Hummer Haven UnLtd.: Blog https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog en-us (C) Hummer Haven UnLtd. (Hummer Haven UnLtd.) Mon, 27 Jun 2022 22:11:00 GMT Mon, 27 Jun 2022 22:11:00 GMT https://hummerhavenunltd.com/img/s/v-12/u594331759-o146253739-50.jpg Hummer Haven UnLtd.: Blog https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog 120 80 Summer Days now 6-24-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/6/summer-days-now-6-24-22 Quiz answers first! 

Thank you all for being patient, hope you had fun and did well!

 

5-2-22 Orange-crowned Warbler5-2-22 Orange-crowned Warbler
 

1. Orange-crowned Warbler

 

5-4-22 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers5-4-22 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers
 

2. Blue-winged Warbler, in front

3. Golden-winged Warbler, in back

 

5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler, "tail dipped in ink"5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler, "tail dipped in ink"
 

4. Magnolia Warbler with "tail dipped in ink" which is diagnostic for this species

 

5-9-22 Blackburnian Warbler female5-9-22 Blackburnian Warbler female
 

5. Blackburnian Warbler, female

 

5-11-22 Bay-breasted Warbler female5-11-22 Bay-breasted Warbler female
 

6. Bay-breasted Warbler, female

 

 

Now for the latest summer update...

 

6-10-22 Hairy Woodpeckers6-10-22 Hairy Woodpeckers 6-12-22 Downy Woodpeckers6-12-22 Downy Woodpeckers

 

Nesters have been busy finding food for their fledglings. A Hairy Woodpecker teaches its young about suet and a Downy Woodpecker feeds hidden insect morsels to its offspring.

 

5-17-22 Bumble Bee on Eastern Beebalm (Monarda bradburiana)5-17-22 Bumble Bee on Eastern Beebalm (Monarda bradburiana)
6-16-22 American Goldfinch female on Eastern Beebalm6-16-22 American Goldfinch female on Eastern Beebalm 6-16-22 American Goldfinch on Eastern Beebalm6-16-22 American Goldfinch on Eastern Beebalm

 

American Goldfinches have been eating the seeds of Eastern Beebalm (Monarda bradburiana). It was in full bloom on 5-17-22. By not cutting back the spent blooms, the seeds feed the birds and help to enlarge the patch. This plant has done better here on a dry slope than anywhere else I've tried it. It attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators and also is a host plant to 9 different moth and butterfly species.

 

6-22-22 House Wren juvenile6-22-22 House Wren juvenile
6-16-22 Song Sparrow6-16-22 Song Sparrow 6-18-22 Gray Catbird6-18-22 Gray Catbird

 

From the young House Wren and Song Sparrow to larger birds like the Gray Catbird, traffic has been constant at our water features.

  6-20-22 Northern Parula6-20-22 Northern Parula 6-20-22 Northern Parula6-20-22 Northern Parula 6-21-22 Northern Parula female6-21-22 Northern Parula female

 

Northern Parula warblers have been at the pond and bubbler on several days now. I've heard the male singing the last couple weeks and I think they nest in the neighborhood, possibly high in a neighbor's sycamore. The last few years, they've been coming in for food and water in June.

 

6-22-22 Brown Thrasher6-22-22 Brown Thrasher 6-22-22 Brown Thrasher6-22-22 Brown Thrasher

 

Brown Thrashers have been seen almost daily, foraging and looking for a drink or bath. 

 

6-22-22 Blue Jay6-22-22 Blue Jay 6-22-22 Blue Jay6-22-22 Blue Jay

6-20-22 American Robin6-20-22 American Robin 6-20-22 American Robins6-20-22 American Robins

 

Blue Jays and American Robins love to cool off, even if it means a confrontation to get their way.

 

6-19-22 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher preening6-19-22 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher preening 6-19-22 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher sunning6-19-22 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher sunning
6-19-22 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher singing6-19-22 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher singing 6-21-22 Bubbler Bird #80 for 2022 - Blue-gray Gnatcatcher6-21-22 Bubbler Bird #80 for 2022 - Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

 

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers have been heard and seen a lot lately. One day, I noticed the female preening and the male apparently taking a dust bath in the garden. It's a behavior we've seen in species like hummingbirds, titmice and flycatchers. The male then flew into another small tree and began singing. The following day, I just caught the female as it bathed in the bubbler. 

 

Interested in Adding Moving Water to your garden? Look at this page:

 

Simple Ways to Add Moving Water

 

If you'd like information about Bubbler Maintenance and more, check out this page:

 

All Water Feature Links

 

Stay cool...

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/6/summer-days-now-6-24-22 Fri, 24 Jun 2022 21:22:03 GMT
Let's talk about warblers! 6-13-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/6/lets-talk-about-warblers-6-13-22 WARBLERS!

 

It's miserably hot here and over much of the country,

so like many of you, I'm trying to stay cool inside today.

 

Post-spring migration, we birders tend to feel bereft of 'our' warblers! We can never get enough of them in their breeding splendor. So, how many warblers can one hope to see in spring in our area? There are three references that help determine this, links will open in a new tab.

 

First, the checklist:  Birds of Missouri Checklist

 

Scroll down to #386 Ovenbird to look at the warbler species. There are 42 species listed, but we sure won't see them all. You can click on each name to see a photo and more information from All About Birds. You can view the Seasonal Status and Abundance Status. This is important to help understand when a bird should be here and whether it's common, accidental or even extinct. 

 

Second, obtain a free download:  The Status and Distribution of Birds of Missouri, 2nd Edition

 

This is the most in-depth, go-to reference on all bird species seen here in our state. It has records of early and late dates, habitats where it is most likely to find certain birds and so much more. 

 

Third, get a free publication from the Missouri Department of Conservation:  Enjoying Missouri's Birds

 

 

This recently revised booklet, mentioned before, is great to have on hand to check the charts on when and where a bird is most likely to be seen and how rare it may be. You can obtain this free 42-page booklet in several ways. Just go to any of the MDC regional offices or nature centers and ask for it, or you can call or email to have it sent to you. It's a hot item!
 

Call MDC:  573-751-4115 and ask to be connected with Publications and ask for #W00002

Email MDC:  pubstaff@mdc.mo.gov

 

OR, join the Missouri Birding Society and this booklet will come as part of your new member packet!  Missouri Birding Society

 

Here in our Shady Oaks Sanctuary, we have documented 35 species of warblers over 25+ years. Some are identified by song, some by sight, some have been photographed. Even though species may have ancestors that have been here and put our location into their genetic code, there is no guarantee that offspring of that species will show up every year. And that is the pure and simple reason we keep looking, we never know what may drop in with a mixed flock and forage through our layered canopy or drink at the bubbler! 

 

FOY 87 Ovenbird 5-1-19FOY 87 Ovenbird 5-1-19
 Ovenbird


Ovenbirds are typically seen every year, though they are not always as cooperative as the bird you see in the photo above.

 

4-30-22 Yellow Warbler singing4-30-22 Yellow Warbler singing

Yellow Warbler

 

This year was exceptional for Yellow Warblers because we saw at least one on each of 12 different days. It is a common transient. 

 

4-29-22 Pine Warbler4-29-22 Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

 

Pine Warblers are more often heard in early March as they forage in pines in our neighborhood. This long-tailed warbler was here on several days,  4-29-22 thru 5-1-22 as a northbound migrant. I was surprised to see it then and it is rare at that time but regularly seen in the St. Louis area. I discovered this detail when I checked my copy of The Status and Distribution of Birds of Missouri.

 

4-29-20 Worm-eating Warbler4-29-20 Worm-eating Warbler

Worm-eating Warbler

 

I enjoyed watching a Worm-eating Warbler on 4-23-22 while it was singing in a Redbud (Cercis canadensis), but I was unable to get on it quickly enough to photograph. The one above was foraging in an American Elm (Ulmus americana) on 4-29-20. 

 

Yellow-breasted ChatYellow-breasted Chat

Yellow-breasted Chat

 

On 7-30-14, a bird that was considered a wood-warbler at the time visited our garden, a Yellow-breasted Chat. Its status in the wood-warbler family was frequently questioned for many reasons. "It had many traits atypical of wood-warblers--large size, eclectic vocal repertoire, behavior and certain anatomical features. In 2017, it was elevated to its own family, Icteriidae." So, I wanted to share this story because with genetics, more is being learned all the time about where birds should be placed in the taxonomic order. So, it is not included in our wood-warbler count.

(Quote paraphrased from Birds of the World, subscription reference through Cornell Laboratory)

 

Black-throated Blue Warbler on 5-13-05Black-throated Blue Warbler on 5-13-05 Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17Black-throated Blue female 9-13-17

Black-throated Blue Warbler

 

This bird is a rare migrant, especially in spring when it is considered the 'holy grail' of migration here in our area. A male came to the Bubbler on 5-13-05, I could barely catch my breath it was so exciting to see! I called my dear friend, Tina Weyman. Somehow, she understood me during that early morning call when I said, "Buh-buh-buh-Black-throated Buh-buh-Blue!" And, Tina made it here in time to see it, too. 

 

Years later, a female came by in the fall on 9-13-17 and I followed it for a couple hours. This species is rare anytime, maybe 1-2 are seen each year in the eastern part of Missouri. Most springs, this species goes unrecorded in the west.

 

5-9-22 FOY Bay-breasted Warbler5-9-22 FOY Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

 

From the uncommon Bay-breasted Warbler to the rarer species, birders feel the need to see every one each spring. And if we don't see them, we start looking again in late summer with hopes of adding them to our year lists in the fall! Welcome to the obsessive life of birding!

 

REVIEW AND QUIZ?

 

To review the warblers of this past spring, begin here: Warblers beginning 4-20-22

 

All the photos are now in the galleries, so here are a few if you want to quiz yourselves. Answers will be posted next time!

 

 

5-2-22 Orange-crowned Warbler5-2-22 Orange-crowned Warbler

1.

5-4-22 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers5-4-22 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers

2. In front

3. In back

5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler, "tail dipped in ink"5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler, "tail dipped in ink"

4.

5-9-22 Blackburnian Warbler female5-9-22 Blackburnian Warbler female

5.

5-11-22 Bay-breasted Warbler female5-11-22 Bay-breasted Warbler female

6.

 

Stay cool, stay safe!

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/6/lets-talk-about-warblers-6-13-22 Mon, 13 Jun 2022 19:10:49 GMT
Migration wanes, into June now 6-4-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/6/migration-wanes-into-june-now-6-4-22 Most migrating birds have moved on to breeding grounds, though species are still coming through!

Check out Birdcast for movement just last night:  St. Louis County, June 3, 2022

 

Species that nest here have stayed in the area.

Resident breeding birds have been busy raising young!

All of these species need the same things: cover, places to raise young, insect foods and fresh water. 

 

4-28-22 Blackpoll Warbler4-28-22 Blackpoll Warbler

5-1-22 Blackpoll Warbler female5-1-22 Blackpoll Warbler female

 

Birdcast had predicted a high influx of birds on Saturday and Sunday nights, 5-7-22 and 5-8-22. Sure enough, Monday, 5-9-22 was my personal 'big day' with 53 species for the day, including 15 warblers. Blackpoll Warblers fly the longest overwater journey of any songbird species - nearly 1,800 miles non-stop over the Atlantic Ocean to their wintering grounds in South America. 

Blackpoll Warbler

 

This species is rarely seen in the fall in Missouri because of its route over the Atlantic. Birders know they better see it in spring to be sure to get it for the year. However, our yard hosted a young female that took the shorter route and this sighting became the third fall record for Missouri. This event was covered in our very first blog post on October 14, 2013. Time sure flies like the birds!

Wildlife at Shady Oaks

 

4-30-22 Yellow Warbler with a caterpillar!4-30-22 Yellow Warbler with a caterpillar! 5-9-22 Yellow Warbler female5-9-22 Yellow Warbler female

 

Yellow Warblers have been seen here more this year than ever before. They nest over much of North America, including in Missouri, and prefer habitats like wet woods or areas with trees like willows near streams. That's where they'll find the most insect foods. See if you agree that their song says, "sweet, sweet, sweet, I'm so sweet!" It's an easy one to learn.

Yellow Warbler

 

Years ago, I was determined to learn bird songs. It was a struggle to begin, but slowly, they started to stick. Start with the birds you hear every day, then prepare over the winter for the deluge of new birds that arrive with migration. It's still a struggle, but there's a FREE app for that!

Listen to birds using an app called Merlin Bird ID:   Merlin

 

Merlin is another tool to add to your toolbox, so to speak. We still need to use our own ears and eyes to confirm the songs recorded. But this app has improved tremendously since it was first introduced, and it's fun to help you be aware of the birds around you. 

 

4-29-22 Eastern Bluebird4-29-22 Eastern Bluebird 5-5-22 Eastern Bluebird with insect5-5-22 Eastern Bluebird with insect 4-30-22 Eastern Bluebird female4-30-22 Eastern Bluebird female
5-10-22 Eastern Bluebird carrying fecal sac away5-10-22 Eastern Bluebird carrying fecal sac away
4-30-22 Eastern Bluebird4-30-22 Eastern Bluebird
 

This spring we had our first nesting pair of Eastern Bluebirds. They managed beautifully and were attentive to their feeding and housekeeping duties. The male is shown with a fecal sac which was carried far from the nest site. On 5-12-22, it was time for the young birds to fledge. Once they leave the nest box, they will not return. It's a day when everyone is nervous and excited! 

 

5-12-22 Eastern Bluebird female chattering to fledgling in cover5-12-22 Eastern Bluebird female chattering to fledgling in cover 5-12-22 Eastern Bluebird fledgling5-12-22 Eastern Bluebird fledgling

 

One by one, they left the box. The female was calling to them. I could imagine something like, "Keep your heads down! Watch out for those big birds! Stay low!" 

 

5-12-22 Eastern Bluebird fledgling5-12-22 Eastern Bluebird fledgling

 

One fledgling managed to fly up into a spice bush (Lindera benzoin). Well-camouflaged, it waited for an adult to bring more food. 

 

5-12-22 Eastern Bluebird with fledgling5-12-22 Eastern Bluebird with fledgling

 

How all five of those little birds managed to have room to exercise their wings before their entrance into the big wide world, I'll never know! The male returned once to the box on 5-29-22 and called a few times, then flew. According to my sources, that would have been the earliest day to begin a new nest, seventeen days after fledgling. Maybe this is their first brood and they're taking a well-earned break! Will keep you posted.

 

5-29-22 Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)5-29-22 Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

 

While I was weeding in front one day, I heard the familiar buzzing of a hummingbird flying by. I looked up to see it enjoying the sweet nectar of the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Those of you who have this plant must enjoy their visits, too. It's a bit more gratifying to see them at a natural food source that you've planted and nurtured!
 

 

5-29-22 Northern Cardinal eggshell5-29-22 Northern Cardinal eggshell 5-29-22 Northern Cardinal nest in Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle5-29-22 Northern Cardinal nest in Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle

 

As I worked up the front walk, I saw a broken egg shell from a Northern Cardinal's nest. Were the young just hatching? I had been so busy watching birds in back that I had missed this nest being built! The female and male scolded me for getting too close. So, no more weeding will be done in that area for a while! Minimal disturbance, that's our motto here.

 

5-12-22 Northern Cardinal fledgling5-12-22 Northern Cardinal fledgling 5-12-22 Northern Cardinal fledgling #25-12-22 Northern Cardinal fledgling #2 5-30-22 Northern Cardinal fledglings5-30-22 Northern Cardinal fledglings

 

There are at least two other pairs of Northern Cardinals that have young. One nest is in the other Coral Trumpet vine that has been around much longer with more cover. The other nest, well, I'm not sure where it is, but the adults bring their young to the bubbler area and have me babysit while they look for food!

 

Back in February, 2011, I had the first opportunity to meet Doug Tallamy, mentor and author of Bringing Nature Home, Nature's Best Hope and The Nature of Oaks. I couldn't wait to tell him all the work we had been doing to create habitat and how many birds we had seen in our yard. Then, he zinged me with, "Yes, but how many nesters do you have?" "Oh, um, not sure..have to think about that," was my weak reply. Since my awareness has been raised, we've both learned what we need to do to make our yard more receptive to nesting species. Below is our current count of 34 native species. 


 

2021 Summer Breeders2021 Summer Breeders

 

Now, perhaps I stretch this a bit because the birds may be nesting in a tree across the street or two doors away. However, these species are foraging here or coming into our yard with young and feeding them here. Oh, how I wish we had 100 acres sometimes! At this point in our lives, that is not feasible. I share ideas with all of you to compensate for that. Each of us can do more to support breeding birds and migrants and help bring back the birds, bees, butterflies and more. 

 

Learn more about Doug Tallamy's books and his big idea, Homegrown National Park and get on the map, too!  

 

Tallamy's Hub

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/6/migration-wanes-into-june-now-6-4-22 Sat, 04 Jun 2022 15:33:54 GMT
More birds of May 5-17-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/5/more-birds-of-may-5-17-22 May, oh my!

So many birds = so little time

 

Today, we start with a video. Fortunately, I saw this bird and could confirm its identity. That will be revealed in due course. So, watch for the bird on the left side on the down-angled branch. It disappears into cover and comes into the basin area 'back door' on the left side. As you can see, these birds are small, quick and it's often difficult to catch sight of them when the leaves have filled out and the bubbler area is so dark and shady. 

 

5-16-22 Mourning WarblerMourning Warbler bathes in the basin.

 

4-28-22 Warbling Vireo4-28-22 Warbling Vireo 5-11-22 Philadelphia Vireo5-11-22 Philadelphia Vireo 5-11-22 Blue-headed Vireo5-11-22 Blue-headed Vireo 5-10-22 Red-eyed Vireo5-10-22 Red-eyed Vireo

 

Four different vireo species have come to the bubbler, usually to splash-bathe. They pause to look, giving me a better chance to get their passport photos. Warbling Vireo and Philadelphia Vireos look similar and are often difficult to separate out. The Philadelphia is the least common. The Warbling Vireo has a white throat and is duller overall, sometimes with yellow on the sides. Blue-headed Vireo and Red-eyed Vireo are a bit easier to tell apart.

  5-10-22 Baltimore Oriole5-10-22 Baltimore Oriole
5-11-22 FOY Orchard Oriole5-11-22 FOY Orchard Oriole

 

Both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles have come to the bubbler this spring. It is the first time that a male Orchard Oriole has gotten in to bathe.

 

5-7-22 Summer Tanager, immature5-7-22 Summer Tanager, immature 5-4-22 Scarlet Tanager5-4-22 Scarlet Tanager

 

Summer and Scarlet Tanagers have also been seen and heard. The young Summer Tanager reminds me of Neopolitan sherbet with its multicolored plumage. Soon, it will be an orangey-red all over.

 

5-8-22 Gray-cheeked Thrush5-8-22 Gray-cheeked Thrush 5-8-22 Swainson's Thrush5-8-22 Swainson's Thrush 5-3-22 Wood Thrush, first time in 10 years at the bubbler!5-3-22 Wood Thrush, first time in 10 years at the bubbler!

 

Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrushes come early and often to the bubbler. However, one evening this spring was the first time in ten years that a Wood Thrush got in! Now let's look at a few more warblers.

 

5-2-22 Yellow Warbler5-2-22 Yellow Warbler

5-9-22 Yellow Warbler female5-9-22 Yellow Warbler female

 

Yellow Warblers have been a joy to see this year, and a female came in on Monday, 5-9-22.


5-4-22 Northern Parula5-4-22 Northern Parula

 

We had Northern Parulas a few more days before they began to establish breeding territory. 

 

5-9-22 FOY Bay-breasted Warbler5-9-22 FOY Bay-breasted Warbler 5-11-22 Bay-breasted Warbler female5-11-22 Bay-breasted Warbler female

 

The lovely Bay-breasted Warbler pair arrived on different days. Both are so uniquely colored, though the female can be confused with the Blackpoll female. Dark legs? Bay-breasted. 

 

5-9-22 Blackpoll Warbler5-9-22 Blackpoll Warbler 5-1-22 Blackpoll Warbler female5-1-22 Blackpoll Warbler female

 

And, here is the Blackpoll pair. Certainly don't have dark legs, do they? Orangey legs are a key diagnostic feature for this bird.

 

  5-12-22 Blackburnian Warbler5-12-22 Blackburnian Warbler

5-9-22 Blackburnian Warbler female5-9-22 Blackburnian Warbler female

 

What would spring be without the beautiful Blackburnian Warblers? Firethroats!

 

5-16-22 FOY Mourning Warbler5-16-22 FOY Mourning Warbler
5-16-22 FOY Mourning Warbler5-16-22 FOY Mourning Warbler
 

The video of the first bird was recorded on Friday, 5-16-22. I was able to find the bird in the hydrangeas behind the bubbler. It gave me one full frontal view, Mourning Warbler! Then, it flew down into cover again to forage and sang a little, "cheery-cheery, chorry-chorry-chorry." I had a long list of other things to be done, but thought there might be a good chance that the bird would come back after feeding. It is a skulker, and stayed in the cover of mayapple and wood poppies most of the time, but I was able to get these two photos, certainly not glamour shots but, "C'est la vie!" It is #109 for the year and #78 at the bubbler. To me, having it be comfortable enough to come back in was reward in itself. Every minute a bird is here finding what it needs helps to anchor our location into its genes.

 

All the photos that make it into a gallery or on the blog go through my 12-step process. I've taken hundreds every day this spring and I'm still sorting through them. Maybe I'll be caught up by fall migration!

If you'd like to look at more of the birds, start here:  Photos beginning May 4

 

Update:  The Eastern Bluebirds fledged successfully on 5-12-22. We hope to see more of them soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/5/more-birds-of-may-5-17-22 Wed, 18 May 2022 01:36:46 GMT
First week of May, 5-8-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/5/first-week-of-may-5-8-22 Happy Mother's Day!

How about some warblers to help celebrate?

 

5-1-22 Yellow Warbler5-1-22 Yellow Warbler

4-30-22 Yellow Warbler4-30-22 Yellow Warbler 4-30-22 Yellow Warbler with a caterpillar!4-30-22 Yellow Warbler with a caterpillar!

 

"Sweet, sweet, sweet, I'm so sweet!" There have been Yellow Warblers here almost every day since 4-22-22, Earth Day! Some years we don't see them at all. 

  4-29-22 Pine Warbler4-29-22 Pine Warbler 4-30-22 Pine Warbler4-30-22 Pine Warbler

 

An unusual sighting is this Pine Warbler that was here for several days. It is a rare but regular migrant through the St. Louis area during the last two weeks of April and first few days of May. There is a wintering population in shortleaf pine stands in the southern part of Missouri. 

 

4-28-22 Blackpoll Warbler4-28-22 Blackpoll Warbler 5-1-22 Blackpoll Warbler female5-1-22 Blackpoll Warbler female

 

Blackpoll Warblers! Orange legs are diagnostic for the species. Male is in first photo, and the most beautiful female I've ever seen in the second.  It's important to see this species in the spring because there are very few records of them in the fall. In fact, we have the third record of a fall sighting for the state. 

 

4-29-22 Chestnut-sided Warbler4-29-22 Chestnut-sided Warbler 4-29-22 Chestnut-sided Warbler4-29-22 Chestnut-sided Warbler

 

Chestnut-sided Warblers have been heard calling, "Pleased, pleased, pleased to meet 'ya!"

 

4-30-22 Blue-winged Warbler4-30-22 Blue-winged Warbler 4-30-22 Blue-winged Warbler4-30-22 Blue-winged Warbler

 

Blue-winged Warblers! "Bee-buzz!" What a beauty to be blowing raspberries, but that is just what it sounds like.

 

5-2-22 Golden-winged Warbler5-2-22 Golden-winged Warbler 5-1-22 Golden-winged Warbler5-1-22 Golden-winged Warbler 5-1-22 Golden-winged Warbler5-1-22 Golden-winged Warbler
 

"Zee-bee-bee-bee bee!" sings the Golden-winged Warbler, the bird of highest conservation concern that we've seen here.

 

5-1-22 Northern Parula5-1-22 Northern Parula 5-2-22 Northern Parula5-2-22 Northern Parula 5-2-22 Northern Parula5-2-22 Northern Parula

 

"Zeeee-up!" The diminutive Northern Parula can easily be heard, not always easily seen. It took years to coax them down to the bubbler.

 

4-30-22 Black-and-white Warbler4-30-22 Black-and-white Warbler 4-30-22 Black-and-white Warbler4-30-22 Black-and-white Warbler 4-30-22 Black-and-white Warbler4-30-22 Black-and-white Warbler

 

"Weesee, weesee, weesee, weesee, weesee." The Black-and-white Warbler has a repetitive, rhythmic squeaky song. 

 

5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler 5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler, "tail dipped in ink"5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler, "tail dipped in ink" 5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler5-3-22 FOY Magnolia Warbler

 

The brilliant Magnolia Warbler sings, "Weeta-weeta-weetsee". Its tail looks like it's dipped in ink and like no other warbler's.

