  Irish Spring soap eaten by a raccoon?  6-16-17Irish Spring soap eaten by a raccoon? 6-16-17

 

Last Friday morning, my neighbor Peggy texted me about a discovery she found in a low spot in her yard with tall grass.  I went over with my camera.  It all made perfect sense now.

 

White-tailed Fawn 6-16-17White-tailed Fawn 6-16-17

 

Who can blame a mother for caring for her young?  The spotted fawns are too darned cute at this stage.  The truth is that the deer population is no longer naturally controlled.  Too many factors have upset that balance.  There are usually twins, but sometimes a doe will have just one.  

From there, I headed over to check on the Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks.  It was pretty hot and breezy.  I had better luck getting video than stills.  I slowed down the mid-section to 25% speed to study the feeding process.  Amazing!

 

Ruby-throat Chicks 4 days old 6-16-17 (middle slowed to 1/4 speed)

 

The female feeds the young a regurgitated slurry of tiny insects and nectar.  Open a new page about it:  Ruby-throat

 

We finally got over an inch of rain and that cool-down.  I went back on Monday to check on the chicks again and they have grown.  Here are a few images.

 

6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old 6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old

6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old

 

To view all of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest and chicks photos, look at this gallery:  Ruby-throated Hummingbird Nest

 

On other fronts, the female Three-toed Box Turtle has been seen on different days.  Hello!  Here she was at my feet in the woodland as i went to fill the feeder.

 

Three-toed Box Turtle, female 6-12-17Three-toed Box Turtle, female 6-12-17

 

The Indian Pinks (Spigelia marilandica) were gorgeous the first week of June, they have pretty much finished now. 

 

Gardenman Spider on Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) 6-2-17Gardenman Spider on Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) 6-2-17

 

The aquatic milkweed (Asclepias perennis) is in bloom now in the stream bed of the large pond.  It spent the winter in that same spot. 

 

Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis) 6-18-17Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis) 6-18-17

 

A very fresh looking Great Spangled Fritillary was seen nectaring at Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).  The common blue violet (Viola sororia) is its host plant and we leave patches of violets to feed their caterpillars so we can see these beauties.  Dr. Doug Tallamy, well known scientist and author of Bringing Nature Home, has said that these butterflies have all but disappeared in the Eastern part of the country because there are no longer any violets left for them or the 28 other species of butterflies that lay eggs on them.  

 

Great Spangled Fritillary 6-15-17Great Spangled Fritillary 6-15-17

 

Wishing you all birds, bees and butterflies this summer!

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/6/its-the-longest-day---summer-solstice-6-21-17 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:16:11 GMT
Birding with my head down 6/13/17 http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/6/birding-with-my-head-down-6/13/17 In early May when I was photographing birds daily, I was asked in an email by a former neighbor, "How do you get anything done?????  Aren't you completely distracted in your thinking?????"  I smiled and shared these questions with my dear friend whom I had infected with the birding bug years ago.  These were her responses.

Answer to question 1:   Who cares?

Answer to question 2:   What?  Oh, look at that bird over there!!!!

We shared a good laugh.  Well, the piper must now be paid and days spent waiting for intermittent migrants, visiting family, reading Owl Babies to our blue-eyed boys and being otherwise engaged have turned to days spent working in the garden.  So, I am birding with my head down early in the mornings and hearing many of the nesting birds. They are not as vocal as when they were setting up their territories, but still call a bit in between forays of finding food.

On Tuesday, 6/2/17 we dug up a small beautyberry and moved it to another spot. This left a depression in the soil behind the bench in the garden. A couple days later, I was in the gazebo eating lunch when the Brown Thrasher family flew down into the garden.  There were four birds and they took turns dust-bathing in the area where the small plant had been.  I enjoyed seeing them, having not heard much at all from the male since mid-May.  The male then called to gather his brood and they flew off together up into the neighbor's oak trees. It was still a bit bittersweet not to get a photo of that kind of interaction.  In fact, I've gotten very few photos of that species.  The last time was in 2006!  So, perhaps one can use his or her imagination and put these two images together. 

 

Brown Thrasher 4-28-06Brown Thrasher 4-28-06

Dust bathing area behind bench 6-4-17Dust bathing area behind bench 6-4-17

 

Or not.  I know, it's just not the same.  A wise instructor once told me, "Well, you may not see that again, but you will see other things!"  As luck would have it, I had just taken the bench photo when to my delight, a bird popped up from the garden.  It was another nester, a Great Crested Flycatcher! 

