Summer officially arrived on Memorial Day, 5-25-20
Before 6:30 one morning, I saw this gawky little fledgling in an elm by the driveway. Okay, kids, what is this bird of the day? It has a face "only a mother could love", eh? Its parent later took a splash in the dripper bath. Answer at the end of the post!
We've been seeing Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the feeders and at the flowers. When the lighting is just right, the bird really flashes its gorget.
The native Copper Iris (Iris fulva) is pollinated by the hummingbirds, but I have never caught one in the act. It's good to have something on the 'to do' list! The dark iris is a hybrid of two natives and it is called Black Gamecock. These blooms are eagerly anticipated and last just a few days.
This has been a great year for plants that love moisture. The hydrangeas are the size of small elephants, and Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) is blooming quite nicely.The red and yellow blooms of Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) also appreciate consistent moisture. It's another hummingbird favorite. One was literally buzzing next to my ear when I took these photos, staking claim to the patch!
Our water features are spread around the property so the birds never have to go far to get a drink of water or take a quick splash bath. We have two ponds, two dripper baths and two fountains. This spring, we added inline timers to the dripper baths. In this way, water is conserved, which protects the trees from over-saturation. The timers we chose can be set to come on at 4 different times a day for the same interval, say for an hour or hour and a half. So, Dan set them up to alternate and the birds are using them regularly.
Now, what about that bird of the day? Did you recognize the baby Northern Cardinal? By fall, it will look like one of its parents. The male, bright red, is followed by the female in muted tawny plumage.
For those of you who may be new to the idea of adding water to your gardens to attract birds, here are older
blog posts that have all the information you need to get our take on the subject!
Email us from the Contact page if you would like a pdf of our Bubbler Maintenance Guide.