 

4-29-22 Northern Waterthrush4-29-22 Northern Waterthrush 4-29-22 Northern Waterthrush4-29-22 Northern Waterthrush

 

The Northern Waterthrush loves the still waters of the swampy thicket. It has a loud metallic "chink" call, and sings, "Sweet sweet sweet swee wee wee chew chew chew." 

 

5-1-22 Black-throated Green Warbler5-1-22 Black-throated Green Warbler
5-1-22 Black-throated Green Warbler5-1-22 Black-throated Green Warbler 5-1-22 Black-throated Green Warbler5-1-22 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

The Black-throated Green Warbler has two songs, "zee-zee-zee-zee-zoozee!" and "zee-zee-zoo-zoo-zee." It's fun to hear all these songs tumbling on top of one another. In May, it is challenging to keep up with all the activity! 

 

Birds will be tumbling in now, in even greater numbers. Here's the forecast:   http://birdcast.info/

 

For all the birds since the last post:  Birds beginning 5-28-22

 

Just warblers, you say?   Warblers

 

 

Enjoy the miracle of migration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/5/first-week-of-may-5-8-22 Sun, 08 May 2022 08:50:46 GMT
Migrants are on the move! 4-30-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/4/migrants-are-on-the-move-4-30-22  

Migration is now in full swing!

What a big change in the last ten days. Here are just some of the new FOY (first-of-year) birds.

 

4-19-22 Rusty Blackbird4-19-22 Rusty Blackbird

 

The last Rusty Blackbird was seen on Earth Day, 4-22-22. There are still a few being seen in Forest Park, very late for this overwintering  species still to be here. 

 

4-21-22 Blue-headed Vireo4-21-22 Blue-headed Vireo

 

This Blue-headed Vireo splash-bathed on 4-21-22.

 

4-22-22 FOY #62 *42 Black-throated Green Warbler4-22-22 FOY #62 *42 Black-throated Green Warbler 4-22-22 FOY #64 *43 Orange-crowned Warbler4-22-22 FOY #64 *43 Orange-crowned Warbler

4-23-22 Orange-crowned Warbler in cover of Blackhaw out of the wind4-23-22 Orange-crowned Warbler in cover of Blackhaw out of the wind

 

Black-throated Green and Orange-crowned Warblers came in on Earth Day. The second Orange-crowned Warbler was sheltering in a Blackhaw, out of gusty winds the following day.

  4-22-22 FOY 65 *44 Yellow Warbler4-22-22 FOY 65 *44 Yellow Warbler

 

A Yellow Warbler stopped by the bubbler on Earth Day. This species has been seen on three days, more photos will be added soon (if I ever catch up!) 

 

4-22-22 FOY Indigo Bunting4-22-22 FOY Indigo Bunting

 

To complement the Yellow Warbler, and Indigo Bunting also came in for species #66 for the year and #45 at the bubbler.

  4-23-22 FOY 70 Ruby-throated Hummingbird4-23-22 FOY 70 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

4-23-22 FOY 70 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Virginia Bluebells4-23-22 FOY 70 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Virginia Bluebells

 

Finally, our first Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrived on Saturday, 4-23-22. This bird was at the Virginia Bluebells even more than the feeder. I saw the first female yesterday, 4-29-22.
 

4-23-22 FOY 73 *49 Northern Parula4-23-22 FOY 73 *49 Northern Parula 4-25-22 Northern Parula female4-25-22 Northern Parula female 4-25-22 Northern Parula female4-25-22 Northern Parula female

 

Beautiful Northern Parulas came in on Saturday, 4-23-22 as well. The female shows us all what these birds are doing, finding caterpillars on native plants to eat! This is exactly why we do not use pesticides because that would eliminate this essential food for these migrants and for nesting birds. Caterpillars are the primary food fed to baby birds.

 

4-23-22 Nashville Warbler4-23-22 Nashville Warbler 4-24-22 Tennessee Warbler4-24-22 Tennessee Warbler 4-24-22 FOY Blackpoll Warbler4-24-22 FOY Blackpoll Warbler

4-24-22 FOY Blackpoll and Tennessee, Nashville Warblers4-24-22 FOY Blackpoll and Tennessee, Nashville Warblers

 

Nashville, Tennessee and Blackpoll Warblers, you guessed them! "Parties at the Bubbler" have officially begun!

 

4-25-22 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher4-25-22 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4-25-22 FOY Lincoln's Sparrow4-25-22 FOY Lincoln's Sparrow 4-26-22 FOY Wild Turkey4-26-22 FOY Wild Turkey

 

From the tiny Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and shy Lincoln's Sparrow to the Wild Turkey that stepped out of the woods before scooting back to cover, birds of every size have been coming through. It's spring migration!

 

4-26-22 FOY Rose-breasted Grosbeak female4-26-22 FOY Rose-breasted Grosbeak female

4-26-22 FOY Golden-winged Warbler4-26-22 FOY Golden-winged Warbler
4-26-22 FOY Great Crested Flycatcher4-26-22 FOY Great Crested Flycatcher

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Golden-winged Warblers and the Great Crested Flycatchers have been added to the mix.

 

4-25-22 Red-headed Woodpecker4-25-22 Red-headed Woodpecker

4-27-22 Red-headed Woodpecker4-27-22 Red-headed Woodpecker

4-26-22 Red-headed Woodpecker4-26-22 Red-headed Woodpecker

 

For the first time ever, we have TWO Red-headed Woodpeckers frequenting the woodland. They both are seen and heard every day now since Monday, 4-25-22. The first photo shows the near adult bird and the next two show an adult. Perhaps they are a pair now. This species is on the Watch List due to habitat loss, so this is a remarkable development. With the leaves filling out on the trees, it may be trickier to see and photograph these birds. Will try to keep you updated.

 

Carolina Wrens and House Finches have fledged. Northern Cardinals, Eastern Phoebes, Eastern Bluebirds and more are feeding young. Yesterday, I had 56 species of birds here, including 14 warblers. It will take me a while to catch up, but photos will be added into this gallery. 

 

It's truly spring!

 

Birds since 4-17-22

 

PS  Some of you have asked about the highly contagious Avian Flu situation for the birds in other states. I'll post an alert if we need to take down feeders and bird baths. At this point, it is not necessary as far as I know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/4/migrants-are-on-the-move-4-30-22 Sat, 30 Apr 2022 11:18:34 GMT
Mid-April updates 4-17-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/4/mid-april-updates-4-17-22  

The moody month of April is now under the full Pink Moon.

 

4-7-22 Purple Finch female4-7-22 Purple Finch female 4-7-22 Purple Finch female4-7-22 Purple Finch female

 

A female Purple Finch was seen on a couple days and visited the bubbler on 4-7-22.

  4-7-22 Hermit Thrush with pupa4-7-22 Hermit Thrush with pupa

 

Two Hermit Thrushes were also here chasing each other and finding tiny larvae to eat.

 

4-8-22 American Goldfinch on Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium)4-8-22 American Goldfinch on Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) 4-8-22 American Goldfinch on Spicebush4-8-22 American Goldfinch on Spicebush 4-8-22 American Goldfinches4-8-22 American Goldfinches

4-8-22 Virginia Bluebells in light snow4-8-22 Virginia Bluebells in light snow

 

We had a setback with sleet and light snow when a cold front came in on 4-8-22. The next morning, we had a hard freeze. Birds need to find food no matter what the weather! Somehow, dark days make the goldfinches all the brighter.

 


4-9-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)4-9-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) 4-9-22 Hairy Woodpecker4-9-22 Hairy Woodpecker

 

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and a Hairy Woodpecker found insects by pecking away at a Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and small stump.

 

4-9-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch with insect4-9-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch with insect
4-9-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler with insects4-9-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler with insects 4-12-22 Eastern Phoebe4-12-22 Eastern Phoebe 4-12-22 Eastern Phoebe caught insect in 30 mph gust4-12-22 Eastern Phoebe caught insect in 30 mph gust

 

Red-breasted Nuthatches glean insects from vines and bark. The Yellow-rumped Warbler also does but along with the Eastern Phoebe, a flycatcher, it will sally out and catch insects on the wing.

 

4-10-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet4-10-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4-12-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet4-12-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4-12-22 Carolina Chickadee4-12-22 Carolina Chickadee 4-12-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-12-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-12-22 White-breasted Nuthatch4-12-22 White-breasted Nuthatch

 

Bathing is a favorite activity even on the coldest days. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet checked the bubbler when it was full of wind-blown leaves and returned the following morning. The Carolina Chickadee, Yellow-rumped Warbler and White-breasted Nuthatch always find a time to  freshen up.


4-13-22 Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile, near adult plumage4-13-22 Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile, near adult plumage 4-13-22 Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile, near adult plumage4-13-22 Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile, near adult plumage 4-13-22 Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile, near adult plumage4-13-22 Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile, near adult plumage

4-13-22 Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile, near adult plumage4-13-22 Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile, near adult plumage

1-27-22 Red-headed Woodpecker Juvenile1-27-22 Red-headed Woodpecker Juvenile

 

I was filling the feeders one morning when I heard a scuffle and looked up to see a Red-headed Woodpecker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker having a bit of a confrontation. Four days later on 4-13-22, I was able to find the Red-headed Woodpecker again in the woodland. What a striking bird! Because it has dark barring in the secondary feathers and they're not pure white, it is a young bird in near adult plumage. I wonder, is it the same juvenile bird that was here in January? (last photo)

 

4-13-22 FOY #56 White-eyed Vireo4-13-22 FOY #56 White-eyed Vireo 4-15-22 FOY #57 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher4-15-22 FOY #57 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4-16-22 FOY#58 B#40 Swainson's Thrush4-16-22 FOY#58 B#40 Swainson's Thrush

 

We've seen three new arrivals for the year. In between storms on 4-13-22, I spotted this bedraggled little White-eyed Vireo for FOY #56. Two days later, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was confirmed. (Thought I'd had a glimpse when I saw the vireo.) And, yesterday, this Swainson's Thrush popped out of the bluebells at the bubbler for FOY #58 and Bubbler Bird #40.

 

4-15-22 Brown Thrasher4-15-22 Brown Thrasher
4-15-22 Brown Thrasher4-15-22 Brown Thrasher 4-15-22 Brown Thrasher4-15-22 Brown Thrasher

 

Remember in the last post, I mentioned my little nemesis, the Brown Thrasher. Well, I have to take that back. It came out on Friday to give me a real education on how it thrashes about in the leaves to find food and lives up to its name. Of course, haven't seen it since! Some days it's all about luck and being in the right place at the right time.

 

4-12-22 Five Eastern Bluebird eggs! Found at 3:52 pm4-12-22 Five Eastern Bluebird eggs! Found at 3:52 pm

 

We checked the Eastern Bluebird nest on 4-12-22 and found five beautiful eggs. The female is diligent about being on the nest and the male takes his guard duty very seriously. Fingers crossed they'll be successful. 

 

Recently, I was asked why we have so many beautiful birds here in our yard. We became aware years ago that birds were in trouble. My birding mentors told me stories of birds literally, "dripping off the trees." Well, birds are in trouble and their numbers have dropped dramatically since 1970. Birds are the "canaries in the coal mine", that means they are indicators of environmental health. If you are interested in helping birds and more, here are some things that you can do, right in your own yard.

 

 

Together, we can make a huge difference for our native birds, butterflies and bees! 

 

To view all the photos taken since 4-7-22, begin here:  Mid-April

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/4/mid-april-updates-4-17-22 Sun, 17 Apr 2022 18:21:47 GMT
Into April now 4-7-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/4/into-april-now-4-7-22  

New arrivals and nesting birds are being seen.

 

3-28-22 FOY #50 Purple Finch3-28-22 FOY #50 Purple Finch 3-28-22 FOY #50 Purple Finch with House Finch in front3-28-22 FOY #50 Purple Finch with House Finch in front

 

Our FOY #50 Purple Finch was seen on 3-28-22. This male was here just one day. In the tray feeder, it's easy to see the differences between the House Finch in front and the Purple Finch behind. The House Finch is orangier and smaller with striations on its flanks.

 

3-31-22 FOY #52 Swamp Sparrow3-31-22 FOY #52 Swamp Sparrow 3-31-22 FOY #52 Swamp Sparrow3-31-22 FOY #52 Swamp Sparrow

 

A bird that we missed last year showed up on 3-31-22, a Swamp Sparrow, FOY #52. Another bird had shown up earlier that day, a Brown Thrasher for #51. Though seen several times, it has eluded my efforts to photograph it. 

 

3-28-22 American Goldfinches face off3-28-22 American Goldfinches face off

3-28-22 American Goldfinches determine who's boss3-28-22 American Goldfinches determine who's boss

4-3-22 American Goldfinch4-3-22 American Goldfinch

 

Many male birds are getting pretty testy with each other. Robins, sparrows and these American Goldfinches dramatically display the pecking order! Breeding is serious business and finding the best places to attract a mate and procreate is what Spring is all about for birds.

 

3-28-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler female3-28-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler female 3-29-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler in molt3-29-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler in molt

3-28-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler in Spicebush3-28-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler in Spicebush 4-2-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler with insect4-2-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler with insect

4-4-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler in Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)4-4-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler in Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

 

Yellow-rumped Warblers have been surviving on bark butter, peanut crumbs, suet and flying insects on warm days. The male in full breeding plumage caught a tiny mason bee while it was pollinating spicebush (Lindera benzoin). This is the first time I've documented that behavior.

 

4-2-22 Chipping Sparrow4-2-22 Chipping Sparrow
 

Another new arrival was a little Chipping Sparrow FOY#53 on 4-1-22.  It was here for two days before moving on.

 

4-4-22 Swamp Sparrow4-4-22 Swamp Sparrow
 

I found the Swamp Sparrow again, in the swamp of course, on 4-4-22.
 

4-3-22 Rusty Blackbird4-3-22 Rusty Blackbird

4-5-22 450+ Rusty Blackbirds4-5-22 450+ Rusty Blackbirds
 

We have seen large flocks of Rusty Blackbirds come in to forage in the leaves throughout the yard and especially in the swampy woods. It can be really challenging to begin to show how many there are, they're so camouflaged. On Tuesday, there was a very large flock here and when I left to go vote, they flushed and started to move east and then north out of our yard and into our neighbors' yards. I drove very slowly to photograph the birds with my phone. I enlarged the photos and counted the birds, there were over 450! Add in another 150 or so that had moved up into the canopy, and well, at least 600 birds were here in the neighborhood. This species is listed as Vulnerable. We are lucky to see them and try not to disturb them so they can feed on insects in the leaves. I suspect they moved back into our yard after I left.

 

 

4-3-22 Eastern Bluebirds4-3-22 Eastern Bluebirds 4-3-22 Eastern Bluebirds4-3-22 Eastern Bluebirds 4-3-22 Eastern Bluebirds -Day nine4-3-22 Eastern Bluebirds -Day nine
 

The pair of Eastern Bluebirds has been very busy building their nest. They both seem to be micromanaging this joint operation! They were still working on finishing touches this morning.

 

4-4-22 Eastern Phoebe4-4-22 Eastern Phoebe

 

The pair of Eastern Phoebes have been at work as well. We've seen the female gathering nesting material while the male calls away.

 

4-6-22 FOY#55 Hermit Thrush first seen on 4-4-224-6-22 FOY#55 Hermit Thrush first seen on 4-4-22 4-6-22 FOY#55 Hermit Thrush first seen on 4-4-224-6-22 FOY#55 Hermit Thrush first seen on 4-4-22 4-6-22 FOY#55 Hermit Thrush first seen on 4-4-224-6-22 FOY#55 Hermit Thrush first seen on 4-4-22

 

On 4-4-22, a Great Blue Heron flew over for FOY #54 and a bit later I spotted our FOY #55 Hermit Thrush. It has a distinctive way of moving along quickly, then stops and flicks its tail up, then lowers it slowly. 

 

4-1-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch4-1-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch 4-5-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch4-5-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

Red-breasted Nuthatches are still around, sometimes I see two males and a female. The two males are pictured here, the second one lighter than the first.

 

4-1-22 Brown Creeper4-1-22 Brown Creeper

 

Brown Creepers are still foraging on the trees, sometimes on oaks, cherries or maples.  

 

4-4-22 First bloom of Virginia Bluebells4-4-22 First bloom of Virginia Bluebells

 

Well, it's time to get those hummingbird feeders cleaned up and ready to go. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will be coming in soon, along with warblers ready to refuel from their long hauls, too. It has been cool and somewhat slow, but Spring is springing!

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/4/into-april-now-4-7-22 Thu, 07 Apr 2022 18:05:55 GMT
Signs of Spring 3-27-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/3/signs-of-spring-3-27-22

 

Signs of Spring mean more than Daffodils!

 

3-12-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker3-12-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 3-12-22 Cedar Waxwing3-12-22 Cedar Waxwing

 

Visits by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and flocks of Cedar Waxwings signal the change is coming. 

  3-19-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler pair3-19-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler pair

3-26-22 Yellow=rumped Warbler3-26-22 Yellow=rumped Warbler

3-6-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler3-6-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler
 

Yellow-rumped Warblers are seen, sometimes catching insects on warmer days.

 

3-15-22 Brown Creeper on Persimmon (Diospyros Virginian)3-15-22 Brown Creeper on Persimmon (Diospyros Virginian)

 

Brown Creepers are often foraging on the bark of trees, in this case, a persimmon (Diospyros virginiana).

 

3-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch3-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch

3-17-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch3-17-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch 3-17-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch in Elm3-17-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch in Elm

 

Red-breasted Nuthatches find plenty to eat, even checking the buds of American elm (Ulmus americana) for a treat.

 

3-25-22 Song Sparrow3-25-22 Song Sparrow


The Song Sparrow has been singing for weeks. It popped up onto the woodland gate, more easily seen one day.

 

3-25-22 Carolina Chickadee3-25-22 Carolina Chickadee

 

The Carolina Chickadee checked a leaf blown into the hydrangea for a tidbit.

 

3-15-22 Rusty Blackbird3-15-22 Rusty Blackbird 3-15-22 Rusty Blackbirds3-15-22 Rusty Blackbirds 3-20-22 Rusty Blackbirds3-20-22 Rusty Blackbirds 3-26-22 Northern Flicker and 5 Rusty Blackbirds3-26-22 Northern Flicker and 5 Rusty Blackbirds 3-26-22 15 Rusty Blackbirds3-26-22 15 Rusty Blackbirds 3-26-22 5 Rusty Blackbirds3-26-22 5 Rusty Blackbirds

 

Rusty Blackbirds come in some days in flocks of 80-100 or so birds. It's so hard to tell for sure! They are perfectly camouflaged in the shadows, overturning leaves for insect food or bathing in puddles or the basin. It's only when they fly up into the trees that their numbers seem to swell. Spring is a time of high contrast in light and in the weather!

 

3-26-22 Pileated Woodpecker3-26-22 Pileated Woodpecker

 

Yesterday, in the midst of all the blackbird activity, I turned to see the Pileated Woodpecker in its fine bright plumage. It worked on several trees and ate some suet before calling and flying off to the south.

 

3-21-22 Eastern Bluebird3-21-22 Eastern Bluebird 3-21-22 Eastern Bluebird female and American Robin3-21-22 Eastern Bluebird female and American Robin

 

This Eastern Bluebird pair have continued to spend time here every day, finding insects on warm days and taking mealworms to supplement their needs. They seemed determined to make our yard their home! So, we put up the nest box again on 3-18-22, even though it was a bit late. Yesterday, our effort was rewarded! 

 

3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird on sentry duty3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird on sentry duty 3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird female decides to nest!3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird female decides to nest! 3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird pair3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird pair 3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird pair3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird pair 3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird3-26-22 Eastern Bluebird 3-27-22 Eastern Bluebird female3-27-22 Eastern Bluebird female 3-27-22 Eastern Bluebird female3-27-22 Eastern Bluebird female

 

This is the first time we have ever had nesting Eastern Bluebirds. After such a tough year for this species, we have high hopes for their success! 

  3-27-22 Eastern Phoebe3-27-22 Eastern Phoebe

 

This morning, we had two Eastern Phoebes, fluttering around each other and the former nesting area. We think it may be the same pair that raised five chicks a few years ago. Maybe they'll stick around, fingers crossed!

 

Spring is springing!

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/3/signs-of-spring-3-27-22 Sun, 27 Mar 2022 23:12:28 GMT
SPRING FORWARD! 3-13-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/3/spring-forward LET'S CELEBRATE SPRING'S IMMINENT ARRIVAL!

 

Check out the new Spring Warblers Gallery to review:

 

Spring Warbler Species at Shady Oaks

 

5-11-21 Blackburnian Warbler5-11-21 Blackburnian Warbler

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/3/spring-forward Sun, 13 Mar 2022 15:42:07 GMT
Into March 3-9-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/3/into-march-3-9-22 Don't forget - Spring Forward Saturday! 

 

We've seen other signs of spring, despite the next batch of snow in the forecast.

 

3-1-22 Eastern Bluebird3-1-22 Eastern Bluebird 3-2-22 Eastern Bluebird female3-2-22 Eastern Bluebird female

 

Eastern Bluebirds are getting brighter, noisier and chasing each other about.

 

3-2-22 American Goldfinch in cover of white oak3-2-22 American Goldfinch in cover of white oak

 

American Goldfinches are turning more yellow. They often perch up in the oak leaves on breezy days, soaking up the sun.

 

2-28-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler2-28-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler

3-1-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler3-1-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler

3-6-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler3-6-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

The Yellow-rumped Warbler was fly-catching the day it warmed up to 81 degrees! 


3-2-22 Rusty Blackbird3-2-22 Rusty Blackbird 3-2-22 Rusty Blackbirds3-2-22 Rusty Blackbirds

 

Rusty Blackbirds are coming in small flocks of a dozen or so at times.

 

3-4-22 Brown-headed Cowbird female3-4-22 Brown-headed Cowbird female 3-4-22 Brown-headed Cowbird female #23-4-22 Brown-headed Cowbird female #2

 

Two female Brown-headed Cowbirds came in a week after the males. 

 

3-4-22 FOY #46 Eastern Phoebe3-4-22 FOY #46 Eastern Phoebe 3-4-22 FOY #46 Eastern Phoebe3-4-22 FOY #46 Eastern Phoebe 3-4-22 FOY #46 Eastern Phoebe3-4-22 FOY #46 Eastern Phoebe

 

An Eastern Phoebe showed up about 10:00 am on 3-4-22 for #46 for the year. It was finding insects on its migratory stop here.

 

3-4-22 Dark-eyed Junco3-4-22 Dark-eyed Junco 3-4-22 Brown Creeper3-4-22 Brown Creeper

 

Dark-eyed Juncos and Brown Creepers will be around into April.

 

3-4-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch3-4-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch

3-5-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch pair3-5-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch pair

 

The lighter pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches are being seen every day, but I think the richer colored pair may have moved on with the strong southerly winds last week.

 

3-6-22 Song Sparrow3-6-22 Song Sparrow

 

The male Song Sparrow has been singing a bit west of us now, but one of the pair came in to bathe.

 

3-7-22 FOY #47 Eastern Towhee3-7-22 FOY #47 Eastern Towhee

For comparison, 10-26-12 Eastern TowheeFor comparison, 10-26-12 Eastern Towhee

Another new bird for the year, #47 popped out of the leaves on 3-7-22. The Eastern Towhee is not a bird I can count on seeing every year, and this was not a soul-satisfying view! The first photo is all I managed before it disappeared. The second photo was taken on 10-26-15 when I got a full view of a male.

 

This morning, I was filling feeders and heard the sweet trill of #48, a Pine Warbler up in the pond cypress. Perhaps it will show us how beautiful it is! In the meantime, watch for green peeking through the snow...I'll be watching for more birds as they move through our space.

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/3/into-march-3-9-22 Wed, 09 Mar 2022 22:18:43 GMT
February has flown by! 2-28-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/2/february-has-flown-by-2-28-22  

February is the shortest month and we've now gained 1 hour and 45 minutes of daylight.

 

2-24-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler2-24-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler 2-12-22 Brown Creeper2-12-22 Brown Creeper

 

The Yellow-rumped Warbler and sometimes two Brown Creepers are still being seen every day.

 

2-19-22 Carolina Chickadee with deformed leg2-19-22 Carolina Chickadee with deformed leg 2-20-22 White-breasted Nuthatch with broken tip of upper mandible2-20-22 White-breasted Nuthatch with broken tip of upper mandible

 

There have been some tough, cold and icy days for birds like the Carolina Chickadee with its deformed leg and the White-breasted Nuthatch with the crossed bill. The nuthatch has broken the upper mandible and still hammers away at the peanut feeder to get food. I wonder how this one will feed young successfully.

