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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yellow Warblers have been a joy to see this year, and a female came in on Monday, 5-9-22.
We had Northern Parulas a few more days before they began to establish breeding territory.
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.
And, here is the Blackpoll pair. Certainly don't have dark legs, do they? Orangey legs are a key diagnostic feature for this bird.
What would spring be without the beautiful Blackburnian Warblers? Firethroats!
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!