Ten days have flown by and birds have been very busy here. The Carolina Chickadees continue to feed their nestlings. On Monday, 4/11, they were looking for tiny, tiny caterpillars like this one on a Blackhaw Viburnum.
Within a week, the youngsters have graduated to much bigger caterpillars!
One of the parents is usually close by, but not always. A new migrant checked out the nest on Monday 4/18. Like clockwork, the bird showed up again this year on the same date.
Yes, it's a House Wren. It didn't stay long, it checks out many different places to build a nest.
Phew, the adults were back and one had to wait to go inside.
Baby birds are hungry for this protein and like any babies, it's all about eating and pooping. The fecal sacs are carried far from the nest box and that is simply good housekeeping.
Other birds are busy with pair-bonding, like these Northern Cardinals. It's a pledge of commitment for the male to feed his mate.
Warblers are beginning to show up at the bubbler! There were several male Yellow-rumped Warblers on Tuesday 4/19. They overwinter here, and we'll be seeing them for a while before they move on north for the summer. They sure do brighten things up in their breeding plumage as they get ready to impress the females.
A new arrival, an Orange-crowned Warbler came in to investigate the area on Tuesday.
Warblers, like chickadees, are foliage gleaners and constantly search for caterpillars crawling along branches or hiding within leaf buds or curled leaves. According to Doug Tallamy's research, 96% of our terrestrial birds eat moth and butterfly caterpillars and feed them to their young. The moths and butterflies lay their eggs on native plants like the Blackhaw Viburnum, which supports 97 species of them.
This Orange-crowned Warbler found a meal in a curled leaf on the Blackhaw Viburnum near the deck.
It is so much fun to see these beautiful birds returning!