  2-18-22 American Robin2-18-22 American Robin

 

Two American Robins have been coming onto the deck for bits of mealworms and bark butter. They both want to be first on their breeding territories. This one was soaking up a bit of warmth from the fountain on a very cold morning. 

  2-25-22 Rusty Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Red-winged Blackbird2-25-22 Rusty Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Red-winged Blackbird

 

A very large mixed flock of blackbirds came in on Friday, 2-25. It was a dark day, but I was enjoying the rich variation in the plumage of all these birds. (When you see browns and blacks, make the most of it!) I estimated 50 Rusty Blackbirds and if you study this first photo, you'll see four Brown-headed Cowbirds in the right foreground. There were ten cowbirds that I counted under the south feeders at one point, the most I've seen at once. 

 

2-25-22 Rusty Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Red-winged Blackbird2-25-22 Rusty Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Red-winged Blackbird

 

Notice the Red-winged Blackbird just in front of the branch? It was the only one in this large flock that I could find.

 

2-25-22 Rusty Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbirds2-25-22 Rusty Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbirds

 

Two Brown-headed Cowbirds joined a Rusty Blackbird to drink at the bubbler.

  2-25-22 Red-winged Blackbird2-25-22 Red-winged Blackbird

 

The Red-winged Blackbird also came in for half a dozen sips of water. This brought the Bubbler count up to 34 species for the year. I also saw a House Sparrow at the feeder, briefly, before the birds all lifted away. We're now at 44 species for the year, highest count at this point that I've documented since 2011 when I started making annual lists for myself and my two friends, Connie and Wally. They both usually get more species than I do, but the variety between the three of us is quite amazing. 

 

2-24-22 Dark-eyed Junco Slate-colored form2-24-22 Dark-eyed Junco Slate-colored form 2-25-22 Dark-eyed Junco Oregon form2-25-22 Dark-eyed Junco Oregon form

 

In this last icy storm, we also have seen some slate-colored Dark-eyed Juncos which are typical, as well as the Oregon form of Dark-eyed Juncos. Note the dark hood, chestnut brown back and buff-brown flanks.

 

2-21-22 American Crow2-21-22 American Crow

 

American Crows have been coming to drink after grabbing a bit of bark butter off the trees. They will forage in the leaves in the woods, too. I think these birds have a harder time now that we're all using bins for our trash instead of bags.
 

  2-25-22 American Goldfinch2-25-22 American Goldfinch 2-25-22 Eastern Bluebird2-25-22 Eastern Bluebird

 

American Goldfinches are beginning to get brighter yellow plumage, and the dominant Eastern Bluebird is stunning. Birds are definitely thinking 'spring' as they chase off other males.

  2-25-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker2-25-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2-25-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker2-25-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2-25-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker2-25-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

 

The juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been seen on several days. On Friday, it chased off another male, which was new for the year.

 

2-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch M12-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch M1 2-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch M22-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch M2 2-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch F12-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch F1 2-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch F22-25-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch F2

 

That Friday storm also brought in two more Red-breasted Nuthatches! I saw three birds at one time as they waited to get on the feeder, then the lighter pair waited together on the same branch a bit later. The pair that have been here all winter are richer in color, and I call them M1 and F1; the new pair are lighter in color, M2 and F2. So, the photos in order are M1, M2, F1 and F2.

 

Just like the birds, aren't we all ready for Spring???

 

ps. As I went to post this, I saw that we have crossed a milestone with over 100,000 visitors to our website! 

Thank you all for visiting!

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/2/february-has-flown-by-2-28-22 Mon, 28 Feb 2022 13:20:06 GMT
Into February 2-10-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/2/into-february-2-10-22 January ended with two more days of documenting Common Redpolls!

 

1-29-22 Common Redpoll1-29-22 Common Redpoll 1-29-22 Common Redpolls1-29-22 Common Redpolls 1-30-22 Common Redpoll1-30-22 Common Redpoll 1-30-22 Common Redpoll1-30-22 Common Redpoll 1-30-22 Common Redpolls1-30-22 Common Redpolls 1-29-22 Common Redpolls1-29-22 Common Redpolls
 

It is difficult to know for certain how many birds were in this little flock! There was a slightly different mix of male and female/immature birds each time they were seen and then, it was only for 30 seconds or so. My highest count was 3 males and 4 females at any one time. We had put out fresh thistle or nyjer seed in a tube feeder in the garden for them, but the birds were never seen at a feeder. My guess is that they were eating seeds in trees like our Pond Cypress or Catalpa where siskins will feed, or in neighboring Sycamores or River Birch. They may have been in the garden, and I just missed them - they're the size of a goldfinch, around 5" and truly frenetic!

 

The Common Redpolls are the rarest of the three small finches that might be seen in Missouri. We're all familiar with the American Goldfinch, which is resident year-round. The Pine Siskin is also an irruptive species, coming south to look for food and we've had them in good numbers some years. There is one other form known as the Hoary Redpoll, which is extremely rare. It is much frostier looking and the bill is smaller. It is still described as a separate species, but may soon be "lumped" with the Common Redpoll, as they are very closely related. 

 

Keep a lookout for the Common Redpoll at your feeders, you might get lucky, too! 

 

There are some fascinating things known about these birds. They tunnel into the snow to keep warm! Check it out!  Common Redpoll

 

To see all the Common Redpoll photos and others, begin here:  Common Redpoll images

 

 

2-02-22 American Tree Sparrow and Song Sparrow in Clove Currant2-02-22 American Tree Sparrow and Song Sparrow in Clove Currant

2-02-22 American Tree Sparrow2-02-22 American Tree Sparrow

2-02-22 Fox Sparrow2-02-22 Fox Sparrow

 

Our first winter storm came in on Wednesday, February 2. With it came two new sparrows for the year, an American Tree Sparrow and a Fox Sparrow. The first image shows the American Tree sparrow on the left with a Song Sparrow on the right, in Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum). Secondly, the tree sparrow is on its own, on the snow covered wall. The Fox Sparrow was staying in the shelter of the Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum x Blue Muffin). Happy to see these birds, we don't have them come in every year.

 

2-02-22 Cooper's Hawk with prey2-02-22 Cooper's Hawk with prey 2-02-22 Cooper's Hawk digesting 3 hours later2-02-22 Cooper's Hawk digesting 3 hours later

 

An immature Cooper's Hawk has been terrorizing the smaller birds. We saw it with a black feathered prey, hoping it had caught a European Starling. It sat on that log for over 3 hours, digesting the meal as snow fell. Then, it was off again to find dinner!

 

2-02-22 Red-tailed Hawk2-02-22 Red-tailed Hawk

 

 While the Cooper's rested, a Red-tailed Hawk was seen scoping out squirrels.

 

2-3-22 American Tree Sparrow2-3-22 American Tree Sparrow

2-3-22 Fox Sparrow2-3-22 Fox Sparrow

 

The next day, both sparrows were seen again. The American Tree Sparrow was drinking at the pond and the Fox Sparrow was again staying close to the Viburnum when it was not under the feeders foraging for seed.

 

2-3-22 Eastern Bluebird2-3-22 Eastern Bluebird
 

This Eastern Bluebird summed up the general feeling out in the storm. Conditions were tough. All the birds had been singing, tuning up for spring. Males have been chasing other males. We have gained over an hour of daylight, so surely, spring can't be too far away!

 

2-3-22 Cooper's Hawk immature2-3-22 Cooper's Hawk immature 2-3-22 Carolina Wren at fountain2-3-22 Carolina Wren at fountain

2-3-22 Snowfall2-3-22 Snowfall

2-3-22 Garden in snow2-3-22 Garden in snow

 

The Cooper's Hawk came back, trying to chase birds out of cover. The Carolina Wrens have their secret hiding places and have been very cautious. We ended up with over 7" of drifting snow. 

 

2-4-22 Northern Cardinal2-4-22 Northern Cardinal

2-5-22 American Tree Sparrow2-5-22 American Tree Sparrow

 

The sun came out and birds continued to look for food. The American Tree Sparrow popped out of the basin and rested in the hydrangeas behind the bubbler. That was the last time we've seen it; the Fox Sparrow must have moved on, too.

 

2-5-22 Eastern Bluebirds2-5-22 Eastern Bluebirds
 

This peanut feeder has had more interest than we've ever seen. Even the bluebirds were scrapping over it when I was a bit slow to put out more mealworms.

 

2-5-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch2-5-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch 2-6-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch female and Northern Flicker2-6-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch female and Northern Flicker

 

The Red-breasted Nuthatches claimed the feeder as theirs, but they've had to share. The male won't go to it if other birds are there, but the female? Ha, she has spunk! 

 

  2-6-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet2-6-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

 

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet came back again to bathe on that sunny day.

 

2-7-22 Red-shouldered Hawk2-7-22 Red-shouldered Hawk

 

The Red-shouldered Hawk has also been making appearances. Everybody's gotta eat!

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/2/into-february-2-10-22 Thu, 10 Feb 2022 19:00:05 GMT
1-30-22 January Serendipities https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/1/1-30-22-january-serendipities First month reveals new behaviors and new birds!

 

1-17-22 Hairy Woodpecker1-17-22 Hairy Woodpecker

 

A Hairy Woodpecker bathes, a behavior not seen before with this species.

  1-24-22 Downy Woodpecker female and Hairy Woodpecker1-24-22 Downy Woodpecker female and Hairy Woodpecker

 

A female Downy Woodpecker and the Hairy Woodpecker come in to drink at the same time for an often wished-for comparison photo.

 

1-28-22 Red-bellied Woodpecker, note red belly1-28-22 Red-bellied Woodpecker, note red belly

 

A Red-bellied Woodpecker actually showed us its named for red belly.

 

1-20-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker1-20-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

 

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker preened its yellow belly. So much for bellies, now we go back to heads!

 

1-20-22 FOY #36 Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker1-20-22 FOY #36 Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker 1-20-22 FOY #36 Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker1-20-22 FOY #36 Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker 1-20-22 FOY #36 Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker1-20-22 FOY #36 Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker

 

On 1-20-22, a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker arrived. It has been seen often coming in for quick sips at the bubbler. We don't get to see this species every year. It is on the Watch List, in decline due to habitat loss, so it is quite heartening to see one!

 

You can read more here:  Red-headed Woodpecker

 

1-27-22 Northern Flicker and Golden-crowned Kinglet1-27-22 Northern Flicker and Golden-crowned Kinglet 1-27-22 Golden-crowned Kinglet1-27-22 Golden-crowned Kinglet

 

While a female Northern Flicker was getting some sips of water, a Golden-crowned Kinglet joined in. It returned for a solo. 

 

1-27-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet1-27-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1-27-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet1-27-22 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

 

On the following day, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet showed up.They are the more rare of the two Kinglets seen in the winter, usually staying further south in Missouri. However, I saw the bird and it flashed away before I took those photos. While I waited for it to come back, a much bigger surprise came in!

 

  1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARE1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARETwo of four Common Redpolls seen at our bubbler. 1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARE1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RAREHoary Redpoll

 

WHAT? Redpolls! There were at least four of them, and thought I saw a fifth one. On Thursday, 1-27-22 at 11:09 am they came in, drank, stayed 32 seconds and whirled away up above me into the canopy. Well, I was not budging from my spot now.

 

1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARE and Song Sparrow1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARE and Song Sparrow 1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARE and Song Sparrow1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARE and Song Sparrow 1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARE and Song Sparrow1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpolls - RARE and Song Sparrow 1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpoll - RARE1-27-22 FOY #39 Common Redpoll - RARE

 

At 12:03 pm they returned, and stayed 36 seconds. I confirmed the presence of five along with their timing when I reviewed the Bubbler Cam video. I watched for them to return, checking the feeders, too. They are a nomadic winter finch, and will show up in Missouri when there is an irruption year, and this is one. These Common Redpolls are officially Bubbler Bird Species #124. 

 

12-29-08 Common Redpoll12-29-08 Common RedpollMargy Terpstra

 

Many years ago on 12-29-2008, I had a single female at this sock feeder. It was a much darker looking bird, but there is variation in the plumage depending on age and time of year.

 

You can read more:  Common Redpoll

 

1-26-22 Red-shouldered Hawk1-26-22 Red-shouldered Hawk
1-21-22 Carolina Chickadee at 5 degrees1-21-22 Carolina Chickadee at 5 degrees

 

We enjoy seeing the resident Red-shouldered Hawk and Carolina Chickadee taking time to rest in the woodland on cold days.

 

1-23-22 Red-breasted Nuthatches1-23-22 Red-breasted Nuthatches

 

The pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches are seen every day grabbing bits of peanuts.

 

1-23-22 Eastern Bluebird1-23-22 Eastern Bluebird

 

Neither of us grew up seeing Eastern Bluebirds and we're so taken with their beauty.

 

1-28-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler with Northern Flicker in flight1-28-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler with Northern Flicker in flight
1-27-22 Brown Creeper1-27-22 Brown Creeper

 

The Yellow-rumped Warbler also takes time to rest and conserve energy. Can you name the bird in flight behind it? The Brown Creeper regularly gets little sips.

 

1-28-22 25 Rusty Blackbirds1-28-22 25 Rusty Blackbirds 1-28-22 Rusty Blackbirds1-28-22 Rusty Blackbirds

 

Rusty Blackbirds are being seen in numbers now, On Friday, there was a flock of perhaps 75, under the feeders and culling through the leaves. They have their own subtle, rich beauty.

 

To be continued...oh, and that is a Northern Flicker behind the Yellow-rumped Warbler! 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/1/1-30-22-january-serendipities Sun, 30 Jan 2022 13:31:37 GMT
1-13-22 Ways to help winter birds https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/1/1-13-22-ways-help-winter-birds We've gained 13 minutes of daylight since the solstice! 

 

The big news is that the Eastern Bluebirds have figured out where food is for them on cold days when the insects aren't as easily found. Yay for the bluebirds! Feeders helped the breeding pair get through last winter when snow covered the ground for days. They've brought in the whole brood. With several inches of snow predicted for Friday night and Saturday, we will probably have birds at all the feeders.

 

1-6-22 Eastern Bluebirds1-6-22 Eastern Bluebirds
1-11-22 Eastern Bluebirds1-11-22 Eastern Bluebirds

1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird, House Finch and American Goldfinch1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird, House Finch and American Goldfinch 1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird female1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird female

 

There's a hanging tray feeder, a couple window feeders where at least one bluebird took a mealworm, and this setup on the deck. I've dubbed it the "Grab 'n Go" bar.

 

1-10-22 Bird Food Table 'grab-n-go'1-10-22 Bird Food Table 'grab-n-go' 1-10-22 Eastern Bluebird mix1-10-22 Eastern Bluebird mix

 

Main food items for these feeders are dried mealworms, Bark Butter Bits (Wild Birds Unlimited product) and fine sunflower chips. A suet cake could be broken into bits, too. These foods are also popular with a lot of other bird species like House Finches and American Goldfinches. Here are a few more.

 

1-5-22 Tufted Titmouse1-5-22 Tufted Titmouse 1-8-22 Blue Jay1-8-22 Blue Jay 1-11-22 Northern Flicker1-11-22 Northern Flicker

 

Tufted Titmice, Blue Jays and Northern Flickers come in and quickly grab a bite, then head back to the trees and shrubs for cover.

 

1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird 1-11-22 Eastern Bluebird at the fountain1-11-22 Eastern Bluebird at the fountain

 

The birds will rest in trees near the feeding stations and this male is in a Spicebush (Lindera benzoin). The birds are coming to the fountain often for water, which is on the deck railing. The white framework supports a plastic cover and a wool blanket as insulation to keep the water from freezing up on bitterly cold nights.

 

 

Again this year, our neighbors shared their Christmas tree with us after taking it down. It still has great fragrance and the sparrows and juncos took to using it right away for cover. We staked it southeast of the stump, which blocks the northwest winds. Now, the bark butter log had not been getting much traffic so Dan took off the hardware cloth cage and made a new one with this vinyl mesh. Small birds should be able to get through, larger birds can come up from underneath. Hopefully, the starlings will still be deterred.

 

Now, we have seen some new birds for the year. 

 

1-7-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker1-7-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1-7-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female1-7-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female

 

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been coming in to drink and bathe at the Bubbler. An immature male has been seen more often, the adult female has the white throat.

 

1-9-22 Song Sparrow1-9-22 Song Sparrow

1-12-22 Eastern Bluebird and Song Sparrow1-12-22 Eastern Bluebird and Song Sparrow

 

Song Sparrows are seen at different times of the year in our yard, but often in the winter. This bird saw the Christmas tree and stayed there a few days, hardly seen outside of it. I caught it trying to sneak in a bath with the bluebird yesterday.

 

1-11-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler1-11-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler 1-12-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler1-12-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler 1-13-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler1-13-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

A Yellow-rumped Warbler was first seen in the pond cypress on 1-9-22. It has come in to get some bark butter and bathe the last couple days. What a splash artist!

 

1-10-22 FOY Pileated Woodpecker1-10-22 FOY Pileated Woodpecker 1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker 1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker and Brown Creeper1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker and Brown Creeper

1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker

 

The magnificent Pileated Woodpecker came to the suet feeder on 1-10-22 and the next day, it took to the bark butter as all the other woodpeckers have done. The male has the red 'moustache'. Either sex can reach 19.5" long compared to the Brown Creeper at 5.5".

 

1-12-22 Brown Creeper1-12-22 Brown Creeper 1-11-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch1-11-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

We are still seeing Brown Creepers and Red-breasted Nuthatches every day. It's winter, and soon their tolerances will be put to the test! 

 

1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird

"Queedle, Queedle and Turalee!"

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/1/1-13-22-ways-help-winter-birds Thu, 13 Jan 2022 22:57:12 GMT
Into the New Year! 1-5-22 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/1/into-the-new-year-1-5-22 2021 ended with a beautiful, warm day and a high temperature of 67.8 degrees!

 

12-29-21 Carolina Wren12-29-21 Carolina Wren

12-29-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch female12-29-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch female 12-29-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch12-29-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 12-31-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch12-31-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

The Carolina Wren bounced and sang, the Red-breasted Nuthatches came in to feed and drink. The year ended with 116 species recorded, including 29 warblers and 86 bubbler species. Considering we spent some time away, it was a very good year for documenting birds.

 

New Year's Day brought a dreary, wet and cold start to the year. The high temperature was 54.2 at midnight and dropped all day to 25.8. Birds took the cue and fed all day.

 

1-1-22 Northern Flicker female1-1-22 Northern Flicker female 1-1-22 Northern Flicker1-1-22 Northern Flicker

 

Northern Flickers feasted on bark butter.

 

1-1-22 Northern Cardinal1-1-22 Northern Cardinal 1-1-22 White-throated Sparrow eating Cliff Goldenrod seeds1-1-22 White-throated Sparrow eating Cliff Goldenrod seeds

 

Northern Cardinals and others looked for seed on the ground. This White-throated Sparrow noshed on the seeds of Cliff Goldenrod (Solidago drummondii). This plant is a noted keystone plant in the herbaceous group because it supports 97 species of butterflies and moths, as well as providing nutritious seeds to birds in winter.

 

1-1-22 Brown Creeper1-1-22 Brown Creeper
1-1-22 White-breasted Nuthatches1-1-22 White-breasted Nuthatches  

1-3-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch1-3-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch

1-4-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch1-4-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

Brown Creepers, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches were busy all day foraging and taking sips of water. The following day, we were quite astounded by a huge flock of Common Grackles that came in and literally took over the neighborhood. Dan said, "It's like a storm of blackbirds!" The birds surrounded us, and would swirl down and forage or drink, and then lift up and away.

 

1-2-22 Common Grackles

 

We could not remember seeing a flock this large, and after 40 minutes, they lifted up and we counted 14 yards full of them as they moved to the west. How to begin to count them? We guessed there to be 2,000-3,000 birds, a true spectacle of glossy iridescence!

 

1-2-22 Common Grackles and European Starling1-2-22 Common Grackles and European Starling 1-2-22 Common Grackles1-2-22 Common Grackles 1-2-22 Common Grackles1-2-22 Common Grackles 1-2-22 Common Grackle1-2-22 Common Grackle

1-2-22 European Starling1-2-22 European Starling

1-2-22 Red-winged Blackbird1-2-22 Red-winged Blackbird

 

There were a few European Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds in the mix, but we could not pick out any Rusty Blackbirds.

 

1-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #11-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #1 1-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #21-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #2 1-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #31-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #3 1-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #41-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #4 1-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #51-4-22 Eastern Bluebird #5
 

Yesterday, five Eastern Bluebirds came to the bubbler to drink or bathe. It wasn't warm, but nearly 41 degrees.

 

1-4-22 Mourning Doves, resting1-4-22 Mourning Doves, resting

 

Later in the afternoon, the Mourning Doves were all fluffed up, napping. Makes one yawn just to look at them, they were so comfortable all tucked in. Conserving energy, feeding heavily and getting enough water is what it's all about right now!

 

 

Happy New Year!

Hang in there, things are looking up. May 2022 be a better year for us all!

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2022/1/into-the-new-year-1-5-22 Wed, 05 Jan 2022 18:15:45 GMT
12-20-21 Approaching the Winter Solstice https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/12/12-20-21-approaching-the-winter-solstice Winter arrives on 12-21-21 with the shortest day and longest night of the year!

 

We're seeing a lot more activity on colder days now. Birds come in for water, to drink up and to bathe in. We've sure seen an interesting mix of species at times!

 

12-5-21 Eastern Bluebird12-5-21 Eastern Bluebird 12-5-21 Eastern Bluebirds12-5-21 Eastern Bluebirds 12-5-21 Eastern Bluebird12-5-21 Eastern Bluebird 12-8-21 Eastern Bluebird12-8-21 Eastern Bluebird

 

Eastern Bluebirds are welcome any time. Sometimes, it's just a pair, sometimes 4-6, and it may be mid-day or late afternoon. They even like to bathe in the rain.

 

12-10-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch12-10-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch
12-5-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch12-5-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

Red-breasted Nuthatches are small but not terribly shy and will keep trying to get to water even if there are other birds around. 

 

12-6-21 Cedar Waxwings12-6-21 Cedar Waxwings

 

Just for fun, put all the parts of those three together, and you'll have a Cedar Waxwing! These birds often come down in a flock with some at the sump puddle and others in the basin.

 

12-6-21 Downy Woodpecker and American Robin12-6-21 Downy Woodpecker and American Robin

 

A Downy Woodpecker waited a bit for an American Robin to finish out of respect for its much bigger bill.

  12-6-21 Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing and House Finch12-6-21 Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing and House Finch

 

A bluebird and waxwing were joined by a House Finch for a rainbow trio.

  12-6-21 Cedar Waxwing, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Northern Flicker12-6-21 Cedar Waxwing, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Northern Flicker

 

Here's another rare mix with a waxwing, female Red-bellied Woodpecker and a male Northern Flicker. The ol' watering hole sure draws them in.

  12-6-21 Rusty Blackbird12-6-21 Rusty Blackbird

 

The birds all get out of the way when blackbirds like this Rusty Blackbird show up. 

 

12-8-21 Hairy Woodpecker12-8-21 Hairy Woodpecker 12-8-21 Hairy Woodpecker female12-8-21 Hairy Woodpecker female

 

To my surprise, both the male and female Hairy Woodpeckers came to water one day, the male first. Like the Red-bellies, these birds don't come in often. It had been really warm and dry.

 

12-7-21 Brown Creeper12-7-21 Brown Creeper

12-11-21 House Finch and American Goldfinch12-11-21 House Finch and American Goldfinch

 

Between the 'Bubble' on the large rock, and the bubbling fountain in the basin, there are several levels of water for the birds to access and get a drink. The Brown Creeper, House Finch and American Goldfinch will show up at any of these. Now, let's talk about food!

 

12-2-21 Eastern Bluebird with insect12-2-21 Eastern Bluebird with insect

 

On Thursday, 12-2-21, the temperature climbed to a balmy 70.8 degrees. I stepped outside and heard bluebirds calling all around me. One caught an insect on the post for the bubbler cam. Others were swooping through the trees and over the leaves, catching other flying insects. It was a joyful scene as they called to each other. One big hurrah for their 'sushi' lunch!

 

12-2-21 Carolina Wren with a mealworm12-2-21 Carolina Wren with a mealworm

 

The Carolina Wren was one of the first birds to discover the tray feeder with mealworms. "Groucho Wren"?

 

12-7-21 Eastern Bluebird12-7-21 Eastern Bluebird 12-7-21 Eastern Bluebird female12-7-21 Eastern Bluebird female 12-7-21 Eastern Bluebird12-7-21 Eastern Bluebird 12-7-21 Eastern Bluebird female and House Finch12-7-21 Eastern Bluebird female and House Finch

 

The Eastern Bluebirds were checking out all the feeders, sunflower, safflower and peanut. But these are too hard for them to eat, so I must say, I was relieved to see them find the mealworms, sunflower chips and bark butter bits in that tray feeder. This is the food that may have gotten the breeding pair through the last tough winter when snow was on the ground for days. Now they know where this food is!

