Juvenile birds of all sizes are being seen in our sanctuary now. The Northern Cardinals have been successful with having both male and female chicks in their brood. They're on their own now as they explore for food and investigate the water features.
House Finches have had a second batch of chicks and they're often seen together as they move around the woodland.
Young Red-shouldered Hawks, screaming, "like pterodactyls," according to my sis-in-law, announce their presence in the neighborhood. They have begun to get a bit more serious as they learn the importance of stealth in their hunting techniques. One came up with prey on its own after a good rain, a nightcrawler. It will soon be graduating to mammals like voles, chipmunks and even rabbits.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird numbers are ticking upwards now with the arrival of juvenile birds. The chase is on! The young birds are at feeders as well as flowers like the Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), so keep a lookout for them in your own yards.
The Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is prolific in the garden this year and is being visited by many types of pollinators, like this small carpenter bee, a Ceratina species.
Coneflowers are also attracting small skippers and larger butterflies, like this female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. There are two female forms of this butterfly, yellow and black. We have lots of Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) in the yard, the primary host plant for this species. Black Cherry is also considered to be a Keystone Native Plant because it supports 313 species of moths and butterflies here in our area! It is second only to the mighty Oaks, or Quercus species, which support 429 Lepidoptera.
The very best way to support our native birds, specialist bees, butterflies, and all of nature is with
native plants in our yards. Grab a cold drink and enjoy this entertaining and uplifting program
featuring nature's best friend and mentor to so many, Doug Tallamy.