 

Great Crested Flycatcher 6-4-17Great Crested Flycatcher 6-4-17 Great Crested Flycatcher 6-4-17Great Crested Flycatcher 6-4-17 Great Crested Flycatcher 6-4-17Great Crested Flycatcher 6-4-17

 

This species is usually found at the top of a tree calling, "Breeep, breeep, breeep!"  I didn't expect to see this one foraging so low, but insects are found in every level of the canopy.  I saw the bird again yesterday perched on the arbor and flying out and back catching insects.  They have such beautiful and distinctive coloration, don't they?

Great Crested Flycatcher

There have been other opportunities in the last week to document nesters in friends' yards.  I visited the first nest on Wednesday, 6/7/17.  It is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest that is located just above eye level in a young Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa).  The nest is spun with spider silk to stretch with growing chicks and camouflaged with bits of lichen.  "The details of life are exquisite!"  Have you found it?  Look closely at the images to see the spider silk.

 

6-7-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)6-7-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) 6-7-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)6-7-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) 6-7-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)6-7-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

 

We're not sure when the bird laid eggs, but as of Monday 6/12/17, it had begun feeding two chicks. So, I went back today and despite the wind and a noisy garbage truck coming down the street as the female came in, I was able to get some images of her feeding the babes. This period of the nestling phase will last an average of 18-23 days, and up to another week longer. 

 

6-13-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird lands to feed chicks6-13-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird lands to feed chicks 6-13-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeds chicks6-13-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeds chicks 6-13-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeds chicks6-13-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeds chicks

 

I am very grateful to these folks for allowing me to witness this natural event and photograph the birds.  Though we have 3 females coming in regularly to feed in our yard, they fly off in different directions and I have not located a nest closer by.  I will be checking on these chicks as they continue to grow. 

 

Open a new tab by clicking here to learn more about the bird and its nesting habits:  Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This page gives even more descriptive information:  Ruby-throated Hummingbird on hummingbirds.net

 

As soon as I got home after getting those initial photos last week, a second friend called to give me the particulars of the Red-shouldered Hawks' nest he could see from his deck.  I went the next morning.  The nest was in the largest crotch of an American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis).  These hawks prefer nesting near a water source and this tree was situated along the bank of a creek.

 

6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk nest in American Sycamore (Platanus occidentals)6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk nest in American Sycamore (Platanus occidentals)

 

The three young hawks were just days from fledging and leaving the nest.  One of the adults (its wing seen on the left side of the tree) brought in a small mammal for them to eat.  

 

6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk adult brings shrew to juveniles6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk adult brings shrew to juveniles

 

Studying the photos, I could confirm that the prey was a Short-tailed Shrew, smaller than a mouse.  The young bird seemed pretty cautious about handling it.

 

6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile with short-tailed shrew6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile with short-tailed shrew

 

The two young birds seemed to be waiting for it to stop moving before getting into their meal.

  6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk juveniles look at shrew6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk juveniles look at shrew 6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile tries to eat  shrew6-9-17 Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile tries to eat shrew

 

After a bit of research, i learned that the Short-tailed Shrew is the only mammal in North America with a poisonous bite! Perhaps that is why the young birds were a bit reticent.  

Read more about the shrew and watch a National Geographic video at this link:    

Short-tailed Shrew

 

Here's the link with interesting details about the hawks:  Red-shouldered Hawk

 

One last thing, the Sustainable Backyard Tour was last Sunday.  I visited several gardens and always enjoy seeing the creative ways that people garden with native plants to help birds and pollinators, as well as re-use and re-cycle different things into fun yard art.  Here are a few examples.

 

A two-acre prairie of native plants established in 1999.

6-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #46-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #4

 

Happy and productive bees return to their hives after work in the prairie garden.

 

6-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #46-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #4

 

A female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail nectars on Orange Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) in the prairie garden.

 

6-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #46-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #4

 

Driftwood that has all been cut by beavers near the Missouri River was collected and painted by the gardener-artist in another native garden.

 

6-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #396-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #39

 

A galvanized re-cycled boy was found climbing a tree!

 

6-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #396-11-17 Sustainable Backyard Tour #39

 

Rain and a cool down is in the forecast and it can't come soon enough for me!  

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2017/6/birding-with-my-head-down-6/13/17 Tue, 13 Jun 2017 22:59:46 GMT