 

12-7-21 Northern Cardinal12-7-21 Northern Cardinal 12-7-21 Leucistic Northern Cardinal12-7-21 Leucistic Northern Cardinal

 

We've had several beautiful male Northern Cardinals around, but the second bird pictured is the first leucistic (lacking pigment) bird we've had in quite some time. That bird is flaunting those pink feathers!

 

12-11-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch12-11-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 12-11-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch12-11-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

The pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches continue to be seen nearly every day. They still have a preference for the chopped peanuts and they will often go to a branch like this and break them up into finer pieces to swallow or stash in a hiding place. Winter's upon us and they are getting ready!

 

12-6-21 Mourning Doves12-6-21 Mourning Doves

 

Another important need of birds, especially in winter, is a place to rest, to fluff up their feathers and huddle for warmth. The fallen leaves help keep the ground a bit warmer and we've seen up to twenty Mourning Doves around the bubbler, napping a good part of the day. Birds like American Goldfinches, House Finches and Cedar Waxwings will also rest in leaf-filled branches of young trees for some protection from the wind. While the birds are resting or finding food and water, other critters are busy in the woodland.

 

 

Better watch out! 
Santa's helpers are everywhere nowadays and they come in many forms!

We wish you Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/12/12-20-21-approaching-the-winter-solstice Mon, 20 Dec 2021 14:09:07 GMT
December! 12-1-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/12/december-12-1-21 December has arrived with a high temperature near 66 degrees for the day.

 

11-27-21 Dark-eyed Junco and Yellow-rumped Warbler11-27-21 Dark-eyed Junco and Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

A Dark-eyed Junco was told off by a female Yellow-rumped Warbler. Now, there's plenty of room, but some must make their case.

 

11-27-21 Blue Jay11-27-21 Blue Jay 11-27-21 White-throated Sparrow11-27-21 White-throated Sparrow

 

A Blue Jay squawks up a fuss when it comes in, as if to say, "Make way!" The White-throated Sparrow is a bit more shy.


11-27-21 American Robin, part of large flock11-27-21 American Robin, part of large flock 11-27-21 American Robin eating Blackhaw fruit11-27-21 American Robin eating Blackhaw fruit 11-27-21 American Robin grabbing Blackhaw fruit11-27-21 American Robin grabbing Blackhaw fruit

 

Another large flock of American Robins came in about 11:00 on Saturday, 11-27-21, and activity was non-stop until nearly sunset. That last robin has its third eyelid closed for protection. 


11-27-21 FOS Rusty Blackbird11-27-21 FOS Rusty Blackbird

11-27-21 FOS Yellow-bellied Sapsucker11-27-21 FOS Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

 

With the robins were some new arrivals. At least six Rusty Blackbirds were in the mix, foraging in the leaves. The first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker dropped in, too. This young male didn't hesitate in getting right to the water. Wonder how long it had been since it had a drink?

 

11-27-21 Brown Creeper11-27-21 Brown Creeper 11-27-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch11-27-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 11-27-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch caching peanut11-27-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch caching peanut 11-27-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch caching peanut11-27-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch caching peanut

 

Two Brown Creepers and Red-breasted Nuthatches continue to be seen every day. The nuthatches follow their usual pattern shown by this female: grab a peanut, find a spot and cache it away for that cold day that's surely on the way.

 

11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing 11-27-21 Cedar Waxwings11-27-21 Cedar Waxwings

11-27-21 Cedar Waxwings11-27-21 Cedar Waxwings
11-27-21 Cedar Waxwings11-27-21 Cedar Waxwings

 

The Cedar Waxwings have come down from the canopy several days, and they're a personal favorite.Their high pitched, "zee-zee-zee" call alerts me to their presence.

 

11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing eating Blackhaw fruit11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing eating Blackhaw fruit 11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing eating Blackhaw fruit11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing eating Blackhaw fruit 11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing eating Blackhaw fruit11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing eating Blackhaw fruit 11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing eating Blackhaw fruit11-27-21 Cedar Waxwing eating Blackhaw fruit 11-27-21 Cedar Waxwings eating Blackhaw fruit11-27-21 Cedar Waxwings eating Blackhaw fruit

 

Like the robins and bluebirds, the Cedar Waxwings love the fruit of the Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium), which has much more nutrition for them than the invasive bush honeysuckle berries. We've planted more of these shrubs, they are a surefire way to help the birds! What fun it is to watch them devouring the drupes.
 

11-27-21 FOS Rusty Blackbird11-27-21 FOS Rusty Blackbird 11-27-21 FOS Rusty Blackbird11-27-21 FOS Rusty Blackbird 11-27-21 FOS Rusty Blackbird11-27-21 FOS Rusty Blackbird

 

Rusty Blackbirds look for insects in the fallen leaves and also have been eating the flesh of the abundant acorns this year.

 

11-30-21 Cedar Waxwing11-30-21 Cedar Waxwing 11-30-21 Cedar Waxwing11-30-21 Cedar Waxwing 11-30-21 Cedar Waxwing11-30-21 Cedar Waxwing

 

More Cedar Waxwings, we'll take them!

  11-30-21 Northern Flicker and Downy Woodpecker, females11-30-21 Northern Flicker and Downy Woodpecker, females 11-27-21 Northern Flicker11-27-21 Northern Flicker

 

The Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers are often at the Bubbler. The Downy waits its turn. What is the draw? Could it be that those sparkling sunbeams cast a mesmerizing spell?

 

12-1-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler12-1-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

Today, a male Yellow-rumped Warbler was mid-canopy, foraging in the oaks. It flew in closer and investigated the area. Each day has been different, with as many as 27 species. Feeders are stocked and fresh water is available for the birds.

 

Happy December! 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/12/december-12-1-21 Thu, 02 Dec 2021 02:50:43 GMT
Ever grateful...Happy Thanksgiving! 11-25-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/11/ever-grateful-happy-thanksgiving-11-25-21  

There was quite a surprise at the Bubbler early on Monday morning, 11-22-21.

 

Coyotes 11-22-21

 

These robust animals appear to be well-fed and may be the same pair caught on the trail cam last October.

 

11-16-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch11-16-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

11-22-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch spooked by Carolina Wren11-22-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch spooked by Carolina Wren

11-21-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch11-21-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch
11-17-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch female11-17-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch female

11-22-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch female11-22-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch female

11-22-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch female11-22-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch female
 

 

Both Red-breasted Nuthatches come in daily, to drink, to find peanuts or seeds and even chase each other a bit. They're not present every year, so they always make me smile!

 

11-23-21 Brown Creeper11-23-21 Brown Creeper 11-19-21 Brown Creeper11-19-21 Brown Creeper

 

There have been one or two Brown Creepers seen every day as well. 
 

11-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler11-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler 11-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler11-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

A Yellow-rumped Warbler has come in to the water a couple times since the last post. And, the Eastern Bluebirds returned!

 

11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebirds11-21-21 Eastern Bluebirds 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird

11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird checking Blackhaw fruit11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird checking Blackhaw fruit

 

First, four males appeared. They were taking turns in the water, and one went to the Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium). It perched there a while. Was it on sentry duty or checking the fruit? The Blackhaw were just saplings years ago, spared when we removed all the bush honeysuckle. They've grown, flowered and produced fall fruit for the birds for a few years now.

 

11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird pair11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird pair 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird pair11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird pair 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird females11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird females 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird females and House Finch11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird females and House Finch 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird females and House Finch11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird females and House Finch 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird females and House Finch11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird females and House Finch

 

A female joined the male, and when the male left, two more females came in. The House Finch found a spot, too.

  11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird

 

Yet another male took over the basin, and chased out a chickadee to have the whole place to itself.

 

11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird at sump puddle11-21-21 Eastern Bluebird at sump puddle

 

The bluebirds had also been down at the sump puddle. There may have been 10-12 birds in total, it wasn't easy to track them all! We're just glad to know they're more comfortable coming in to the water when they need it. It has been very dry. We had about 0.4" of rain overnight, which may change this level of activity. 

 


11-21-21 Dark-eyed Juncos at sump puddle11-21-21 Dark-eyed Juncos at sump puddle

 

The Dark-eyed Juncos had also taken time to bathe there since the basin was full of bluebirds!

 

11-22-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker11-22-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker

 

Even a Red-bellied Woodpecker has been seen at the Bubbler lately. This species doesn't come to the water as reliably as the other woodpeckers.

 

11-22-21 American Robin11-22-21 American Robin

 

On Monday, a large flock of American Robins descended upon the yard, first to drink, and then to devour the Blackhaw drupes. 

  11-22-21 Northern Flicker and American Robin on Blackhaw11-22-21 Northern Flicker and American Robin on Blackhaw

 

A Northern Flicker was already in the shrub as the robins came in. Maybe the hard freeze that morning made the fruit more palatable.

  11-22-21 American Robin eating  Blackhaw fruit11-22-21 American Robin eating Blackhaw fruit 11-22-21 American Robin eating  Blackhaw fruit11-22-21 American Robin eating Blackhaw fruit 11-22-21 American Robin eating  Blackhaw fruit11-22-21 American Robin eating Blackhaw fruit 11-22-21 Eastern Gray Squirrel  eating  Blackhaw fruit11-22-21 Eastern Gray Squirrel eating Blackhaw fruit

 

The branches were swaying and bouncing with birds landing and grabbing the fruit. Each bird would eat two or three before taking off again. Even the squirrels couldn't resist trying them. It was a feast.



11-23-21 Eastern Bluebird11-23-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-23-21 Eastern Bluebird female eating Blackhaw fruit11-23-21 Eastern Bluebird female eating Blackhaw fruit

 

The next morning, a pair of bluebirds came in early to beat the robins to what was left. The male went to the Bubbler and the female had some breakfast. It's easy to see why our native plants are perfectly suited to our beautiful native birds! 

 

If you'd like to view all the photos since the last blog post, grab a cuppa and begin here:  Photos since 11-14-21

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/11/ever-grateful-happy-thanksgiving-11-25-21 Thu, 25 Nov 2021 14:02:17 GMT
Mid-November already! 11-14-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/11/mid-november-already-11-14-21  

It has been a beautiful fall and now, the winds of change are blowing!

 

10-25-21 Golden-crowned Kinglets10-25-21 Golden-crowned Kinglets 10-25-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet10-25-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet

 

Before Halloween, Golden-crowned Kinglets were enjoying the Bubbler. I saw another one yesterday. That golden crown becomes a fiery orange when males get excited. 
 

 

11-13-21 Late Ruby-crowned Kinglet11-13-21 Late Ruby-crowned Kinglet
11-13-21 Late Ruby-crowned Kinglet11-13-21 Late Ruby-crowned Kinglet

 

Yesterday, 11-13-21, it was a surprise to see a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, usually further south by the first week of November. This is a good opportunity to look at both the kinglets and notice their subtle differences.

 

11-10-21  Brown Creeper with insect11-10-21 Brown Creeper with insect 11-13-21 Brown Creeper11-13-21 Brown Creeper
 

A pair of Brown Creepers has been chasing each other around the trunks of trees as they scoop insects out of the bark.

 

11-12-21 Dark-eyed Junco11-12-21 Dark-eyed Junco 11-13-21 Dark-eyed Junco11-13-21 Dark-eyed Junco

 

There were so many birds here yesterday, at least two dozen Dark-eyed Juncos were feeding and drinking.

 

11-13-21 White-throated Sparrow11-13-21 White-throated Sparrow
 

I've been hearing White-throated Sparrows and finally, several came into view.

 

11-13-21 White-breasted Nuthatch11-13-21 White-breasted Nuthatch 11-13-21 White-breasted Nuthatch with crossed bill11-13-21 White-breasted Nuthatch with crossed bill

 

White-breasted Nuthatches were active yesterday. The second bird looks like it has a crossed bill upon closer inspection. That's unusual.

 

11-13-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch11-13-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 11-13-21 Carolina Chickadee and Red-breasted Nuthatch11-13-21 Carolina Chickadee and Red-breasted Nuthatch 11-13-21 Carolina Chickadee chased off by Red-breasted Nuthatch11-13-21 Carolina Chickadee chased off by Red-breasted Nuthatch 11-13-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch11-13-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 11-13-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch11-13-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

11-13-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch11-13-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

It looks like we may have a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches here for the season. The male has a black head and the female's is more of a steely blue. The female chased the male several times and was not having the chickadee on it's personal peanut feeder! Gotta love that tail! Both birds were totally focused on grabbing a peanut or seed and caching it in the bark of a nearby tree. Sounds like homesteading to me.

 

11-13-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler11-13-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler 11-13-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler female11-13-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler female

 

There also was a pair of Yellow-rumped Warblers at the Bubbler yesterday. The male is in the first photo, female in the second.


 

11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-13-21 House Finch, American Goldfinches and Eastern Bluebird11-13-21 House Finch, American Goldfinches and Eastern Bluebird 11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird pair11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird pair 11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird 11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird11-13-21 Eastern Bluebird

 

We had another little thrill when the family of Eastern Bluebirds came in! The breeding pair survived the winter and had a brood, we've seen them occasionally. Yesterday was their first time at the Bubbler this fall. There were at least four males and two females. They sure brighten up the woodland on a gray day. It was non-stop activity with these and more birds for about 3 hours. Today, it's windy and they've been hunkered down.

 

Do check out the Halloween post in case you missed it.

Enjoy the last bit of fall color, and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/11/mid-november-already-11-14-21 Sun, 14 Nov 2021 22:27:44 GMT
Happy Halloween! 10-31-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/10/happy-halloween-10-31-21 Happy Halloween, Trick-or-treaters! 

 

Here are just a few of the many who have been to Shady Oaks lately.

Some are more interested in tricks, but we hope you'll enjoy this special treat. 

 

Halloween Parade 2021Some of our festive trick-or-treaters are here!

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/10/happy-halloween-10-31-21 Sun, 31 Oct 2021 16:00:00 GMT
Celebrating 21 years with the Bubbler! https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/10/celebrating-21-years-with-the-bubbler 10-22-2000 Bubbler running!10-22-2000 Bubbler running! 10-22-2000

9-28-21 Bubbler area9-28-21 Bubbler area

The Bubbler is 21 years old!

 

10-1-21 Ruby-throat's BathBefore heading south, this young Ruby-throated Hummingbird took a "bubble-bath".

 

For the very first time, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird came to bathe before heading south for the winter. Our last sighting of one was on 10-3-21. Through the years, the Bubbler has attracted all sorts and sizes of birds. As of today, the Bubbler count is at 123 species plus 2 hybrids. 

 

 

Recently, I was informed by a member of the Missouri Bird Records Committee that the Sapsucker that came to the Bubbler in February had characteristics that were within accepted parameters for a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. So, even with red feathers on the nape and white feathers on the chin, it was not accepted as a Red-naped Sapsucker. I'm not really disappointed, I'm just grateful that I was able to get clear photos of these details for evaluation by the experts. Birds sure keep you on your toes! 

 

10-10-21 Blue-headed Vireo10-10-21 Blue-headed Vireo 10-10-21 Blue-headed Vireo10-10-21 Blue-headed Vireo 10-10-21 Blue-headed Vireo10-10-21 Blue-headed Vireo

 

Another Blue-headed Vireo came in on Sunday, 10-10-21. They sure do love to splash-bathe!

 

10-12-21 Black-throated Green Warbler10-12-21 Black-throated Green Warbler 10-12-21 Nashville Warbler10-12-21 Nashville Warbler 10-13-21 Bay-breasted Warbler10-13-21 Bay-breasted Warbler 10-20-21 Tennessee Warbler10-20-21 Tennessee Warbler

 

Warblers have been coming through, in smaller flocks. Black-throated Green and Nashville, Bay-breasted and Tennessee Warblers have been pretty consistently seen through this last period. (Still waiting for a late surprise...)

 

10-18-21 Brown Creeper FOS10-18-21 Brown Creeper FOS 10-18-21 Brown Creeper10-18-21 Brown Creeper

 

Three Brown Creepers came in on Friday, 10-15-21. It took a few days before I could catch one with the camera. They blend in so well!

 

10-15-21 FOS Hermit Thrush10-15-21 FOS Hermit Thrush
 

Our first Hermit Thrush of fall showed up at the Bubbler the same day as the creepers. It was seen again the next morning, before sunrise,  and not for very long. 


10-18-21 FOS Winter Wren10-18-21 FOS Winter Wren 10-18-21 Winter Wren10-18-21 Winter Wren 10-18-21 Winter Wren10-18-21 Winter Wren

 

This diminutive skulker was seen hopping about the brush pile in the sump puddle area, playing hide-and-seek with a chipmunk. The Winter Wren has been in the Bubbler area a few times, foraging in the leaves nearby. It's always pretty dark when this bird decides to get in!

 

10-21-21 Four Ruby-crowned Kinglets10-21-21 Four Ruby-crowned Kinglets

 

Today, I had just written a friend who had commented on how much she enjoys the blog. "It transports me for a while from my everyday worries," she said. I admitted that it's been a struggle for me, too, if I'm honest. Writing the blog helps me to stay positive about creating habitat and excited about connecting to nature as the reward. Nature is inspiring! And each of us can do more to help nature and in turn, help upcoming generations of critters and kids. We are part of the solution.

 

Just as I finished writing to her, the sun broke through and I saw these tiny birds at the Bubbler. A regal court of FIVE Ruby-crowned Kinglets were flitting about, jumping in and out! I managed to get four in a few photos, at least three of them were males.  

 

10-21-21 Four Ruby-crowned Kinglets10-21-21 Four Ruby-crowned Kinglets
 

10-21-21 Three Ruby-crowned Kinglets10-21-21 Three Ruby-crowned Kinglets 10-21-21 Two Ruby-crowned Kinglets10-21-21 Two Ruby-crowned Kinglets 10-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet10-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet10-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet10-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

 

A few minutes of bright and cheerful avian activity can turn anyone's day around!

 

----------

Check back at noon on Halloween for a special parade of trick-or-treaters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/10/celebrating-21-years-with-the-bubbler Thu, 21 Oct 2021 20:57:43 GMT
Fall Big Day Report 10-10-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/10/10/fall-big-day  

"Let me keep my mind on what matters most which

is my work which is mostly standing still

and learning to be astonished."

~ Mary Oliver

 

10-2-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 3 Nashville and Black-throated Green Warblers10-2-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch, 3 Nashville and Black-throated Green Warblers 10-2-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch10-2-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 10-2-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch10-2-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 10-2-21 Nashville Warblers10-2-21 Nashville Warblers 10-3-21 Black-throated Green Warbler10-3-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

10-3-21 Black-throated Green Warbler10-3-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

It has been kind of slow lately. It's been a mild fall and temperatures will hit the mid-80's again today. But a storm front is due in tonight and that may bring in some late birds. Let's talk about some of what has been seen and discovered in these first ten days of October.

 

A Red-breasted Nuthatch was skittish about getting in with three Nashville Warblers and a Black-throated Green. It's easier to make them all out in those next few images. 
 

10-3-21 Bay-breasted Warbler10-3-21 Bay-breasted Warbler 10-3-21 Bay-breasted Warbler10-3-21 Bay-breasted Warbler

 

Bay-breasted Warblers have also been in the mix.

 

10-3-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler10-3-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler

 

A female Chestnut-sided Warbler came in with a small flock.

  10-4-21 FOS Golden-crowned Kinglet10-4-21 FOS Golden-crowned Kinglet

 

On 10-4-21, our FOS Golden-crowned Kinglet popped into view. I heard their "tsee-tsee-tsee" call several times yesterday.

 

10-4-21 Barred Owl10-4-21 Barred Owl 10-4-21 Barred Owl10-4-21 Barred Owl

 

One evening, we had come in to make dinner and the birds started fussing. They usually do when a large predator comes in! It was one of the Barred Owls, ready to hunt for its own dinner, or is it breakfast for them?

 

10-7-21 Common Yellowthroat female10-7-21 Common Yellowthroat female 10-7-21 Common Yellowthroat female10-7-21 Common Yellowthroat female

 

Not much here on 10-7-21, but at lunchtime I spotted this small bird in a clove currant (Ribes odoratum) by the pond. When I returned with the camera, it had jumped into the pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata). The plants provided great cover for this little bird to bathe in.

 

10-7-21 Common YellowthroatIn the pickerel weed in the pond

 

Birding is nothing if not a humbling experience. Exciting, yes, challenging, yes, but it definitely can be humbling! As I watched the little bird and wanted to be sure of its I.D., I thought it was a female Common Yellowthroat. I have usually found males here in the fall, though. Then, I remembered a bird that I had called a Common Yellowthroat that was in the garden six years ago, on 8-24-15. As I studied and researched young female birds that can be confusing, I figured out that the bird in the garden was NOT a Common Yellowthroat at all, but a young female Mourning Warbler. 

 

 

Now it seems so obvious, but it all depends on experience. I'm so grateful for these experiences and the chance to correct my error. I don't see these species that often. We can learn so much from our mistakes. We just have to figure out that we made them, first! Birding in the fall is all about subtlety with these young birds.

 

Yesterday was Fall Big Day for birding, 10-9-21. Since we sit kind of low in the neighborhood, it can take a while for the insects to warm up and start moving around so the birds can find them. After all that foraging, the little flock was ready to bathe. A Northern Flicker had been in the basin, and when it left, the whole little flock came in together. 

 

Big Day 10-9-21

 

How many birds did you count in that video? There were Tennessee, Black-throated Green and Nashville Warblers, a Tufted Titmouse and a Carolina Wren. (The wren seemed a bit put out to have to share!) Some birds may have been repeats, but this kind of "flurry" is what keeps things interesting. Even after 21 years of watching birds at the bubbler, I never know when this will happen for sure, However, when it does, it's truly uplifting to stand there and simply "be astonished"!

 

To see all the birds since the last post, begin here: October birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/10/10/fall-big-day Sun, 10 Oct 2021 18:57:36 GMT
September, it's a wrap! 9-30-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/10/september-its-a-wrap-9-30-21

 

The last day of September began with wispy cirrus clouds and filtered sun. Lovely!

 

9-22-21 FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet9-22-21 FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet 9-24-21 Red-eyed Vireo immature9-24-21 Red-eyed Vireo immature 9-23-21 Magnolia Warbler9-23-21 Magnolia Warbler

 

The first of fall Ruby-crowned Kinglet came in on, what else, the first day of Fall, 9-22-21. An immature Red-eyed Vireo visited the bubbler for the first time. Look closely, it has brown eyes, thus it is a first year bird. Magnolia Warblers have been around the last week, too.

 

9-28-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird9-28-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-28-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird9-28-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-30-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird9-30-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-30-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird9-30-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

 

A young male Ruby-throated Hummingbird has come in to bathe two days. It has one little red feather below its right eye, so I'm quite sure this is the same bird. It perched and preened in the smooth hydrangea before going back to the jewelweed. 

 

9-28-21 Northern Parula and American Goldfinch9-28-21 Northern Parula and American Goldfinch 9-28-21 Northern Parula and American Goldfinch9-28-21 Northern Parula and American Goldfinch

9-28-21 Northern Parula9-28-21 Northern Parula

 

A female Northern Parula had a bit of trouble getting to the water, the American Goldfinch wasn't having it. It looked at the basin and decided to come back later and it had the place all to itself. Listen for the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, American Crows and other birds in the background. 

 

9-28-21 Northern Parula in the bubbleNorthern Parula's bubble bath

 

Now, wasn't that fun! 

 

9-30-21 Northern Parula9-30-21 Northern Parula 9-30-21 Northern Parula9-30-21 Northern Parula

 

A strongly marked male Northern Parula was at the bubbler on this last day, 9-30-21. The white belly is much more pronounced when it's all fluffed out!

 

9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler 9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

Black-throated Green Warblers have been easy to find, foraging in the viburnums and golden currant.

  9-28-21 Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warblers9-28-21 Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warblers 9-28-21 Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warbler9-28-21 Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warbler 9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-28-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

Black-throated Greens are also frequent visitors to the water features, along with Tennessee Warblers.

 

9-28-21 Nashville Warbler9-28-21 Nashville Warbler 9-28-21 Nashville Warbler and Eurasian Tree Sparrow9-28-21 Nashville Warbler and Eurasian Tree Sparrow

 

A little Nashville Warbler studied the dripper before going in, and then was joined by a Eurasian Tree Sparrow.

 

9-28-21 Coooper's Hawk9-28-21 Coooper's Hawk

 

An adult Cooper's Hawk got in a late dip one evening.

 

9-30-21 FOS Blue-headed Vireo9-30-21 FOS Blue-headed Vireo

 

Our first of Fall Blue-headed Vireo showed up on this last day of the month, too.

