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Category Archives: Birds

Just a few of the characters that have been at my bird feeders the past few weeks.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

House Finch

The Eastern Phoebe is rarely seen at the feeder and this is the first time I’ve seen a House Wren at the feeder.

Eastern Phoebe

House Wren

I occasionally have rabbits at the feeder and for a week I had a family of Raccoons visit the feeder every night.

Cottontail Rabbit

A pair of Grey Catbirds had a nest near the feeders and they are frequent visitors to the Grape Jelly feeder.

Grey Catbird

Baltimore Orioles are also frequent visitors.

Baltimore Oriole

For a couple of weeks Orchard Orioles turned up at the feeders.

Orchard Oriole

The Red-bellied Woodpeckers also like grape Jelly.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The last couple of weeks Orchard Orioles turned up at my feeders. The seem to appear just after the young have fledged and typically bring the young to the Grape Jelly feeder. They usually only visit for a short time before disappearing again.

 

 

With the arrival of summer birds start bringing their fledglings to the bird feeders. Here a House Finch is feeding its insistent fledgling.

A male Northern Cardinal is feeding its fledgling.

A Downy Woodpecker feeds its fledgling.

This House Sparrow Fledgling was sitting at the feeder waiting for a parent to arrive. He was a stitch to watch because he kept falling asleep and almost falling off of the perch.

This Downy Woodpecker fledgling was alone at the feeder for quite some time and seemed to be bewildered by all of the activity at the feeder.

 

The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are eating most of my sunflower seeds.

Helping the Grosbeaks are the American Goldfinches. They are also eating most of the thistle seeds.

At the start of summer the Baltimore Orioles were absent from the feeders while they raised their young. They have now returned with their young.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers have been at the feeders all summer eating   suet, sunflower seeds and grape jelly.Downy woodpeckers have also been at the feeders.

The Grey Catbirds have a nest near the feeders and spend a lot of time eating grape jelly.

Mourning Doves spend a lot of time under the feeders cleaning up the mess.

Northern Cardinals are around year around.

We made a late spring visit to Crex Meadows last week. Our first stop was a Bald Eagle nest on Phantom Lake Road. One of the adults was sitting by the nest and there were two young in the nest. It looked like they were just about ready to leave the nest.

When we reached Phantom Lake we found a number of pairs of Canada Geese with their young. This adult seemed to be upset with something and it kept chasing other geese.

There were a number of pairs of Trumpeter Swans with their young. The adults were furiously churning the water. I assume to free plants from the bottom so they would float to the surface and the Cygnets could feed on them.

One of the popular attractions this year has been Killdeer nesting in the roads around the flowage.

We also found this Leatherback Turtle laying eggs along the road.

The spring flowers were out in the meadows. Indian Paintbrush and Yellow Water Lilies were common.

We encountered a number of White-tailed Deer in our drive through the meadows.

The young ducks have also hatched and could be found on the flowages.

Just as we were about to leave on vacation the orioles and hummingbirds returned for the summer. We only saw a couple of them but knew more would be following. We put out a couple of large containers of grape jelly for the orioles and all of my feeders for the humming birds. When we returned the orioles had eaten all of the grape jelly and the humming birds had just about emptied their feeders. I put out some grape jelly and filled the humming bird feeders but there have only been a few around. Typically they come and eat for a week or two then go off to raise their young. I would expect to see them back in large numbers as summer begins.

Orchard Oriole

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

There is a small pond along the road on the adjoining farm. As we drove past it we noticed a Bald Eagle circling so we decided to stop for a photo. Unfortunately it went behind the hill so I started photographing a pair of Wood Ducks in the pond. I noticed my wife waving at me and pointing. Turned out the Eagle had returned.

This spring two birds have turned up at my feeders that I have never seen on the farm before. The firs photo is of an Eastern Toehee. When it first turned up I thought the Baltimore Orioles had returned but I was wrong. A pair of Toehees spend their time feeding on the ground and running from under the feeder to a bush that provides shelter. The second bird is the Yellow-rumped Warbler which also turned up a few weeks ago. There are a number of them and they seem to like to feed on the suet.

A bird that I have not seen for several years also turned up at the feeder last week. The Red-breasted Nuthatch used to frequent my feeders and finally returned after an absence.

I still have lots of White-throated Sparrows around. Fortunately they are ground feeders and seem to do a good job cleaning up under the feeders.

Last week the male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks  returned. I have not yet seen the females. The only spring birds that have not returned are the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and the Baltimore Orioles.

Rose-breasted Grosebeak

We recently spent a morning driving around Crex Meadows. During a stop at the visitors center we found that several eagles had been spotted earlier in the morning. We were lucky to find they were still hanging around. This one was sitting by the nest. A little later in the morning we noticed it was hunting on Phantom Lake. When it caught a fish it went back to the nest were we were able to watch it feeding its young.

Bald Eagle

We did not spot many Sandhill Cranes. This one was near the road. I suspect most of the others were nesting deeper in the marshes.

We could see Trumpeter Swans nesting but they were all quite some distance from the road. We did encounter three non nesting swans in a small pool.

We found this pair of Ring-necked Ducks in a small pond.

Lots of Red-winged Blackbirds around the area.

The muskrats were very active throughout the flowages.

We noticed this Killdeer ahead of us so we stopped. It was very accommodating and walked right up to us and posed for photos.

The marsh grass provided some interesting patterns. In the second photo the area had recently been burned providing for a variety of colors as it started to grow again.

The Lily Pads were starting to grow now that the ice is off of the flowages.