Mid-April, warm and windy. 4-14-23

April 14, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

April in Bloom!

So many beautiful natives are blooming now, here are a few.


4-5-23 Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginia)4-5-23 Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginia)

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) have been feeding bumble bees and offer nectar to butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. Some blooms are decidedly pink, a natural variation in color determined by a higher pH in the soil.


4-11-23 Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)4-11-23 Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

Red Buckeye blossoms (Aesculus pavia) are opening and beckon Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, due to arrive any day!


4-8-23 Redbud (Cercis canadensis)4-8-23 Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Eastern Redbuds are at their peak, attracting tiny pollinators.


4-9-23 Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)4-9-23 Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

This plant takes many forms, and though not blooming, it pays to be aware of it and give it a wide berth. Do you know it? Poison Ivy! (Toxicodendron radicans) "Leaves of three, let it be!" (Not good for us, however, it does attract insects and provides berries, both food for birds.)


4-2-23 Mining Bee (Andrena sp.)4-2-23 Mining Bee (Andrena sp.) 4-2-23 Mining Bee (Andrena sp.) on Violet (Viola sororia)4-2-23 Mining Bee (Andrena sp.) on Violet (Viola sororia)

Tiny native mining bees (Andrena spp.) are ground nesters and pollinators of Blue Violets. I finally took time to watch them go head first down into the flower to gather pollen, then back out quickly and fly to another. 


4-10-23 Black Swallowtail resting on Mayapple4-10-23 Black Swallowtail resting on Mayapple

One breezy day, I followed a small Black Swallowtail to where it landed and sheltered out of the wind, on a Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum).


4-1-23 Sharp-shinned Hawk4-1-23 Sharp-shinned Hawk

An immature accipiter came into the woodland on 4/1/23 and stayed on this branch for just over an hour, likely digesting a meal. It gave me time to study it and identify it as a Sharp-shinned Hawk.


4-1-23 Sharp-shinned Hawk4-1-23 Sharp-shinned Hawk 4-1-23 Sharp-shinned Hawk4-1-23 Sharp-shinned Hawk 4-1-23 Cooper's Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk4-1-23 Cooper's Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk

It is in the same family as the Cooper's Hawk, and this composite photo shows how similar and confusing they can be. The Sharp-shinned are migrating through in April, whereas the Cooper's are year-round residents. A pair has begun a nest in a white pine in an adjacent yard. Birds will need to be on alert now.


4-4-23 Eastern Bluebird4-4-23 Eastern Bluebird 4-5-23 Eastern Bluebird female and House Finch4-5-23 Eastern Bluebird female and House Finch 4-10-23 Eastern Bluebird eggs4-10-23 Eastern Bluebird eggs

Eastern Bluebirds have been busy and now have five eggs in their nest. The female takes very quick breaks to come and get a drink while the male watches the nest box. 


4-10-23 Carolina Chickadee at nest box4-10-23 Carolina Chickadee at nest box

Carolina Chickadees also keep close to their nest box. Soon, they'll be bringing inchworms and tiny moths to feed their young. 


4-9-23 Eastern Bluebird checking out box #24-9-23 Eastern Bluebird checking out box #2

4-10-23 Downy Woodpecker checking out box #24-10-23 Downy Woodpecker checking out box #2

We moved box #2 to a different location. There has been interest by another pair of bluebirds and this Downy Woodpecker.


4-10-23 Downy Woodpeckers sparring4-10-23 Downy Woodpeckers sparring

This female Downy Woodpecker was not pleased with that male. "Mine!"  We have at least two pair of this species around, there's always competition for food and nesting sites.


4-10-23 Mourning Doves4-10-23 Mourning Doves
Mourning Doves display affection for each other throughout their courtship period, and they mate for life. They seem very comfortable here.

4-7-23 FOY Ruby-crowned Kinglet4-7-23 FOY Ruby-crowned Kinglet

The first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the year popped in at the bubbler on 4/7/23. It was a quick look around.


4-13-23 FOY 58 Yellow-rumped Warbler4-13-23 FOY 58 Yellow-rumped Warbler

Just the other day on 4/13/23, our FOY #58 Yellow-rumped Warbler finally showed up at the sump puddle in the swampy thicket. It was not seen again. I've also heard Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Northern Parula singing, but no photo opportunities as yet. Birds are in a big hurry right now! Here's a look at peak migration dates. Global Big Day is Saturday, May 13, 2023. Birds will be moving through for the next six weeks. 


April 2023 Cornell Lab Migration MapApril 2023 Cornell Lab Migration Map

Migration Map courtesy Cornell Lab



Our sanctuary is feeding residents and ready to welcome the migrating birds! Is yours?


Thanks to everyone who watched my program in the Partners for Native Landscaping Series.

There are a few in-person events yet on the schedule. 

Find a way to get more native plants into your landscapes, help regenerate diversity and get on the map!


I'm On the Map Social SharingI'm On the Map Social Sharing








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