 

9-30-12 Two Red-breasted Nuthatches9-30-12 Two Red-breasted Nuthatches

 

I saw a bluish-backed bird flitting around the sump puddle and on closer inspection, there were two female Red-breasted Nuthatches there, getting quick sips of water.

 

9-30-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher9-30-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

 

Another Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was busy in the woodland. Now, it's on to the last quarter of the year with October's arrival!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/10/september-its-a-wrap-9-30-21 Fri, 01 Oct 2021 11:06:36 GMT
Third week of September migrants, 9-21-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/9/third-week-of-september-migrants-9-21-21 A Change in the Weather!

Without winds from the north to help them move along, warblers have been circling the 'hood, fattening up to be ready for the next frontal push. That front came through overnight, with 2.37" of rain here. The following warblers have been seen in differing groups of 8 or 9 nearly every day.

 

9-16-21 American Redstart9-16-21 American Redstart 9-15-21 American Redstart and Magnolia Warbler9-15-21 American Redstart and Magnolia Warbler

 

American Redstarts and Magnolia Warblers

 

9-15-21 Ovenbird9-15-21 Ovenbird

9-19-21 Bay-breasted Warbler9-19-21 Bay-breasted Warbler

 

Ovenbirds and Bay-breasted Warblers


9-19-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler9-19-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-19-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-19-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

Chestnut-sided and Black-throated Green Warblers

 

9-17-21 Black-and-white Warbler9-17-21 Black-and-white Warbler 9-19-21 Tennessee Warbler9-19-21 Tennessee Warbler 9-17-21 Nashville Warbler9-17-21 Nashville Warbler

 

Black-and-white, Tennessee and Nashville Warblers.

 

9-17-21 Black-and-white Warbler9-17-21 Black-and-white Warbler

 

They are all looking for food in the form of caterpillars and other small insects. Oops! Missed one!

 

9-20-21 Blackburnian Warbler9-20-21 Blackburnian Warbler

 

The second Blackburnian Warbler of fall was seen just yesterday. To add to the mix, there have been new arrivals!

 

9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-18-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

A female Red-breasted Nuthatch came in to the Bubbler, becoming Bubbler Bird #87 for the year. She had quite a reach to get a drink, but did this repeatedly. What Olympian strength in those tiny legs! 

 

9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch9-19-21 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

A beautiful male has been coming in, there may actually be two males. We are hoping this irruptive species will be around this winter.

 

9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature 9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature 9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature9-17-21 Wilson's Warbler, immature

 

An immature Wilson's Warbler came in on Friday, 9/17/21. It explored every inch of the bubbler area, cementing this location into its genetic code to pass along to its offspring.The longer they stay, the more information they gather. It's always amazing to watch a young bird when it does this.

 

9-19-21 FOS Northern Parula9-19-21 FOS Northern Parula 9-19-21 FOS Northern Parula9-19-21 FOS Northern Parula

 

Our FOS Northern Parula came in on Sunday, 9/19/21. It was hesitant to get in, the flock had started a splash-fest! 

 

9-19-21 Tennessee Warbler, Ovenbird and Chestnut-sided Warbler9-19-21 Tennessee Warbler, Ovenbird and Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-19-21 Chestnut-sided, House Finch, Ovenbird, Tennessee and Black-and-white Warblers9-19-21 Chestnut-sided, House Finch, Ovenbird, Tennessee and Black-and-white Warblers 9-19-21 House Finch, Tennessee Warblers, and Bay-breasted Warblers9-19-21 House Finch, Tennessee Warblers, and Bay-breasted Warblers 9-19-21 Tennessee and Bay-breasted Warblers9-19-21 Tennessee and Bay-breasted Warblers

 

It was a good time for them and for me, too. Here is my checklist for that 35 minutes:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S94910559

 

To view all the photos since the last post, begin here:  Birds since 9/14/21

 

Enjoy this change in the weather! 

The Autumn Equinox is tomorrow, 9-22-21 at 2:21 p.m. CDT here in St. Louis.

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/9/third-week-of-september-migrants-9-21-21 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 16:00:37 GMT
Early September migrants and more 9-14-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/9/early-september-migrants-and-more-9-14-21 Birds continue to be on the move.

 

9-8-21 Swainson's Thrush9-8-21 Swainson's Thrush

 

The first Swainson's Thrush of fall showed up on Sunday, 9-5-21. It was a day with six warbler species, too.

 

9-8-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher9-8-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 9-8-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher9-8-21 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

 

A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was #85 for the year at the Bubbler on 9-8-21. 

 

9-8-21 Bay-breasted Warbler9-8-21 Bay-breasted Warbler 9-8-21 Bay-breasted Warbler9-8-21 Bay-breasted Warbler

 

A Bay-breasted Warbler was a first of fall bird that Wednesday.

  9-8-21 Ovenbird9-8-21 Ovenbird 9-8-21 Ovenbird9-8-21 Ovenbird

 

An Ovenbird walked in "the back door" to enjoy splashing about. Another FOS (first of season) bird was heard and seen, a Red-breasted Nuthatch. It was in too big of a hurry for a photo.

 

9-8-21 Canada Warbler9-8-21 Canada Warbler
 

This Canada Warbler was seen several times throughout that day, bringing the warbler total to seven.

 

9-9-21 FOS Northern Waterthrush9-9-21 FOS Northern Waterthrush

 

On Thursday, 9-9-21 a cool front had moved through making for a delightfully cool day with ten warbler species of 32 in total. This Northern Waterthrush was at the bubbler very early in the morning. 

 

9-9-21 American Redstart9-9-21 American Redstart 9-9-21 Black-and-white Warbler9-9-21 Black-and-white Warbler 9-9-21 Bay-breasted Warbler9-9-21 Bay-breasted Warbler

 

American Redstarts, Black-and-white and Bay-breasted Warblers were present.

 

9-9-21 Magnolia Warbler9-9-21 Magnolia Warbler 9-9-21 Ovenbird9-9-21 Ovenbird 9-9-21 Blue-winged Warbler9-9-21 Blue-winged Warbler

 

Magnolia Warblers, the Ovenbird and a Blue-winged Warbler joined in the activity.

 

9-9-21 Bay-breasted and Blue-winged Warblers9-9-21 Bay-breasted and Blue-winged Warblers 9-9-21 Bay-breasted, Blue-winged and Magnolia Warblers9-9-21 Bay-breasted, Blue-winged and Magnolia Warblers 9-9-21 Bay-breasted and Blue-winged Warblers9-9-21 Bay-breasted and Blue-winged Warblers

 

There was some discussion between the Bay-breasted and Blue-winged, but they worked it out and a Magnolia Warbler came to the party.

 

9-9-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler9-9-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler

 

A Chestnut-sided was added to the warbler list.

 

9-10-21 Scarlet Tanager9-10-21 Scarlet Tanager

 

The female Scarlet Tanager is the second we've seen this fall.

 

9-10-21 Northern Cardinal9-10-21 Northern Cardinal 9-10-21 Golden-winged Warbler9-10-21 Golden-winged Warbler 9-10-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler9-10-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler 9-10-21 Chestnut-sided and Golden-winged Warblers with Northern Cardinal9-10-21 Chestnut-sided and Golden-winged Warblers with Northern Cardinal 9-10-21 Chestnut-sided and Golden-winged Warblers with Northern Cardinal9-10-21 Chestnut-sided and Golden-winged Warblers with Northern Cardinal

 

A young male Northern Cardinal explored the Bubbler area for the first time on its own. Golden-winged and Chestnut-sided Warblers decided the larger bird was no threat to them!

  9-11-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler9-11-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler

 

The Chestnut-sided Warbler returned later and had the "bubble" on the large rock all to itself.

 

To see all the photos:  

Since 9-4-21

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/9/early-september-migrants-and-more-9-14-21 Wed, 15 Sep 2021 02:26:13 GMT
A "worm", a "confusion" and a "glittering" of birds! 9-4-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/9/a-worm-a-confusion-and-a-glittering-of-birds-9-4-21 Collective nouns for groups of birds can be very descriptive, especially in migration!

 

It began with a "worm" of nearly 30 American Robins, flying into cover in the woods. Small birds seemed to pop out on branches in every level of the canopy, partially hidden by the fully grown leaves. It was a mini-fallout of migrants on Tuesday, 8-31-21 right about 10:30 a.m. They all had "the hangries!" 

 

8-31-21 Blue-winged Warbler on pawpaw (Asimina triloba)8-31-21 Blue-winged Warbler on pawpaw (Asimina triloba) 8-31-21 Black-and-white Warbler8-31-21 Black-and-white Warbler 8-31-21 Magnolia Warbler8-31-21 Magnolia Warbler 8-31-21 Magnolia Warbler8-31-21 Magnolia Warbler 8-31-21 Tennessee and Magnolia Warblers8-31-21 Tennessee and Magnolia Warblers 8-31-21 Magnolia and Black-and-white Warblers8-31-21 Magnolia and Black-and-white Warblers

 

The "confusion" of warblers was soon revealed. A Blue-winged Warbler grabbed a caterpillar from a pawpaw leaf (Asimina triloba). As their hunger subsided a bit, the birds came to the bubbler. Black-and-white, Magnolia, and Tennessee vied for the choicest spot to bathe.

 

8-31-21 Chestnut-sided Warblers8-31-21 Chestnut-sided Warblers 8-31-21 Blackburnian Warbler and American Robin8-31-21 Blackburnian Warbler and American Robin  

 

A pair of Chestnut-sided Warblers got in while birds were also seen at the sump puddle. Robins were there looking for food under the wet leaves and one chased a Blackburnian Warbler out of its way.

 

8-31-21 Nashville Warbler8-31-21 Nashville Warbler

 

A Nashville Warbler was grabbing insects off of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

 

8-31-21 Golden-winged/ Lawrence's Warbler female8-31-21 Golden-winged/ Lawrence's Warbler female 8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler 8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler 8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler8-31-21 Golden-winged Warbler

 

A female Golden-winged Warbler was very interested in the small bubbler rock in the basin. The contortions it went through to bathe were impressive!

 

8-31-21 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers8-31-21 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers 8-31-21 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers8-31-21 Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers

 

The Blue-winged Warbler just had to get in on this action. It's so tempting to put words in their little mouths, but I'll leave it to your imagination!

 

8-31-21 American Redstart8-31-21 American Redstart 8-31-21 American Redstart8-31-21 American Redstart 8-31-21 Canada Warbler8-31-21 Canada Warbler 8-31-21 Canada Warbler8-31-21 Canada Warbler 8-31-21 Baltimore Oriole immature male8-31-21 Baltimore Oriole immature male

 

That day ended with ten warbler species, including an American Redstart and a Canada Warbler. The Canada brought the Bubbler Bird count to 83 for the year. Another interesting bird that came in was an immature Baltimore Oriole. Wish the robins hadn't chased it off so I could have gotten a better image! What a beautiful, bright russet color it was.

 

9-1-21 Black-and-white Warblers9-1-21 Black-and-white Warblers 9-1-21 Magnolia Warbler9-1-21 Magnolia Warbler 9-1-21 Blue-winged Warbler9-1-21 Blue-winged Warbler 9-1-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-1-21 Black-throated Green Warbler 9-1-21 Black-throated Green Warbler9-1-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

 

September began with four warbler species on the first. Black-and-white, Magnolias and Blue-winged Warblers were still here. A Black-throated Green Warbler was another FOS (first of season) bird.

 

8-31-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird8-31-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

 

One cannot speak of migration without some mention of the "glittering" of hummingbirds we've all been seeing! Keep those feeders clean and filled. They need the energy to catch tiny insects and put on some weight. 

 

9-3-21 Eastern Bluebird immature male9-3-21 Eastern Bluebird immature male 9-3-21 Eastern Bluebird immature male9-3-21 Eastern Bluebird immature male

Last but certainly not least, a scruffy, immature Eastern Bluebird had been feeding in the canopy and came to check out the Bubbler yesterday morning. We're glad to know that our restored habitat is supporting this species. Many bluebirds were lost in that last hard freeze in April throughout Missouri. I had seen two young birds in late July, so this bird may be from a second brood, its yellow gape is still visible. 

 

Enjoy the new season!

 Need a review?  Fall Warbler Species

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/9/a-worm-a-confusion-and-a-glittering-of-birds-9-4-21 Sat, 04 Sep 2021 19:17:58 GMT
What a hoot! 8-25-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/8/what-a-hoot-8-25-21  

Barred Owls in the 'hood

 

5-16-10 Barred Owlet5-16-10 Barred OwletMargy Terpstra

 

The first time we found nesting Barred Owls was in the spring of 2010. This species doesn't build a nest, but will use tree cavities or old hawk or squirrel nests. We had seen a pair actively guarding the crotch of a pin oak tree, chasing squirrels away. On 5-16-10, a young nestling was seen peeking out of the hole.

 

5-17-10 Barred Owlet5-17-10 Barred OwletMargy Terpstra

 

The following day, the young bird climbed up out of the cavity for a better view of the new world it was about to enter. 

 

5-18-10 Barred Owlet5-18-10 Barred OwletMargy Terpstra

 

On 5-18-10, it was time to spread its wings! It would attempt to fly, then ascend another tree by using its bill and talons to grab onto the bark and flap its wings to climb up the trunk. It was quite a memorable evening as we watched this young bird explore the trees.

 

5-18-10 Barred Owl5-18-10 Barred OwlMargy Terpstra

 

The ever watchful female was close by, guarding its offspring. Jump ahead eleven years to this week.

 

8-21-21 Barred Owlet8-21-21 Barred Owlet

 

On Saturday, 8-21-21 around 7:15 a.m., a Barred Owl flew from the maple tree down to the stream bed of the pond. Took this photo through the gazebo screen with my phone to document. It went down to the water and then I was able to go inside without disturbing it. 

 

8-21-21 Barred Owlet8-21-21 Barred Owlet

 

Hmmm, I thought. "He wasn't fuzzy, was he?" Well, its head certainly was.

  8-21-21 Barred Owlet8-21-21 Barred Owlet

 

The bird hunted from the sugar maple and then flew to the east slope, working on low branches. A couple days later, it was back in the pond cypress, shaking water off its feathers and preening. In the comparison photo below, it's pretty clear we have a new kid on the block!

 

8-23-21 Barred Owl composite8-23-21 Barred Owl composite

 

This young owlet was curious and energetically explored our woodland, including the Bubbler area. This all happened just after noon in the brightest part of the day on Monday, 8-23-21. It was hot and humid, but as you'll see in the video, the bird found its own way to cool off!

  8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet 8-23-21 Barred Owlet8-23-21 Barred Owlet

Barred Owlet 8-23-21Barred Owlet makes a splash!

 

What a hoot! 

To learn more about Barred Owls, check out this page:

Barred Owl

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/8/what-a-hoot-8-25-21 Wed, 25 Aug 2021 13:49:17 GMT
First migrants of Fall 8-18-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/8/first-migrants-of-fall-8-18-21  

Into fall migration!

8-11-21 Northern Flicker and American Robins8-11-21 Northern Flicker and American Robins 8-11-21 Northern Flicker female and American Robin8-11-21 Northern Flicker female and American Robin 8-12-21 American Robin immature8-12-21 American Robin immature

 

The first cool front of August followed a very warm week. A lot of robins were seen at the bubbler, and like this immature bird, they were panting to release heat. Northern Flickers pushed in for their turns at the crowded basin. 

 

8-12-21 Blue Jay8-12-21 Blue Jay 8-12-21 Blue Jay8-12-21 Blue Jay 8-12-21 Blue Jay8-12-21 Blue Jay

 

A Blue Jay squawked and splashed, getting in several times, enthusiastically drenching its feathers. Thursday evening, the storm front moved through with strong winds and rain, the temperature dropped twenty-five degrees. Saturday, the robins had moved on and our first migrants showed up.

 

8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female Bubbler Bird #788-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female Bubbler Bird #78

 

Did you find the bird? It had grabbed a small winged insect to eat. It's a female Kentucky Warbler, first female that I've seen here. 

 

8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female Bubbler Bird #788-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female Bubbler Bird #78

8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female with insect8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female with insect 8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female 8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female 8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female 8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female

8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female8-14-21 FOS Kentucky Warbler female
 

The warbler found more to eat, then bathed and flew to the native hydrangea to shake its tail feathers and preen. Just as it finished, another bird flew in.

 

8-14-21 FOS Scarlet Tanager female8-14-21 FOS Scarlet Tanager female 8-14-21 FOS Scarlet Tanager female8-14-21 FOS Scarlet Tanager female

 

This was a female Scarlet Tanager, probably a first year bird. The plumage of this species is a bit greener than the Summer Tanager's orangey hue. It's a bit smaller bird and the bill is also proportionately smaller.

 

8-14-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird8-14-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

8-16-21 American Goldfinch on Purple Coneflower8-16-21 American Goldfinch on Purple Coneflower 8-16-21 American Goldfinch female on Purple Coneflower8-16-21 American Goldfinch female on Purple Coneflower

 

Usual suspects continue to visit the feeders and the garden. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are looking a bit ragged! Goldfinches have been busy at the coneflowers. 

 

8-13-21 E. Tiger Swallowtail female on Purple Coneflower8-13-21 E. Tiger Swallowtail female on Purple Coneflower 8-13-21 Monarch caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed8-13-21 Monarch caterpillar on Marsh Milkweed 8-16-21 Monarch laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed8-16-21 Monarch laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies have been at the coneflowers, too. The females can be black or yellow. Monarch caterpillars are still feeding on the Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and another butterfly has been ovipositing on the plants.

 

8-16-21 American Bumble Bee male on Ironweed (Vernonia arkansana)8-16-21 American Bumble Bee male on Ironweed (Vernonia arkansana)

 

A male American Bumble Bee was found gathering pollen at the Ironweed (Vernonia arkansana).

(I had misidentified this bee. Thanks to Kathy Bildner and James Faupel for correctly identifying it for me!)

 

8-8-21 Eastern Cottontail eating violets8-8-21 Eastern Cottontail eating violets

 

An Eastern Cottontail Rabbit was enjoying violets near the bubbler. There have been several in and out of the garden on a regular basis. Now, do you recall the old cowboy song, "Home, Home on the Range." That came to mind as I watched this doe and its two fawns this morning. 

 

 

So we wait for the next cool front...

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/8/first-migrants-of-fall-8-18-21 Thu, 19 Aug 2021 03:04:44 GMT
The Summer Day 8-7-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/8/the-summer-day-8-7-21 The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
 

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

 

I believe we are made to connect with nature and we are extremely fortunate when we come to appreciate that healthy connection. 

 

8-5-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird juvenile, perched8-5-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird juvenile, perched 8-5-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird juvenile8-5-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird juvenile

 

I try to spend some time outside every day. Often, I'll have a subject in mind to photograph and study and then that idea is quickly upended by the discovery of something new, right under my nose. Thursday, I had hoped to catch a young hummingbird at the Cardinal flower. It was a lovely, cool morning yet somehow, the bird knew the nectar was not available. It was going to some buttonbush and salvia blooms that were in more sun. So, I looked around.

 

8-5-21 Spined Assassin Bug on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)8-5-21 Spined Assassin Bug on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) 8-5-21 Spined Assassin Bug on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)8-5-21 Spined Assassin Bug on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

 

A tiny critter moved on the Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) about 10 feet in front of me. At first I thought it was a spider, but no, it was a true bug that we had not seen before, a Spined Assassin Bug (Sinea diadema). Read more about this beneficial insect predator here: 

Spined Assassin Bug

 

  8-5-21 Monarch on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)8-5-21 Monarch on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-5-21 Monarch laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)8-5-21 Monarch laying eggs on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 8-5-21 Monarch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)8-5-21 Monarch on Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

 

We were having lunch later that day in the gazebo when I saw a Monarch fly north out of the garden. Dan saw another on the Marsh Milkweed, and I went down to find that it was a female. The butterfly laid several eggs before going back to sipping nectar. This new generation will be the butterflies that complete the migration to Mexico.

 

8-521 Familiar Bluet on Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)8-521 Familiar Bluet on Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

 

A Familiar Bluet damselfly was flitting around on the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) in the breeze. It's no wonder that these insects inspire artists and moviemakers with their fantastical looks. 

 

8-2-21 Barred Owl8-2-21 Barred Owl 8-2-21 Barred Owl8-2-21 Barred Owl 8-2-21 Barred Owl8-2-21 Barred Owl

 

Earlier in the week, the Barred Owl was back in the Roughleaf Dogwood next to the deck. We had heard both of the owls the night before, just outside our window. It stayed until about 11:30 a.m. when a Blue Jay spied it and started making a racket. We have been hearing them more often but still not sure if they had any young.

 

 

Several of you have commented on how "cute" the fawns were in the last post. Well, my friends, we must face facts. "Cute" fawns do grow up and our neighborhood is now inundated with White-tailed Deer. There are no natural predators, i.e. wolves, to keep their numbers in check and that fosters disease in the resident herd. Last February, we saw firsthand a doe that was so sick it could no longer stand, flailing its legs in the air. It was not a pretty picture on a Sunday morning. The doe had to be put out of its misery by our local police officers. We thanked them, surely that was beyond the call of duty. No, as it turns out, they get calls like ours often.

This is the first year that we have seen these bucks with their large racks of antlers so early in the season. Half of the homes in the neighborhood have family dogs, so you can guess where the deer tend to concentrate. 

We have put up with some loss of vegetation, but decided it was time to restrict their movement in the Bubbler Area before the hormones kick in with the imminent breeding season. So, Dan partially fenced off the area. We'll see how this works. So far, so good.

 

8-3-21 Doe at fence8-3-21 Doe at fence 8-3-21 Fawn at fence8-3-21 Fawn at fence 8-3-21 11 point Buck at fence8-3-21 11 point Buck at fence

 

The birds have adapted, even using the fencing to perch on. Squirrels and raccoons can still get underneath because Dan positioned it high on the stakes. The buck decided to hunker down and wait to see if we'd take the fence down. No joy there.

 

8-4-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Fuchsia gartenmeister (annual)8-4-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Fuchsia gartenmeister (annual) 6-6-21 Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)6-6-21 Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

 

The hummers are enjoying all the blooms right now as they chase each other through the yard. My favorite annual is the Fuchsia Gartenmeister, which closely resembles the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). The birds love it, too. The Fuchsia blooms from late spring til frost, producing flowers as the Coral Trumpet wanes. 

 

8-7-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)8-7-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

 

This young hummingbird zoomed right in to sip at the native Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).

 

8-7-21 Ironweed (Vernonia arkansana)8-7-21 Ironweed (Vernonia arkansana)
8-7-21 American Goldfinch on Purple Coneflower8-7-21 American Goldfinch on Purple Coneflower
 

Ironweed (Vernonia arkansana) is just blooming and it soon will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. American Goldfinches are finding Purple Coneflower seeds to eat.
 

8-5-21 Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)8-5-21 Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)


 

We've had a nice break from the heat, but there are still warm summer days left to enjoy.

Stay cool and stay well!

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/8/the-summer-day-8-7-21 Sat, 07 Aug 2021 19:23:45 GMT
Fall Warbler Quiz Answers 7-31-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/7/fall-warbler-quiz-answers-7-31-21 It's time for Answers!

 

It helps to look for field marks such as wing bars, eye-rings that are split or complete, leg color, etc. Females of each species are often duller in plumage. Best of luck and have fun!


10-25-19 Yellow-rumped Warbler10-25-19 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler - yes, this one is a little tricky because this female is not showing off its named-for diagnostic field mark. 

 

10-6-19 Blackburnian Warbler  female10-6-19 Blackburnian Warbler female

 

Blackburnian Warbler - this bird is a first year female, it has very pale markings.

 

9-29-15 Tennessee Warblers9-29-15 Tennessee Warblers

 

Tennessee Warblers - these are first fall birds and they often come in small flocks together.

 

10-15-19 Orange-crowned Warbler10-15-19 Orange-crowned Warbler

 

Orange-crowned Warbler - a first fall female with dull, grayish, streaky plumage and whitish split eye-ring. 

 

The next series of photos are followed by labeled photos with the answers on them.

 

9-25-18 Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, and Bay-breasted Warblers9-25-18 Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, and Bay-breasted Warblers

Three Warbler Quiz!Three Warbler Quiz!

Three Warbler AnswersThree Warbler Answers

Six Warbler Quiz!Six Warbler Quiz! Six Warbler Quiz!  AnswersSix Warbler Quiz! Answers

 

Yes, that is a real photo! Migrating birds often travel in mixed flocks. Think about 'safety in numbers'. Hope you had some fun learning about these special tiny birds. They'll be showing up very soon. Now, for a few of the latest sightings here at Shady Oaks. 

 

7-19-21 Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile7-19-21 Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile

 

A young Red-shouldered Hawk was seen one day, hunting near the garden.

 

7-29-21 Northern Flicker female7-29-21 Northern Flicker female

7-29-21 Northern Flicker, juvenile male7-29-21 Northern Flicker, juvenile male 7-29-21 Northern Flicker, juvenile male7-29-21 Northern Flicker, juvenile male 7-29-21 Northern Flicker, juvenile male7-29-21 Northern Flicker, juvenile male 7-29-21 Northern Flicker juvenile male7-29-21 Northern Flicker juvenile male

 

The Northern Flickers had a successful brood of at least 3, two males and a female. The female is shown first after bathing, the two males follow. One of the males has a bit darker markings and perhaps it's the older nestling.

 

7-29-21 Northern Flicker after Roughleaf Dogwood berries7-29-21 Northern Flicker after Roughleaf Dogwood berries

 

That flicker has been after the Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) berries. It's the first time I've seen a woodpecker species go after them.

 

7-29-21 American Robin after Roughleaf Dogwood berries7-29-21 American Robin after Roughleaf Dogwood berries

 

The American Robins showed up the other day and they were all over them, too. There were at least 36 robins here, and I even saw two young Eastern Bluebirds near the pond, the first young birds of the year. I suspect the bluebird family wanted to get in on that action, but there were just too many robins around. In the following video, a robin is in the upper left corner working on the berries when two does and two fawns come in.

 

7-31-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird #17-31-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird #1 7-31-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird #27-31-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird #2

 

Last but not least, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird numbers are starting to pick up. They are chasing each other at the feeders and through the garden, too. I watched a young bird at the Black-and-Blue Salvia, then it went on to the Pickerel, Indian Pinks, and Cardinalflower blooms. This cool front today may bring more in as well.

 

Enjoy the migrating birds!

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/7/fall-warbler-quiz-answers-7-31-21 Sat, 31 Jul 2021 20:25:26 GMT
It's nearly time for Fall Warblers! 7-25-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/7/its-nearly-time-for-fall-warblers-7-25-21 Lesson #1:  Enjoy every bird!

Truth is, you'll hear more birds than you see,

and you'll see more birds than you can possibly photograph.

 

10-22-2000 Bubbler running!10-22-2000 Bubbler running! Varied Thrush documentation drawing 1/23/03 for 10th Missouri RecordVaried Thrush documentation drawing 1/23/03 for 10th Missouri Record

5-7-2-03 Blackburnian Warbler5-7-2-03 Blackburnian Warbler Chestnut-sided WarblerChestnut-sided Warbler

 

Birds began coming to the Bubbler within a few days after it was completed on 10-22-2000. After a visit by a Varied Thrush on a wintry day in 2003, the tenth record of this species in Missouri, it became time to put aside colored pencils and document birds with photographs. Dan helped me get set up with a digital camera. It was our introduction to the digital format of photography, with the camera connected to a spotting scope. It was cumbersome, it was slow and it was certainly challenging to focus on fidgety little birds! It did teach me patience, however, and ready or not, the birds kept on coming. Blackburnian and Chestnut-sided Warblers have always come down through the trees to enjoy the water feature. These images were some of the first taken with that digiscoping setup. 

 

Spring is always exciting because these neotropical migrants are in their vibrant breeding plumage. Fall is another story entirely. Some species look about the same, and some have molted into a duller version of themselves that almost looks like a totally different bird. 

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler in Spring and FallChestnut-sided Warbler in Spring and Fall

Magnolia Warbler in Spring and FallMagnolia Warbler in Spring and Fall

Bay-breasted Warbler in Spring and FallBay-breasted Warbler in Spring and Fall
 

These composite photos display the changes in their attire that are protective camouflage as they return to winter homes. It helps them blend ever so easily into the softer greens, yellows and rusty shades of autumn. This attribute also makes them more difficult to watch and identify as they move along the branches and grab caterpillars off the native plants. Add in the new first year birds of each species, and well, it's enough to make one's head spin!

 

10-4-13 Female Blackpoll Warbler documented as 3rd Missouri Fall record- note  orangey legs and feet10-4-13 Female Blackpoll Warbler documented as 3rd Missouri Fall record- note orangey legs and feet

 

Now, I have not seen every warbler species in every year. But over the 25 years we've been here, I have seen all 36 of the most likely warblers to be seen in our area. This is the third year that we've listed 29 species. Adding another species this fall would set a new record for our sanctuary. Yellow-throated, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, or Hooded Warblers might show up. A rarity is possible. The photo above shows a first year female Blackpoll Warbler that was here on 10-4-13, a third fall record for this species in Missouri. Doesn't it look similar to the Bay-breasted Warbler above it? Its orangey legs are key to separating it from the other species, and though only one photo was taken, it was enough documentation for that record. Most Blackpolls migrate much further to the east but it is likely that there are more in Missouri that get lost in the shuffle. Our yard does seem to be a "migrant trap" and is just very attractive to these tiny birds. 

 

For those who would like to take the Fall Warbler challenge, here are a few quiz photos. Answers will be posted next time!

 

You may also want to check out this updated gallery to study the birds and search for the answers. It will open in a new tab for comparison.

Fall Warbler Species at Shady Oaks

 

10-25-19 Yellow-rumped Warbler10-25-19 Yellow-rumped Warbler

10-6-19 Blackburnian Warbler  female10-6-19 Blackburnian Warbler female 9-29-15 Tennessee Warblers9-29-15 Tennessee Warblers

10-15-19 Orange-crowned Warbler10-15-19 Orange-crowned Warbler

9-25-18 Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, and Bay-breasted Warblers9-25-18 Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, and Bay-breasted Warblers

Three Warbler Quiz!Three Warbler Quiz!

Six Warbler Quiz! Answers on tenth slideSix Warbler Quiz! Answers on tenth slide
 

Remember to enjoy every bird!

 

 


 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/7/its-nearly-time-for-fall-warblers-7-25-21 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
7-14-21 Buds, blooms and babes https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/7/7-14-21-buds-blooms-and-babes  

So far, Summer here has been fairly wet and cloudy.

 

 

Yesterday was brighter, and while we worked in the garden, a Monarch and an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail were seen, mainly sipping nectar on Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). Hope to catch those butterflies soon! But here is an image that Dan took of the Buttonbush bloom, which is just filled with nectar for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

 

7-13-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Black-and-blue Salvia7-13-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Black-and-blue Salvia 7-13-21 Leatherflower (Clematis versicolor)7-13-21 Leatherflower (Clematis versicolor)

 

Young Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are beginning to zip through the garden, hitting the Black-and-blue Salvia and the bell-shaped flowers of this native vine climbing the arbor, Leatherflower(Clematis versicolor).

 

7-11-21 Cardinal Flower in bud (Lobelia cardinalis)7-11-21 Cardinal Flower in bud (Lobelia cardinalis) 7-11-21 Ironweed in bud (Vernonia arkansana)7-11-21 Ironweed in bud (Vernonia arkansana)

 

Cardinalflower (Lobelia cardinalis) is in bud, and its bright red blooms will soon be ready for more young hummingbirds. The Ironweed (Vernonia arkansana) will be blooming in August with purply, fine textured flowers. 

 

 

This is another image by Dan, of Eastern Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa). Delicate blooms, the heavy rains have just about finished them now.

 

7-4-21 Monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens)7-4-21 Monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens)

 

We've been told that the Monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens) is a wonderful plant for wet, shady places and it attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Fingers crossed, it will serve all these pollinators well. 

 

7-2-21 Sleepy bees on Purple Coneflower7-2-21 Sleepy bees on Purple Coneflower

 

On cool mornings, we have found bumble bees sleeping on the Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) before their busy day officially begins. 

 

7-12-21 Tiny Praying Mantis on Downy Skullcap (Scutellaria incana)7-12-21 Tiny Praying Mantis on Downy Skullcap (Scutellaria incana)

 

This is the tiniest Praying Mantis I think I've ever seen, at just over an inch. It has been hanging out on Downy Skullcap (Scutellaria incana).

 

Now, on to more 'babes'. It's always fun to see young birds investigating their surroundings, but it took a bit of time to establish the trust required by the adults to bring them into our view. 

 

7-5-21 Tufted Titmouse juvenile7-5-21 Tufted Titmouse juvenile

 

Tufted Titmice are often seen at the Bubbler, and like their cousins, the chickadees, they enjoy a good splash. They also learn to be observant, listening for alarm calls and on the lookout for predators. 

 

7-6-21 House Wren juvenile7-6-21 House Wren juvenile

 

This little House Wren is Bubbler Bird #76 for the year. It's the first time I've seen a fledgling at the Bubbler. 

 

7-6-21 Blue Jay juvenile7-6-21 Blue Jay juvenile

 

A young Blue Jay takes a look at the water from a higher perch. The family of four came back the next day.

 

7-7-21 Blue Jay juvenile7-7-21 Blue Jay juvenile 7-7-21 Blue Jay juvenile #27-7-21 Blue Jay juvenile #2

 

The more you look, the more you see. I learned something new when I photographed these two Blue Jays. See the inside corners of their bills, the flexible hinge or flange? They're pink! This bright color enables the parents to easily find that gaping mouth in a dark situation and stuff those caterpillars down their throats. These adults have done well feeding the nestlings, they're big and healthy. The gape flange is just a lighter color on the Titmouse and House Wren. This anatomical detail helps to age the birds.

 

7-7-21 Blue Jay juvenile #27-7-21 Blue Jay juvenile #2

 

If you're a Missouri resident, you can go to your local Missouri Department of Conservation Nature Center

and pick up this newly revised booklet on "Enjoying Missouri's Birds." It's free!

 

 

Sarah Kendrick, our state ornithologist, added a Beginner's Guide to Birding section and updated all the charts in the Seasonal List so you'll

know when to expect different species, how common they are and in what habitat to find them. It's such a great reference to have on hand!

 

Next time, we'll talk about Fall migrants so check back on 7-25-21.

There may even be some quiz birds for those who are up to the challenge!

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/7/7-14-21-buds-blooms-and-babes Wed, 14 Jul 2021 12:14:08 GMT
Happy Fourth of July! 7-4-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/7/happy-fourth-of-july-7-4-21

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

We are officially half way through the year and into summer.

 

6-24-21 Young 11 pt Buck

 

Ten years ago, on June 12, 2011, was the first time I saw a deer in our yard. I remember it well because it was the date our garden was on the St. Louis Garden Tour to benefit the Missouri Botanical Garden. We've seen deer every year since then, but their numbers have definitely gone up. This young buck already has a healthy rack of antlers, eleven points as best as I've been able to count. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation Events Calendar, deer antlers are among the fastest growing tissues found on any animal with fur. "At the peak of growth - which usually occurs from mid-June to mid-July - a buck may add an inch or more to its antlers in a single day." This is the earliest we've seen one with this large a rack!

Here are a few more videos, deer are active even during stormy weather. And, did you know Northern Cardinals will sing as early as 4:30 a.m.?

 

6-25-21 Fawn distressed in heavy rain 6-25-21 Second fawn and doe in heavy rain 6-26-21 Doe browsing while Cardinal sings at 4:30 am 6-28-21 Young 11 pt Buck at 10:47 am 6-28-21 Young 11 pt buck browsing at 6:15 pm6-28-21 Young 11 pt buck browsing at 6:15 pm

 

As you may imagine, the 'salad bar' has been busy 24 hours a day. The deterrent we have used in the past is not as effective this year. Oh, deer! 

 

7-2-21 Fawn, Doe in background7-2-21 Fawn, Doe in background 7-2-21 Fawn and Doe7-2-21 Fawn and Doe

 

The inquisitive fawn is getting braver, but still staying close to the doe.

 

 

Here are a few views of the garden. The hydrangeas are in bloom, at least the ones that haven't been browsed on. The pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) in the pond has been visited by bees, dragonflies and other tiny insects. This cliff goldenrod (Solidago drummondii) has taken a liking to the copper praying mantis. 

 

 

Fruits are ripening. Blackhaw drupes (Viburnum prunifolium) won't be ready until September, but the Rough-leaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) should be ready in a few weeks, and the birds will be enjoying them soon. Robins have been high up in the black cherry trees, grabbing those.

 

6-14-21 Eastern Wood-Pewee6-14-21 Eastern Wood-Pewee

 

Eastern Wood-Pewees have been coming in to catch insects on the fly. Their song is a perfect, lazy tune that always means summer to me.

Song of the Eastern Wood-Pewee

 

6-30-21 Blue Jay6-30-21 Blue Jay 6-30-21 Blue Jay #26-30-21 Blue Jay #2 7-1-21 American Robin juvenile7-1-21 American Robin juvenile

 

A pair of Blue Jays took a break and visited the bubbler. Young American Robins are learning all about the joys of bathing. 

 

7-4-21 Barred Owl7-4-21 Barred Owl

 

This morning, a Barred Owl flew in and perched in the dogwood right near the deck. It was there at least 35 minutes before swooping down to catch prey. We had been wondering if the nesting crows have kept the owls out of the woodland. Now that the young crows are out and about with the adults, finally, the owls are coming back in. Hopefully, we'll learn if they had a successful nesting, too.

 

7-4-21 Purple Coneflower near the arbor7-4-21 Purple Coneflower near the arbor

 

HAVE A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE WEEKEND!

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/7/happy-fourth-of-july-7-4-21 Sun, 04 Jul 2021 15:59:20 GMT
Adding a Dripper for Birds 6-14-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/6/adding-a-dripper-for-birds-6-14-21 Here in our sanctuary, the Bubbler is very popular with the birds. Some folks have thought about having a bubbler but perhaps would like a less expensive alternative to consider for the warmer months. We found that adding a dripper to bird baths also effectively moves the water and attracts the birds. We have two working in the garden areas right now, alternating on timers. The birds learn very quickly when they will come on.

 

5-30-21 East Dripper Bath5-30-21 East Dripper Bath 6-8-21 North Dripper Bath6-8-21 North Dripper Bath

 

In the spring, I put together a thirteen-minute video on this topic for the Arrow Rock Birds and Bees Festival, coordinated by the team at the Missouri River Bird Observatory. Here is the video with a bit of history on our sanctuary and information on putting a dripper on a bird bath. Oh, and if you do, the birds will thank you for it! 

 

5-7-21 MRBO Bird and Bees Festival - Adding a Dripper for Birds

Stay cool out there!

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/6/adding-a-dripper-for-birds-6-14-21 Tue, 15 Jun 2021 02:41:17 GMT
Into June. 6-8-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/6/into-june-6-8-21 5-19-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler in Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium)5-19-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler in Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) 5-19-21 Six Tennessee Warblers5-19-21 Six Tennessee Warblers
 

The last of the spring migrants have moved through the area. This Chestnut-sided Warbler came in with a mixed flock that included at least a dozen Tennessee Warblers on May 19, 2021.

 

5-20-21 Bay-breasted Warbler female5-20-21 Bay-breasted Warbler female

 

The following day, a female Bay-breasted Warbler graced the woodland.

 

5-25-21 Veery5-25-21 Veery   5-27-21 Black-throated Green Warbler female5-27-21 Black-throated Green Warbler female

 

Five days later, another Veery was here and on May 27, a female Black-throated Green Warbler stopped in to feed and bathe. Now, it's the season for summer breeders!

 

5-22-21 Yellow-billed Cuckoo5-22-21 Yellow-billed Cuckoo

 

A Yellow-billed Cuckoo slipped silently into the woodland. In typical fashion, it looked all around for a meal, perhaps tent caterpillars, a favorite.

 

5-21-21 Carolina Chickadee fledgling5-21-21 Carolina Chickadee fledgling 5-25-21 Carolina Chickadee fledgling5-25-21 Carolina Chickadee fledgling 5-27-21 Carolina Chickadee fledgling5-27-21 Carolina Chickadee fledgling 5-31-21 Three of Six Carolina Chickadee fledglings5-31-21 Three of Six Carolina Chickadee fledglings

 

Most of the year, the diet of Carolina Chickadees is 80-90% insects and spiders. Dr. Doug Tallamy has taught us that one brood of this species requires 6,000-9,000 caterpillars! So, we've been pleased to see a well-fed brood of six Carolina Chickadees coming to the Bubbler now. They are bouncy little butterballs, just full of energy! It is truly gratifying to watch these little birds behaving so confidently in the safe haven we've established. Their proud papa is the bird we watched all winter, with the deformed leg. 

 

4-19-21 Carolina Chickadees pair bonding4-19-21 Carolina Chickadees pair bonding

 

Here, the adults were pair-bonding and the male had just fed the female after mating in April.

 

6-3-21 Eastern Phoebe juvenile6-3-21 Eastern Phoebe juvenile 5-19-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird female5-19-21 Ruby-throated Hummingbird female

 

Other summer breeders have produced offspring, like this young Eastern Phoebe which was exploring the Bubbler. Also seen early one morning  was this female Ruby-throated Hummingbird taking a bath! I have seen the male dancing in the air above the female, so she may have built a nest and be taking care of young by now. 

 

5-31-21 Downy Woodpecker feeding fledgling5-31-21 Downy Woodpecker feeding fledgling

5-20-21 Downy Woodpecker5-20-21 Downy Woodpecker

 

Downy Woodpeckers have young to feed and these birds have red feathers on the tops of their heads. The male took a quick break to bathe.

 

5-24-21 Ten minute nap for Carolina Wren!5-24-21 Ten minute nap for Carolina Wren!

 

Two weeks ago, I kept an eye on this Carolina Wren, who was napping. And napping...for ten whole minutes! The reason was revealed yesterday.

 

6-6-21 Carolina Wren feeding Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling6-6-21 Carolina Wren feeding Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling 6-6-21 Carolina Wren feeding Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling6-6-21 Carolina Wren feeding Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling 6-6-21 Carolina Wren feeding Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling6-6-21 Carolina Wren feeding Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling 6-6-21 Carolina Wren feeding Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling6-6-21 Carolina Wren feeding Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling

 

These wrens have been feeding a Brown-headed Cowbird, twice their size. The cowbirds lay their eggs in other species' nests. No wonder that poor wren needed a good nap! The adoptive parent had been in and out of the Celandine Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum), foraging in the leaf litter beneath to find insects to feed this young bird.

 


6-3-21 Eastern Phoebe juvenile6-3-21 Eastern Phoebe juvenile

 

I realize it has been longer than usual for a new blog post, but we have not been slackers! Our garden was on the 2021 Native Plant Garden Tour this past Saturday. Tickets sold out within days, it was very well-attended. There have been 36 species of birds coming in to forage and feed their young, so the tour threw a bit of a wrench into the works for them. However, Sunday was recovery day and this young Eastern Phoebe was among the birds back in business, fly-catching in the swampy thicket on its own. 

 

5-28-21 Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)5-28-21 Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) 5-29-21 Indigobush (Amorpha fruticosa)5-29-21 Indigobush (Amorpha fruticosa)

 

Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) near the pond and Indigobush (Amorpha fruticosa) near the back property line were both in bloom. 

 

5-31-21 Native hybrid iris Black Gamecock5-31-21 Native hybrid iris Black Gamecock

 

One last hurrah unfurled from a Louisiana iris hybrid of the Copper Iris (Iris fulva) and Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor), named 'Black Gamecock'.

 

6-6-21 Indian Pinks (Spigelia marilandica)6-6-21 Indian Pinks (Spigelia marilandica)

 

The Indian Pinks (Spigelia marilandica) were at their peak on Saturday.

 

6-6-21 Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)6-6-21 Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

 

Our favorite vine greeted visitors in front and near the pond, Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Hummingbirds sip its nectar.

 

6-1-21 The mantra6-1-21 The mantra

 

Until next time! 

 

 


 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/6/into-june-6-8-21 Tue, 08 Jun 2021 13:41:42 GMT
A Bevy of Beauties. 5-18-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/5/a-bevy-of-beauties-5-18-21 5-11-21 Blackburnian Warbler5-11-21 Blackburnian Warbler

 

The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur!

 

Some of you know this bird and it will be revealed to all at the end. Let's take a look at some of the migrants that have stopped in to rest, refuel and refresh before heading on to their breeding grounds.

 

5-3-21 FOY #100  Blackpoll Warbler female5-3-21 FOY #100 Blackpoll Warbler female

A female Blackpoll Warbler perched briefly, a male was seen high in the pond cypress. Their orangey legs help to give them away.

 

5-5-21 Northern Parula5-5-21 Northern Parula

Northern Parulas were more vocal early in the month. Their chestnut and black breast bands deepen each year in the males.

 

5-6-21 Golden-winged Warbler5-6-21 Golden-winged Warbler 5-7-21 Golden-winged Warbler female5-7-21 Golden-winged Warbler female

Golden-winged Warblers, both male and female have been frequent visitors. They are one of the most endangered of our migratory birds and yards with lots of native oaks and other plants help to sustain them and 96% of our native songbirds.

 

5-8-21 Northern Waterthrush5-8-21 Northern Waterthrush

A Northern Waterthrush found small larvae in the string algae at the bubbler. I'm never too quick to scrub the algae away because it is beneficial.

 

5-8-21 Magnolia Warbler5-8-21 Magnolia Warbler

After struggling to get a photo of this Magnolia Warbler, which was foraging frantically, it suddenly stopped to sing! Ah, feed them and rewards will come.

 

5-8-21 Philadelphia Vireo5-8-21 Philadelphia Vireo

Philadelphia Vireos come in with the mixed flocks. Sometimes confused with the Tennessee Warbler, this species enjoys splash-bathing.

 

5-9-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler5-9-21 Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warblers are often heard singing, "Pleased, pleased, pleased to meet 'cha!" Ditto, I'm sure!

 

5-9-21 White-crowned Sparrow5-9-21 White-crowned Sparrow

A White-crowned Sparrow came in this year. I don't take this one for granted, the last time I had one was May of 2018.

 

5-10-21 Canada Warbler5-10-21 Canada Warbler

This is the only Canada Warbler that I've been able to see this year. Every spring can vary quite a bit with the mixed flocks that circle the 'hood.

 

5-10-21 Orange-crowned Warbler5-10-21 Orange-crowned Warbler

A beautiful male Orange-crowned Warbler bathed and revealed its secret.

 

5-9-21 Wilson's Warbler5-9-21 Wilson's Warbler

A Wilson's Warbler popped in to bathe after filling up on caterpillars.

 

5-10-21 Common Yellowthroat in Gooseberry patch5-10-21 Common Yellowthroat in Gooseberry patch

This female Common Yellowthroat, a small warbler, spent a lot of time deep in the gooseberry patch. It would come out briefly, then dive back in. The thorny Gooseberry (Ribes missouriense) supports at least 60 different moth and butterfly caterpillars, which forage on the leaves and then may become food for birds.

  5-14-21 Great Crested Flycatcher5-14-21 Great Crested Flycatcher

A pair of Great Crested Flycatchers have been such fun to watch as they sally out to catch gnats and other flying insects. It's a pretty sure bet that they are the pair that nest here.

 

5-7-21 Red-eyed Vireo5-7-21 Red-eyed Vireo   5-16-21 Red-eyed Vireo dive bombs Chestnut-sided Warbler5-16-21 Red-eyed Vireo dive bombs Chestnut-sided Warbler

Another vireo, the Red-eyed was caught as it dive-bombed a Chestnut-sided Warbler!

 

5-16-21 Black-throated Green Warbler5-16-21 Black-throated Green Warbler

Striking Black-throated Green Warblers seem to show up every spring and it's always a delight to hear their " zee-zee-zee-zee-zoo-zee!" song. Then again, one might hear their alternate song, "zee-zee-zoo-zoo-zee!"  

 

5-16-21 Bay-breasted Warblers and Tennessee Warbler5-16-21 Bay-breasted Warblers and Tennessee Warbler

5-16-21 Bay-breasted Warbler female5-16-21 Bay-breasted Warbler female

5-17-21 Bay-breasted Warbler5-17-21 Bay-breasted Warbler

There are indeed, uncommon species that make my heart stop, like the Bay-breasted Warbler. I don't always get to see this one in breeding plumage. Last year was exceptional with males here for10 days. This year, I've seen two males and a female so far. Yesterday, this male spiked up its crown which is a new behavior to me! 

 

5-11-21 Blackburnian Warbler5-11-21 Blackburnian Warbler 5-11-21 Blackburnian Warbler5-11-21 Blackburnian Warbler

 

Ah, yes. the Fire-throat! Blackburnian Warbler, another gob-smacking eyeful of incredible beauty. If you'd like to see all the images of these and even more migrants, check out the gallery beginning here: 

Birds since 5-5-21

 

If you just have that hankering for warblers, start here:  

Warblers since 5-5-21

 

It's still raining here, but I just saw another Bay-breasted Warbler...

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/5/a-bevy-of-beauties-5-18-21 Tue, 18 May 2021 14:49:15 GMT
IT'S MAY!! 5-3-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/5/its-may-5-3-21 BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS!

 

So many colorful, neotropical migrants are showing up now. Here is a sampling.

 

4-28-21 FOY #73 Kentucky Warbler4-28-21 FOY #73 Kentucky Warbler

 

All seemed right with the world when a  Kentucky Warbler sang its 'Purdy-purdy' song.

 

4-29-21 FOY #86 Orchard Oriole female4-29-21 FOY #86 Orchard Oriole female

 

New Bubbler Bird #123, a female Orchard Oriole was here several days.

 

4-29-21 Scarlet Tanager4-29-21 Scarlet Tanager

 

gorgeous Scarlet Tanager came in.

 

5-2-21 Indigo Bunting5-2-21 Indigo Bunting

 

Brilliant Indigo Buntings are present.

 

5-2-21 Golden-winged and Tennessee Warblers5-2-21 Golden-winged and Tennessee Warblers

 

Two male Golden-winged Warblers joined two Tennessee Warblers in a flurry yesterday, May 2, 2021.

 

For all the beautiful birds since the last post, begin here:  Warblers and more since 4-25-21

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/5/its-may-5-3-21 Mon, 03 May 2021 11:24:34 GMT
Special Events Coming Up Soon! https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/5/special-events-coming-up-soon Arrow Rock Birds & Bees Festival

 

Check out our booth at the Festival! Learn about adding a dripper for birds. Get free handouts! 

Have fun learning!

 

Find out more and register:   Birds & Bees Festival

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/5/special-events-coming-up-soon Sat, 01 May 2021 16:34:44 GMT
Third week of April, 2021 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/4/third-week-of-april-2021 SNOW and 27.9 degrees!

 

4-20-21 Cranesbill Geranium in snow (Geranium maculatum)4-20-21 Cranesbill Geranium in snow (Geranium maculatum) 4-20-21 Violets and Wood Poppies in snow4-20-21 Violets and Wood Poppies in snow 4-20-21 Virginia creeper in snow4-20-21 Virginia creeper in snow

 

It was strange to see emerging foliage and spring wildflowers covered in snow, followed by two mornings with a hard freeze. For the most part, plants are in recovery mode. Some will need time to push out new leaves.  

 

4-18-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female4-18-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female 4-18-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female4-18-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female 4-18-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female4-18-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female 4-21-21 Brown Creeper4-21-21 Brown Creeper 4-21-21 Pine Siskin4-21-21 Pine Siskin

 

A somewhat late female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker came in briefly last Saturday, 4-18-21.  A Brown Creeper has been seen several days, the last being 4-21-21. Pine Siskins are still around, up to four birds have been at the feeders some days.

 

4-21-21 Hermit Thrush4-21-21 Hermit Thrush 4-21-21 Hermit Thrush, tail raised4-21-21 Hermit Thrush, tail raised 4-21-21 Hermit Thrush, tail lowered4-21-21 Hermit Thrush, tail lowered 4-21-21 Hermit Thrush4-21-21 Hermit Thrush

 

Hermit Thrushes have been here nearly every day, some days we've seen three of them.  They have a distinct habit of raising, then slowly lowering their tails, barely moving anything else. They will soon move on, giving way to three other thrush species in May. One was singing this morning in the gentle rain. Listen here:  Hermit Thrush

 

4-20-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet4-20-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4-20-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet4-20-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Golden-crowned Kinglet4-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Golden-crowned Kinglet4-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Golden-crowned Kinglet4-21-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet 4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet4-21-21 Golden-crowned Kinglet

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are also here, feeding and getting in to bathe. On 4-21-21, the coldest morning, the Golden-crowned Kinglet joined the Ruby-crowned at the bubbler rock, and then enjoyed the basin. The Golden-crowned is a bit smaller, only 3.5 - 4" compared to the Ruby-crowned at 4.25". This is the first time they've been photographed this close together. I believe the Golden-crowned was a female as it did not flash the fiery orange crown of the male and the other bird did not chase it away!

 

4-18-21 Northern Cardinal4-18-21 Northern Cardinal 4-19-21 White-breasted Nuthatch4-19-21 White-breasted Nuthatch 4-19-21 Northern Flicker4-19-21 Northern Flicker

 

Nesters have been very busy and a bit more quiet as they find food to take to their young. A Northern Cardinal took time to bathe while the White-breasted Nuthatch and Northern Flicker were busy foraging.

 

4-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-22-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

Yellow-rumped Warblers have been regulars! Both male and females are being seen. Soon, more warblers will be coming through, if the winds will only help them.

 

4-22-21 FOY#59 Ruby-throated Hummingbird4-22-21 FOY#59 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4-22-21 FOY#59 Ruby-throated Hummingbird4-22-21 FOY#59 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4-22-21 FOY#59 Ruby-throated Hummingbird4-22-21 FOY#59 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

 

Our FOY #59 Ruby-throated Hummingbird showed up on 4-21-21. It made it through the coldest nights. Typically, they can survive temps down into the 20's. It is another harbinger of spring and of birds to come!

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/4/third-week-of-april-2021 Sat, 24 Apr 2021 19:10:15 GMT
Mid-April sightings 4-17-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/4/mid-april-sightings-4-17-21 Birds are coming in!

 

4-6-21 FOY Yellow-rumped Warbler4-6-21 FOY Yellow-rumped Warbler

4-14-21 Yellow-rumped Warblers4-14-21 Yellow-rumped Warblers 4-14-21 Yellow-rumped Warblers4-14-21 Yellow-rumped Warblers 4-14-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-14-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-14-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-14-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler

4-16-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-16-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler
4-15-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-15-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler

4-16-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-16-21 Yellow-rumped Warbler
 

Yellow-rumped Warblers have arrived. The first one was seen on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. That same day, a Northern Parula was heard. Soon, we'll be seeing more neotropical migrants. The height of spring migration is upon us and the next four weeks will be busy!

 

4-9-21 Eastern Phoebe splash-bathing4-9-21 Eastern Phoebe splash-bathing 4-9-21 Eastern Phoebe splash-bathing4-9-21 Eastern Phoebe splash-bathing 4-9-21 Eastern Phoebe splash-bathing4-9-21 Eastern Phoebe splash-bathing 4-9-21 Eastern Phoebe splash-bathing4-9-21 Eastern Phoebe splash-bathing

 

An Eastern Phoebe was splash-bathing at the bubbler on a couple days. Now it seems these birds are busy gathering moistened nesting material. We've had some rain, which makes the muddy areas in the vernal wetland a likely place to spot this bird. 

 

4-14-21 Hermit Thrush4-14-21 Hermit Thrush 4-15-21 Hermit Thrush4-15-21 Hermit Thrush

 

Hermit Thrushes have been coming in to forage. Some years they will overwinter and we see them more often, but not this year. Two were seen on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

 

4-14-21 Brown Creeper with insect4-14-21 Brown Creeper with insect

4-15-21 Pine Siskins4-15-21 Pine Siskins

 

A Brown Creeper found some tiny insects in the Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). (Well, that makes total sense, a creeper in the creeper!) Pine Siskins stay in the trees most of the time now, but they still come to the feeders for a quick meal. 

 

4-14-21 Winter Wren4-14-21 Winter Wren 4-14-21 Winter Wren4-14-21 Winter Wren

 

Another Winter Wren was here for a couple days. They are busy little birds and move so quickly through the vegetation. It stopped to check out the bubbler before going to the smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) and disappearing in the gooseberry patch (Ribes missouriense). A bumble bee was busy pollinating the tiny, pendulous flowers there.

 

4-14-21 Downy Woodpecker female4-14-21 Downy Woodpecker female 4-14-21 Downy Woodpecker female4-14-21 Downy Woodpecker female 4-14-21 Downy Woodpecker female4-14-21 Downy Woodpecker female 4-14-21 Downy Woodpecker female bathing!4-14-21 Downy Woodpecker female bathing!

 

This may be a first, I don't recall seeing a Downy Woodpecker getting in for a bath before! The female worked her way in carefully.

 

4-15-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet eating aphids4-15-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet eating aphids 4-15-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet eating aphids4-15-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet eating aphids 4-15-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet eating aphids4-15-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet eating aphids 4-14-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet with aphids4-14-21 Ruby-crowned Kinglet with aphids

 

Back in 2003, I began to document the birds and other critters here and I'm still learning so much through this method. An exciting discovery this week was seeing the Ruby-crowned Kinglets feeding on reddish aphids in the Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium). In the last blown up  photo, the bird has one in its bill and one clinging to its lower mandible! Wonders never cease, birds keep our native plants healthy!

 

4-8-21 Bubbler Area4-8-21 Bubbler Area 4-9-21 Virginia Bluebells4-9-21 Virginia Bluebells 4-14-21 Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)4-14-21 Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

 

The Bubbler is ready to greet the birds! Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and Red Buckeyes (Aesculus pavia) await the imminent arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Time to get those feeders up.

 

To see all the photos taken in April, open this gallery:  2021 Birds as Shady Oaks Apr-June

 

If you're mostly interested in warblers, look here:  2021 Warblers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/4/mid-april-sightings-4-17-21 Sat, 17 Apr 2021 14:55:23 GMT
Spring! 4-4-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/4/springl-4-4-21 Well, life is a miracle, and therefore infinitely of interest everywhere.

-Wendell Berry

 

3-11-21 Carolina Wren singing3-11-21 Carolina Wren singing

3-26-21 Eastern Phoebe in Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)3-26-21 Eastern Phoebe in Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

 

Sure signs of spring, the song of the Carolina wren and an Eastern Phoebe, resting in a blooming Spicebush (Lindera benzoin).

 

3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush 3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush 3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush 3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush 3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush3-30-21 FOY#46 Louisiana Waterthrush

 

Our first warbler of the year and one that I missed last year, arrived on March 30. The Louisiana Waterthrush, with its slow sway and 'bubblegum' legs, foraged, finding insects for twenty minutes or so in the wetland. Another was heard singing a few days later, but it played hide and seek in the swale.

 

3-27-21 Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)3-27-21 Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) 3-30-21 Mayapple (Podophyllum peildatum)3-30-21 Mayapple (Podophyllum peildatum)

 

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has been blooming and Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) will be in another week or so. The hard freeze of the first two nights of April caused no damage that I could find to our native plants. They're tough, resilient and built to endure these swings in temperature.

 

3-30-21 Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginia)3-30-21 Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginia) 3-30-21 Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginia)3-30-21 Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginia)

 

Ephemerals like Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) may have shivered and sneezed in that cold, but they look lush and ready to bloom. 

 

3-31-21 Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)3-31-21 Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

 

While weeding, I discovered a new seedling Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia), a nice distance from its parent plant. Leaving the fallen leaves in the beds has provided the perfect conditions for the new tree. 

 

4-1-21 Pine Siskins4-1-21 Pine Siskins 4-2-21 Pine Siskins4-2-21 Pine Siskins

 

At least one pair of Pine Siskins have been around continuously through the cold. Yesterday at noon, there were six briefly on a feeder. 

 

' 4-1-21 American Goldfinch4-1-21 American Goldfinch 4-1-21 American Goldfinch foraging on American Elm seeds4-1-21 American Goldfinch foraging on American Elm seeds

 

American Goldfinches are going through their spring molt and looking brighter every day. They are often seen foraging on the American Elm seed clusters, along with the Pine Siskins.

 

4-1-21 Northern Cardinals pair-bonding4-1-21 Northern Cardinals pair-bonding

 

Courting a female Northern Cardinal includes bringing treats, though this bird just wanted some private spa time!

 

4-4-21 FOY #49 Winter Wren4-4-21 FOY #49 Winter Wren 4-4-21 FOY #49 Winter Wren4-4-21 FOY #49 Winter Wren 4-4-21 FOY #49 Winter Wren4-4-21 FOY #49 Winter Wren

 

This morning, our FOY #49 arrived, a tiny Winter Wren. Mouse-like and quick, it sure seemed to know its way around our woodland. Welcome, friend! More migrants will be on the move now so keep a lookout!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/4/springl-4-4-21 Sun, 04 Apr 2021 22:26:11 GMT
Spring approaches! 3-10-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/3/spring-approaches-3-10-21 2-21-21 Comparison photo, still under MBRC review2-21-21 Comparison photo, still under MBRC review

 

The question:  Is this bird a pure Red-naped Sapsucker or a hybrid? 

The answer:  Jury is still out. Members of the Missouri Bird Records Committee are checking in with other experts on the species.

 

Why should this be a complex question? Truth be told, three species of sapsuckers were all thought to be the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker until l983 when their DNA was found to be distinctly different and they were separated out. To add to the confusion, the Red-naped will hybridize with the Yellow-bellied and the Red-breasted Sapsuckers where they come into contact with each other. Birds never cease to be interesting! So, we await a final decision.

 

Red-naped Sapsucker

 

Not a single sapsucker has been seen since 2-21-21 when that bird came in! There has been a lot of movement with birds heading north now. Have you noticed the Snow Geese flying over in huge flocks?

 

2-26-21 Eastern Bluebird nest box with nesting material2-26-21 Eastern Bluebird nest box with nesting material

Nest material was found in the Eastern Bluebird nest box, but it didn't look quite right for a bluebird nest. I watched on different days to see which birds might return.

 

3-7-21 Eurasian Tree Sparrows at Eastern Bluebird nest box3-7-21 Eurasian Tree Sparrows at Eastern Bluebird nest box 3-7-21 Eurasian Tree Sparrows at Eastern Bluebird nest box3-7-21 Eurasian Tree Sparrows at Eastern Bluebird nest box

 

Definitely not Eastern Bluebirds! For now, we have removed the box. It may sound mean to some, but we don't allow introduced species like these Eurasian Tree Sparrows to nest here. We reserve the right to help our native birds where we can. These sparrows are just as determined as the notorious House Sparrows to take over any nest box. 

 

3-4-21 Northern Flicker excavating nest hole3-4-21 Northern Flicker excavating nest hole

 

A pair of Northern Flickers have been seen hammering on an oak snag adjacent to our woodland. We'll see if they complete the nest hole.

 

3-6-21 Red-shouldered Hawk3-6-21 Red-shouldered Hawk 3-6-21 Red-shouldered Hawk with prey3-6-21 Red-shouldered Hawk with prey 3-6-21 Red-shouldered Hawk with prey3-6-21 Red-shouldered Hawk with prey

 

The pair of Red-shouldered Hawks have been in the yard frequently. They watch from a perch for movement in the leaves and usually come up with a vole to carry off for a meal.

 

2-23-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg2-23-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg 2-27-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg2-27-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg 3-2-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg3-2-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg 3-2-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg3-2-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg 3-2-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg3-2-21 Carolina Chickadee with one deformed leg

 

The Carolina Chickadee with the deformed left leg has come through the winter and appears to be paired up with another bird. This little one is a perfect example of why perches are important at water features. The bird holds on, dips into the water and splashes about to bathe. It would be impossible to keep its balance on one good leg without that perch!

 

3-9-21 American Robin with damaged feathers3-9-21 American Robin with damaged feathers 3-9-21 American Robin with damaged feathers3-9-21 American Robin with damaged feathers

 

As birds move through during migration, we do see signs that others have had a difficult time this winter. This American Robin had feathers torn from its back, possibly due to a narrow escape from a cat or hawk. Perhaps the bird was weak due to lack of food. I'm just glad that the bird has found sanctuary here to recover before moving on.

 

2-27-21 Pine Siskin2-27-21 Pine Siskin

 

A pair of Pine Siskins are still around. They seem to be feeding mainly in the trees now, but about lunchtime will stop at the feeders and fountain.

 

3-8-21 Brown Creeper with tiny insect on white oak3-8-21 Brown Creeper with tiny insect on white oak

 

We have had fun watching a pair of Brown Creepers as they chase each other through the woods and around trees. This one was intent on scooping up tiny insects on the bark of a white oak.

 

3-8-21 Tufted Titmouse3-8-21 Tufted Titmouse 3-8-21 Tufted Titmouse3-8-21 Tufted Titmouse 3-8-21 Tufted Titmouse3-8-21 Tufted Titmouse

 

Bright and warm days call the birds in to get all gussied up for Spring! We have gained over 2 hours of daylight since the Winter Solstice. Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead this weekend!

 

SPRING FORWARD ON SATURDAY, MARCH 13, 2021!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/3/spring-approaches-3-10-21 Wed, 10 Mar 2021 19:48:28 GMT
"Rara avis" on 2-21-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/2/-rara-avis-on-2-21-21 "God is in the details..." 

or 

It's important to pay attention to the tiniest things.

 

2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature male2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature male 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature male2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature male

 

On Sunday, 2-21-21, about 8:35 a.m. I had just come into the breakfast room and saw two birds on the little oak by the Bubbler. Oh, nice! I watched them, as a male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker chased an immature male around the tree. This brightly marked, gorgeous bird was the first adult male Yellow-bellied of the winter, or so I first thought. My initial ID would soon be challenged by the smallest of details!

 

2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)

 

"Hmm, and who do we think you are!?" I said to myself. This bird had a red patch of feathering on the nape, and white feathers on its chin. It clearly had two distinct parallel rows of white feathers down its back. These features did not point to a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Was this a Yellow-bellied x Red-naped Sapsucker (hybrid)? Oooh...my focus intensified as I tried to get as many images of every side of this bird as I could. The bird was so cooperative, and it enjoyed a wonderful bath in the basin as its only obvious reward. 

 

2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC) 2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)2-21-21 Red-naped Sapsucker female (MBRC)

 

The bird was seen for about 3 minutes total, then it left along with the younger bird. Winds had picked up from the southwest and neither bird was seen again. About 11 a.m., I began my study of the photos and field guides. I double-checked The Status and Distribution of Birds in Missouri, by Mark B. Robbins. There were only two records of this hybrid in the state, and none of the pure Red-naped Sapsucker species. "Rara avis" indeed. I filled out an eBird checklist with the bird as a hybrid, but added that it may be a female Red-naped Sapsucker. I needed help, it would take experts to decide for certain. My part was to provide the photos to document this bird.

 

https://ebird.org/checklist/S82086111

 

2-21-21 Comparison photo, still under MBRC review2-21-21 Comparison photo, still under MBRC review

 

These tiny details may be enough to confirm a pure female Red-naped Sapsucker. After my eBird checklist and photos were flagged and reviewed, and emails exchanged, I was asked to document the sighting as exactly that. The MBRC (Missouri Bird Records Committee) will review it and share with experts on this species and sapsucker hybrids in other states. It may be a year or more before this sighting is confirmed and if it is, it would be a new pure species for Missouri. In any event, what a lovely bird it was! 

 

Red-naped Sapsucker map from allaboutbirds.orgRed-naped Sapsucker map from allaboutbirds.org

Map from allaboutbirds.org
 

 

The Polar vortex that brought our winter storm and the storm in Texas must have some bearing on the bird's appearance here, pushed by winds from the Southwest. Look where it's supposed to be spending the winter! I am so grateful that it somehow found its way to our Shady Oaks Sanctuary.

 

Now for follow-up from the last blog post. Remember the grim tale of the Rusty Blackbird that took the American Goldfinch? We were cleaning the bubbler area a couple days later and I found the carcass of the goldfinch in the snow. The blackbirds did certainly finish what they took. Two or three Rusty Blackbirds may have survived thanks to the sacrifice of that goldfinch. Brutal conditions brought out that survival tactic, it has only been recorded in that species in extremely tough weather situations.

 

2-21-21 Carcass of American Goldfinch taken 2-15-212-21-21 Carcass of American Goldfinch taken 2-15-21

 

Now for all the photos since the last blog post:

Photos since 2-16-21

 

Spring is surely on the way!

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/2/-rara-avis-on-2-21-21 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 20:34:24 GMT
It's February! 2-16-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/2/its-february-2-16-21 CRUMBS TO THE BIRDS

 

A bird appears a thoughtless thing, 

He's ever living on the wing,

And keeps up such a caroling, 

That little else to do but sing

          A man would guess had he.

 

A bird appears a thoughtless thing,

No doubt he has his little cares,

And very hard he often fares,

The which so patiently he bears,

That, list'ning to those cheerful airs,

          Who knows but he may be

 

In want of his next meal of seeds?

I think for that his sweet song pleads. 

If so, his pretty art succeeds.

I'll scatter there among the weeds

          All the small crumbs I see.

 

Poetry for Children

By Charles and Mary Lamb, 1809

 

2-13-21 Tufted Titmouse2-13-21 Tufted Titmouse

 

Birds like this Tufted Titmouse have been singing, tuning up for Spring. But February had wintry days in store for all the birds.

 

2-9-21 White-throated Sparrow, no tail2-9-21 White-throated Sparrow, no tail

 

Feeding birds in winter is not for the faint of heart. One is witness to trials we would be hard pressed to bear. A White-throated Sparrow has lost all its tail feathers, making it more difficult to fly, to balance.

 

2-12-21 European Starling attacks Red-bellied Woodpecker2-12-21 European Starling attacks Red-bellied Woodpecker

 

A European Starling attacked a Red-bellied Woodpecker, forcing it off the bark butter feeder. The woodpecker did recover to return later.

 

2-14-21 Northern Cardinal2-14-21 Northern Cardinal

 

On Valentine's Day, this beautiful Northern Cardinal braved the snowy conditions to drink at the bubble, encased in ice.

 

2-13-21 Pileated Woodpecker female2-13-21 Pileated Woodpecker female

 

Three mornings in a row a female Pileated Woodpecker came into the woodland, and investigated any dead branches to look for insects. It had its eye on the bubbler and feeders, assessing the lot.

 

2-14-21 Carolina Chickadee with deformed leg2-14-21 Carolina Chickadee with deformed leg

 

A Carolina Chickadee has been seen at the feeders daily, hanging on, despite having one deformed leg. Its talons can be seen, but the leg is not of much use. We are glad to see the little bird every morning, knowing it has survived another night in this bitter cold.

 

2-10-21 Northern Cardinal2-10-21 Northern Cardinal

 

Even when temperatures drop, birds will come to the basin to bathe. The de-icer in the pond keeps the water from freezing. It must feel a bit warmer than the air.

 

2-9-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker napping, Brown Creeper's roadblock2-9-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker napping, Brown Creeper's roadblock

 

A Brown Creeper came upon a sleeping roadblock in the form of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Birds spend some time every day resting.

 

2-15-21 Eastern Bluebird2-15-21 Eastern Bluebird

 

Eastern Bluebirds have been coming in to drink at the bubbler and at the fountain.

 

2-15-21 Rusty Blackbird takes American Goldfinch

 

A disturbing scened unfolded before us just as we were going to go out and refill the feeders. An American Goldfinch appears in the lower left corner of  the screen at 3:03:51 on the clock. A Rusty Blackbird dove in and grabbed it, making a meal of it. Two birds, possibly three partook of this meal. We waited for the scene to play out, then cleaned and sanitized the basin.

 

2-15-21 Rusty Blackbird eats American Goldfinch2-15-21 Rusty Blackbird eats American Goldfinch 2-15-21 Rusty Blackbird #2 eats American Goldfinch2-15-21 Rusty Blackbird #2 eats American Goldfinch

 

Brutal conditions force birds to take food in whatever form is necessary. Winter is cruel.

 

2-16-21 Red-shouldered Hawk2-16-21 Red-shouldered Hawk

 

Today was bright and beautiful, just making it to 20 degrees. This beautiful Red-shouldered Hawk came in, looking about and soaking up the sunshine. 

 

The last few weeks have been very full, full of birds and commitments!

To view all the photos since the last blog post, begin here:  Photos since 1-23-21

 

One of the programs I've given recently was recorded by St. Louis Wild Ones.

You are invited to view it here:  Why Our Gardens Are Vital to the Conservation of Our Native Birds

 

Take care and stay warm!

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/2/its-february-2-16-21 Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:02:21 GMT
1-25-21 Third week of January https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/1/1-25-21-third-week-of-january  

Interesting winter species continue to reside here in our sanctuary.

 

Note: Changing up the format and captions will now be underneath the photos.

1-17-21 Pine Siskins1-17-21 Pine Siskins 1-19-21 Pine Siskins1-19-21 Pine Siskins

 

Pine Siskins have made themselves right at home! Small flocks of a dozen on up to thirty plus come in to find food and water. 

 

1-19-21 Pine Siskin1-19-21 Pine Siskin 1-22-21 Pine Siskins1-22-21 Pine Siskins

 

Some mornings, six or more of these tiny finches will emerge from the "Christmas Tree B&B" where they have spent the night. They might begin their day by eating some of the seed that the 'maid service' has scattered on the boughs. 

 

1-19-21 7 Pine Siskins1-19-21 7 Pine Siskins 1-22-21 5 Pine Siskins1-22-21 5 Pine Siskins 1-22-21 Pine Siskin on Sugar  Maple1-22-21 Pine Siskin on Sugar Maple

 

By noontime, they are ready for that splash-fest in the basin. Then, the birds are on to getting seed at the feeders and sometimes foraging in the garden and 'natural lawn' or on the trees, like this one on a sugar maple (Acer saccharum). It's difficult to tell for sure, but it looks like it might be nibbling a bit of freshly sprouted moss from this branch. 

 

1-18-21 Rusty Blackbird1-18-21 Rusty Blackbird 1-18-21 Rusty Blackbird1-18-21 Rusty Blackbird 1-18-21 Rusty Blackbird1-18-21 Rusty Blackbird

 

Rusty Blackbirds have been coming in quite often. They have been seen on 13 days this month. On 1-18-21 there was a flock on the east side of the yard and some stopped in at the pond. They worked in all the beds and when they flew up in groups of 10-12, I estimated the flock at fifty. 

 

1-21-21 Rusty Blackbird1-21-21 Rusty Blackbird 1-21-21 Rusty Blackbirds1-21-21 Rusty Blackbirds 1-21-21 Rusty Blackbird1-21-21 Rusty Blackbird

 

On Thursday, 1-21-21, we had cleaned the bubbler pond and installed a new pump, and I was up on the deck, refilling the fountain to finish up. A small group of six Rusty Blackbirds dropped into the swampy wetland area to forage. They must have been watching us while waiting in the trees. Birds all seem to know that we work quickly so they can get back to 'their' space. I was able to get some photos without disturbing them. This is always difficult for me to capture from inside, they blend in so well with this habitat. The birds only stayed about 8-9 minutes before taking off to the east. This seems to be their pattern, they don't stay very long, but aren't they beauties?


 

1-23-21 Rusty Blackbird1-23-21 Rusty Blackbird 1-23-21 Rusty Blackbird1-23-21 Rusty Blackbird

 

The flock grew to a dozen on Saturday, 1-23-21. The low angle of the sun made it tricky to catch them from inside, but a few came up to the bubbler area to work in the leaf litter.

 

1-19-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature male1-19-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature male 1-23-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female1-23-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female

 

Both Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been seen on different days. The immature male is in the first photo and the adult female in the second one.

 

1-21-21 Northern Flicker1-21-21 Northern Flicker 1-23-21 Northern Flicker1-23-21 Northern Flicker

 

Northern Flickers are at the bubbler to drink and bathe often. That wet mop is a male, followed by the female. 

 

1-23-21 Downy Woodpecker1-23-21 Downy Woodpecker 1-23-21 Hairy Woodpecker1-23-21 Hairy Woodpecker

 

Downy Woodpeckers are seen every day. The Hairy Woodpecker is half again as large and comes often, but not a guarantee. Both of these are females. Notice the difference in bill size in relation to the head. That helps to tell them apart.

 

1-17-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker1-17-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker 1-17-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker1-17-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker

 

Here the Red-bellied Woodpecker actually showed us its named-for belly, then its striking back detail.

 

1-16-21 Brown Creeper1-16-21 Brown Creeper

 

The tiny Brown Creeper is a regular, always checking the trees for insects and a bit of bark butter. We have been seeing a pair of them.

 

1-23-21 Carolina Wren1-23-21 Carolina Wren

1-22-21 Eastern Bluebird1-22-21 Eastern Bluebird

 

Signs of spring? Carolina Wrens are active, singing and scouting for places to possibly nest. This one is perched on the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Look closely- the vine is sprouting new growth. An Eastern Bluebird was seen on Friday, 1/22/21 before noon when it perched on the bluebird house. We've gained 35 minutes of daylight, and shall be watching for more welcome signs!

 

 


 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/1/1-25-21-third-week-of-january Mon, 25 Jan 2021 14:06:38 GMT
Mid-January update, 1-17-21 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/1/mid-january-update-1-17-21 Winter settles in...

 

Our typical winter species have been busy foraging for food, which may be insects, bark butter, or seeds. A White-breasted Nuthatch and female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker worked opposite each other. A female nuthatch found a bit of bark butter to stash. A Red-bellied Woodpecker probed for insects while Northern Flickers (male has the mustache) and a female Hairy Woodpecker waited for turns at the feeders.

 

1-11-21 White-breasted Nuthatch and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female1-11-21 White-breasted Nuthatch and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female

1-16-21 White-breasted Nuthatch1-16-21 White-breasted Nuthatch 1-16-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker female1-16-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker female 1-15-21 Northern Flicker1-15-21 Northern Flicker 1-15-21 Northern Flicker female1-15-21 Northern Flicker female 1-15-21 Hairy Woodpecker1-15-21 Hairy Woodpecker

 

There is one American Robin here every single day, and it claims the bark butter for itself, chasing away any number of other species. This bird also will eat small sunflower chips and probes the ground a bit for insects. Rusty Blackbirds come in and sometimes stop at the bubbler on their way to turn over leaves in the swampy wetland.

 

1-11-21 American Robin with bark butter1-11-21 American Robin with bark butter

1-11-21 Rusty Blackbird female1-11-21 Rusty Blackbird female 1-12-21 Rusty Blackbirds1-12-21 Rusty Blackbirds

 

Dark-eyed Juncos have been using the salvaged Christmas tree for cover, both at night and during the day. Northern Cardinals and White-throated Sparrows have been seen going in and out of it, too. 

 

1-15-21 Dark-eyed Junco1-15-21 Dark-eyed Junco 1-16-21 Dark-eyed Junco1-16-21 Dark-eyed Junco

 

It was a nice surprise to find a Song Sparrow also using the tree for shelter. It came out to get a drink and went off to forage.

 

1-15-21 Song Sparrow in cover of Christmas tree1-15-21 Song Sparrow in cover of Christmas tree 1-15-21 Song Sparrow1-15-21 Song Sparrow 1-15-21 Song Sparrow1-15-21 Song Sparrow

 

Pine Siskins have been here every day as well. They are using the feeders, fountain and basin.

 

1-15-21 8 Pine Siskins1-15-21 8 Pine Siskins 1-15-21 Pine Siskin at the fountain1-15-21 Pine Siskin at the fountain 1-15-21 8 Pine Siskins1-15-21 8 Pine Siskins

 

On Friday,1-15-21 when it was snowing lightly most of the afternoon, some of the birds were in our Pond Cypress (Taxodium ascendens). The birds were finding something to eat on the slender, pendulous green catkins, or male flowers. This tree is not native to our area, but just south and east of Missouri. It was planted as an Arbor Day tree by the original owners. The Pine Siskin will spend winters even farther south of us, so it must be familiar with this food source. Can you find them in this first photo?
 

1-15-21 3 Pine Siskins on catkins of Pond Cypress1-15-21 3 Pine Siskins on catkins of Pond Cypress 1-15-21 3 Pine Siskins on catkins of Pond Cypress1-15-21 3 Pine Siskins on catkins of Pond Cypress 1-15-21 Pine Siskin on catkin of Pond Cypress1-15-21 Pine Siskin on catkin of Pond Cypress

 

For more on this irruptive finch species:  Pine Siskin

 

Mourning Doves took their naps near the Bubbler. A Tufted Titmouse came in to drink and Northern Cardinals brightened the woodland, waiting in the snow showers for turns at the feeders.

 

1-15-21 Mourning Doves resting1-15-21 Mourning Doves resting

1-16-21 Tufted Titmouse1-16-21 Tufted Titmouse 1-15-21 Northern Cardinal1-15-21 Northern Cardinal

1-15-21 Northern Cardinal1-15-21 Northern Cardinal 1-15-21 Northern Cardinal waiting to get on feeder1-15-21 Northern Cardinal waiting to get on feeder 1-15-21 Northern Cardinal1-15-21 Northern Cardinal

 

Tired of winter already? The 2020 Native Plant Garden Tour was cancelled, but you can view this video mini-tour by Mitch Leachman of

one of the featured Native Plant Gardens, chock full of ideas. DaveTylka is a consummate teacher and authored the MDC book:

Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People. He shared his garden on a hot July day, enjoy!

 

 Dave Tylka's Garden in July 2020

 

 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/1/mid-january-update-1-17-21 Sun, 17 Jan 2021 16:06:30 GMT
And so it begins, 2021 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/1/and-so-it-begins-2021 2021

A Slippery Start

 

Temperatures hovered around 29 degrees, freezing rain gave way to melting droplets and ended with snowflakes. Bedraggled birds came in by the dozens to forage, and we had 24 species on this first day of the new year.

The Pine Siskin count was 22, a pair of Brown Creepers were seen, and American Goldfinches numbered 13. A Blue Jay looked to be encased in ice as it rested in a viburnum.

 

1-1-21 Pine Siskin on icy branch of American Elm1-1-21 Pine Siskin on icy branch of American Elm

1-1-21 Two Brown Creepers1-1-21 Two Brown Creepers

1-1-21 American Goldfinch  on icy branch of Rough-leaf Dogwood1-1-21 American Goldfinch on icy branch of Rough-leaf Dogwood 1-1-21 Blue Jay1-1-21 Blue Jay

1-1-21 Ice melting on Rough-leaf Dogwood1-1-21 Ice melting on Rough-leaf Dogwood

 

A Red-bellied Woodpecker was challenged by a pest but held its ground against this European Starling. The immature male and female Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers both came in looking for bark butter.

 

1-1-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker female and European Starling1-1-21 Red-bellied Woodpecker female and European Starling 1-1-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, immature male1-1-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, immature male 1-1-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female1-1-21 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female

 

Rusty Blackbirds were seen in the woodland, tossing leaves and looking for insects. American Crows came in low, near the Bubbler, hoping for a handout the next day. Even in these miserable-to-us conditions, Pine Siskins held a pool party.

 

1-1-21 Rusty Blackbird1-1-21 Rusty Blackbird

1-2-21 American Crow1-2-21 American Crow 1-2-21 Six Pine Siskins1-2-21 Six Pine Siskins

 

A Hairy Woodpecker took some time to nap on the bark butter feeder. Northern Cardinals, Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows were seen going in and out of the still fragrant Christmas tree, salvaged from our neighbors. We thank you, Nick, Courtney and George, and so do the birds! We staked it for additional cover, and just in time before the first snowflakes fell.

 

1-2-21 Hairy Woodpecker1-2-21 Hairy Woodpecker

1-2-21 Salvaged Christmas tree from neighbors1-2-21 Salvaged Christmas tree from neighbors

 

On Sunday, 1-3-21, a female Purple Finch stayed long enough to be documented. However, the resident House Finches did not make the bird welcome at all. They harassed the Purple Finch at each feeder. 

 

1-3-21 Purple Finch female in Spicebush1-3-21 Purple Finch female in Spicebush 1-3-21 Two House Finches and Purple Finch female1-3-21 Two House Finches and Purple Finch female

1-3-21 House Finch pushes off Purple Finch female1-3-21 House Finch pushes off Purple Finch female 1-3-21 House Finch spars with Purple Finch female1-3-21 House Finch spars with Purple Finch female

 

Meanwhile, the Pine Siskins continued to take advantage of bathing time after lunch.

 

1-4-21 Nine Pine Siskins1-4-21 Nine Pine Siskins

 

On the next day, another female Purple Finch came in. To me, this bird looked a bit brighter, with more contrast in its plumage. At the same time, a very striped female Red-winged Blackbird was near the feeder, FOY#28 for the year.


1-4-21 Purple Finch female1-4-21 Purple Finch female 1-4-21 FOY #28 Red-winged Blackbird female1-4-21 FOY #28 Red-winged Blackbird female

 

Tuesday, 1-5-21 was a much nicer day. It warmed up to 50.2 degrees, the 'Yellow-shafted' Northern Flicker female seemed to thoroughly enjoy a dunking. See the shafts of its feathers? The western sub-species has red shafts.

 

1-5-21 Northern Flicker female1-5-21 Northern Flicker female 1-5-21 Northern Flicker female1-5-21 Northern Flicker female 1-5-21 Northern Flicker female1-5-21 Northern Flicker female

 

A Red-tailed Hawk was seen soaring and heard calling, FOY#29. Carolina Wrens were singing, and insects were dancing about. All of the insect activity brought in Eastern Bluebirds, FOY#30. 

 

1-5-21 Singing Carolina Wren on a 50 degree day1-5-21 Singing Carolina Wren on a 50 degree day 1-5-21 Insects out on a 50 degree day1-5-21 Insects out on a 50 degree day

1-5-21 FOY#30 Eastern Bluebird1-5-21 FOY#30 Eastern Bluebird

 

We took an idea from our friend, Wally George, to re-use a storage container as a tray feeder for the birds. It took a few days, but quite a few species now have used it. Sixteen Pine Siskins were on it on Thursday, 1-7-21, and as we added up the Siskins on the other feeders and in the Bubbler Basin, we came up with 43. Today's count was 48, our highest ever.

 

1-7-21 16 Pine Siskins1-7-21 16 Pine Siskins 1-7-21 8 Pine Siskins1-7-21 8 Pine Siskins 1-7-21 8 Pine Siskins1-7-21 8 Pine Siskins 1-7-21 9 Pine Siskins1-7-21 9 Pine Siskins

 

Blue Jays, a Song Sparrow and today, a Common Grackle have visited the Bubbler, bringing the year total to 23 and overall yard total to 32. As counting birds goes, it has been a good start to the year.

 

1-8-21 Blue Jay1-8-21 Blue Jay 1-9-21  Bubbler #22 Song Sparrow1-9-21 Bubbler #22 Song Sparrow

1-10-21 FOY 32 B23 Common Grackle1-10-21 FOY 32 B23 Common Grackle

 

We have gained 11 minutes of daylight since the Solstice, have you noticed?

As the Brown Creeper says, "Hang in there, please stay safe and well!"

 

1-8-21 Brown Creeper1-8-21 Brown Creeper
 

 

 

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(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2021/1/and-so-it-begins-2021 Sun, 10 Jan 2021 22:03:48 GMT
2020...It's a wrap! https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2020/12/2020-its-a-wrap It's nearly time to call this year done. On to the new!

 

On Sunday 12-20-20 about 7 a.m., I heard a thump on the roof of the breakfast room, then saw a fluttering of feathers off the gutter. The prey was taken down to the compost area by an Accipiter species. I think this is a male Cooper's Hawk, similar in size to a female Sharp-shinned. The shape of the head, the eye position and larger bill point the i.d. in that direction. It is often a tough call between these species. Cooper's nest in the neighborhood, whereas Sharpies are seasonal visitors. Either one strikes fear into the other birds! The prey looks like a Mourning Dove. No other birds came out in the open for several hours. 

 

12-20-20 Cooper's Hawk with Mourning Dove meal12-20-20 Cooper's Hawk with Mourning Dove meal

12-20-20 Cooper's Hawk with Mourning Dove meal12-20-20 Cooper's Hawk with Mourning Dove meal

 

The following day was nice, breezy and topped out at 58.6 degrees. It was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. I took advantage of the day and was outside for a while. This Northern Cardinal was rather curious. A flock of 15 Rusty Blackbirds came in to forage in the wetland. At sunset, we went out to find a spot to view and photograph the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. It was fairly clear, pretty breezy, but still around 50 degrees and we felt fortunate to have been able to view it.

  12-21-20 Northern Cardinal12-21-20 Northern Cardinal

12-21-20 5 Rusty Blackbirds12-21-20 5 Rusty Blackbirds

 

Tuesday brought in a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker for the first time in 3 weeks. A Tufted Titmouse splashed and preened on another 50+ degree day.

 

12-22-20 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female12-22-20 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female 12-22-20 Tufted Titmouse12-22-20 Tufted Titmouse

 

Change was coming and temperatures began to drop after a high of 62 degrees on 12-23-20. By Christmas Eve, the high was only 23 during the day. We watched birds coming in to feed heavily and drink, all day long. We both saw this Northern Flicker, with an injured or broken leg. How in the world was it able to hold onto the feeder?  We both were amazed. 'Tiny Tim' came to mind. This bird's presence seemed to sum up a lot about 2020. It may have been broken, but it was definitely a survivor! It rested after getting some bark butter. Another flicker chased it from that tree and it flew lower. Somehow, it has found the strength to, literally, hang on. Nature inspires us!

 

12-24-20 Northern Flicker with broken leg12-24-20 Northern Flicker with broken leg 12-24-20 Northern Flicker with broken leg12-24-20 Northern Flicker with broken leg 12-24-20 Northern Flicker with broken leg12-24-20 Northern Flicker with broken leg

 

The bitter winds continued to blow from the west and then northwest. Thank goodness for extra feathers in winter, it was going to be a cold night. Rusty Blackbirds came in, Pine Siskins were on the feeders and in the garden, chowing down.

 

12-24-20 Northern Cardinal in the wind12-24-20 Northern Cardinal in the wind

12-28-20 Rusty Blackbird12-28-20 Rusty Blackbird

12-24-20 Pine Siskins at Beebalm (Monarda Fistulosa)12-24-20 Pine Siskins at Beebalm (Monarda Fistulosa)

 

Christmas morning arrived with a low of 9.6 degrees. We had not put the de-icer in the bubbler pond yet and there was a lot of ice formation, but the water still flowed underneath. Birds like this Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove and Pine Siskin gathered at the spillway, where they could drink. A Downy Woodpecker used its bill to chip the ice away. An unlikely pair were on the Bubbler rock together, a European Starling and a Blue Jay. Smart birds use their energies wisely in tough conditions.

 

12-25-20 Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove and Pine Siskin12-25-20 Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove and Pine Siskin 12-25-20 Downy Woodpecker chipping ice12-25-20 Downy Woodpecker chipping ice 12-25-20 European Starling and Blue Jay12-25-20 European Starling and Blue Jay

 

The female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker returned, puffed up to keep warm, and glowing in the morning sun. An immature male sapsucker was seen later on Christmas Day, sporting new red feathers on its throat and crown.

 

12-25-20 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female12-25-20 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female

12-25-20 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature male12-25-20 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature male
 

Our first of the year Northern Mockingbird arrived in the yard on Christmas Day, too. Yes, this species is common, but it likes more open habitat than we have. There are years that it does not make it onto our year list. I had seen one a few days before in the yard next door. So, this bird was #119 for the year and #85 at the Bubbler, giving us a new year record of species. The bird returned and warmed itself near the south facing wall of stone, then drank at the stream bed.



12-25-20 FOY #119 Bubbler #85 Northern Mockingbird12-25-20 FOY #119 Bubbler #85 Northern Mockingbird

12-25-20 FOY #119 Bubbler #85 Northern Mockingbird12-25-20 FOY #119 Bubbler #85 Northern Mockingbird 12-25-20 FOY #119 Bubbler #85 Northern Mockingbird12-25-20 FOY #119 Bubbler #85 Northern Mockingbird

 

A female Purple Finch was seen on two consecutive days, then a male showed up on 12-28-20 and was seen again briefly the next morning. Purple Finches and Pine Siskins are considered to be irruptive species, coming south when there is less food for them in the northern boreal forest. We may see more as winter progresses. Look for them at your feeders, but don't be fooled by House Finches. Here are a couple comparison photos first. Female House Finch is on the left in the first photo, female Purple Finch on the right with the white eyebrow and well-defined cheek patch. The male Purple Finch is raspberry in color, not red or orangey. It also lacks the stripes on the flanks.

 

 

Female and male Purple Finches that have been here lately are shown below.


12-27-20 Purple Finch female12-27-20 Purple Finch female
12-28-20 Purple Finch12-28-20 Purple Finch

 

As we look to the long winter, there may be other irruptive species showing up. One could be Red Crossbills, which visited our yard on 2-20-2013 and 2-21-2013. The upper bill crosses over the lower bill, and they have distinctive coloring. Females are greenish. There is also a White-winged Crossbill species that could come in.

Red Crossbill

White-winged Crossbill

 

2-20-13 Red Crossbills at the Bubbler2-20-13 Red Crossbills at the Bubbler 2-21-13 Red Crossbills at the Fountain2-21-13 Red Crossbills at the Fountain

 

Another possibility is the Common Redpoll. This is also an irruptive finch, similar in size to the Pine Siskin, but with a yellow bill and a red cap. This female showed up on 12-29-2008 and was seen a couple other days. 

 

Common Redpoll

 

12-29-08 Common Redpoll12-29-08 Common RedpollMargy Terpstra

 

The real prize that we yard-birders are waiting for is the Evening Grosbeak, which has been showing up in Missouri this winter for the first time in 20 years. It is a species of conservation concern. It's large, beautiful and eats lots of black oil sunflower seeds! So, make that available and you just may help these colorful birds get through the winter.

 

Evening Grosbeak

 

To read more about the irruptive species:  Winter Finch Forecast 2020-2021

 

12-30-20 Northern Cardinal12-30-20 Northern Cardinal

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

]]>
(Hummer Haven UnLtd.) https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2020/12/2020-its-a-wrap Thu, 31 Dec 2020 22:51:00 GMT
Mid-December sightings 12-18-20 https://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2020/12/mid-december-sightings-12-18-20 "I love what you've done with your yard and I love walking by - you always have so many birds!"

...a neighbor who made our day last week

 

This year in the midst of the pandemic, many neighbors have walked by. Twin girls, maybe 6 or 7 years old, collected the blossoms of the coral trumpet honeysuckle as excitedly as if finding fairies. One girl proudly showed us her new camera, waving it in the air, saying she wished she had butterflies like ours in her garden. The youngest neighbors have grown from being carried or pushed, to pushing, pedaling and running on their own. These are a few of the positive things we try and remember about this year. Those small ways of connecting have helped us all. 

December continues with the usual suspects along with less typical ones. We have several Northern Flickers around, coming in daily. A female seemed to thoroughly enjoy a good bath last Wednesday. A Blue Jay took a turn a couple days later. A female Red-bellied Woodpecker has been coming in to look for bark butter and seed.

 

12-9-20 Northern Flicker female12-9-20 Northern Flicker female 12-9-20 Northern Flicker female12-9-20 Northern Flicker female

12-11-20 Blue Jay12-11-20 Blue Jay

12-14-20 Red-bellied Woodpecker female12-14-20 Red-bellied Woodpecker female

 

Pine Siskins have been consistently coming in, though daily numbers have fluctuated. On Saturday, 12-12-20 we had 40 birds, our highest ever count. They were at all the finch feeders with a mix of fine black oil sunflower chips and thistle seed. Fourteen of them had a pool party at the Bubbler. They are pretty tame, and I was able to get this photo and a video of them. You can hear their unique buzzy "brrrzeerr!"call. 

 


12-9-20 Pine Siskin12-9-20 Pine Siskin

12-12-20 14 Pine Siskins12-12-20 14 Pine Siskins

12-12-20 Pine Siskins

 

Rusty Blackbirds have been coming in small groups on different days. They'll forage and visit the water features.

 

12-9-20 Rusty Blackbird12-9-20 Rusty Blackbird
12-10-20 Rusty Blackbird12-10-20 Rusty Blackbird
12-11-20 Rusty Blackbird12-11-20 Rusty Blackbird
 

Just as I was about to start another batch of cookies one day, I saw a large flock of blackbirds drop down into the swampy thicket. I was very lucky to be able to get out onto the deck before they noticed my movement. They were so focused on foraging, that my presence didn't bother them at all and I was able to get these videos. It was a mixed flock, mostly Rusty Blackbirds 50-60, a few European Starlings and Common Grackles, maybe 30 or so total, along with our FOS Red-winged Blackbirds, numbering at least 30 that were on and under the feeders. It's pretty easy to tell the Rusty Blackbirds from the Red-winged.

 

12-12-20 Rusty Blackbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles

 

12-12-20 Rusty Blackbirds and one Red-winged Blackbird

 

12-12-20 Rusty Blackbird and 2 Red-winged Blackbirds12-12-20 Rusty Blackbird and 2 Red-winged Blackbirds 12-12-20 Red-winged Blackbird and Rusty Blackbird12-12-20 Red-winged Blackbird and Rusty Blackbird 12-12-20 2 Red-winged Blackbirds12-12-20 2 Red-winged Blackbirds 12-12-20 30 Red-winged Blackbirds12-12-20 30 Red-winged Blackbirds 12-13-20 Red-winged Blackbirds12-13-20 Red-winged Blackbirds

 

The garden beds may look dull to some ​​​in our Missouri winter, but they really are a treasure trove of food for the birds. Take a closer look and the seed heads of Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) sparkle in golden splendor. The goldfinches and siskins had been visiting them before they moved onto those of the Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa). As the seeds drop, juncos and sparrows, like this White-throated Sparrow will work the areas under the plants.

 

12-12-20 Garden in December12-12-20 Garden in December 12-12-20 Purple Coneflower seed heads12-12-20 Purple Coneflower seed heads

12-15-20 American Goldfinch and 4 Pine Siskins at Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa)12-15-20 American Goldfinch and 4 Pine Siskins at Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa) 12-15-20 Pine Siskin at Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa)12-15-20 Pine Siskin at Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa) 12-15-20 White-throated Sparrow foraging12-15-20 White-throated Sparrow foraging

 

The native plants in and around the yard also provide much needed cover for the birds to shelter in from the cold. On Tuesday, 12-15-20, the northwest winds were brisk. I spotted this Song Sparrow in the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle near the pond. It finally came out to forage again after a rest, then went to join another. After an overnight snow, a Mourning Dove took a little winter nap on a perch near the bubbler. 

 

12-15-20 Song Sparrow in cover of Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)12-15-20 Song Sparrow in cover of Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)