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Backyard visitors


It is the best time of the year to be a back yard bird watcher as the migratory birds are making their way through the Midwest and our yard. They usually start showing up about a week before Mother’s Day and peak right about now. This year we’ve seen all the birds we usually see, including a fleeting glimpse of the beautiful indigo bunting who I hope shows his face again soon. The only bird we’ve not seen yet this year that we sometimes are lucky to have around for a little bit is the amazing scarlet tanager, whose neon feathers are easy to spot at the feeders.
It seems, though, that the more rare the bird, the more camera shy they are. The orioles are almost impossible to photograph as they simply will not come around if there is a person within 50 feet, so I have to take their pictures through the window.
But here are a few of the visitors who came for cocktail hour last night.
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The goldfinches not only fill their favorite feeder but there is “overflow parking” on a nearby branch as they wait for a turn to get at the goods.
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If you look closely you can see there are three orioles on our homemade orange feeder (there’s a tail sticking out to the right on the bottom).
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Eastern Towhee
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The cardinals and the rose-breasted grosbeaks will not share the feeder for some reason. Here the grosbeak gets a turn while the cardinal waits. You can see the adorable little Mayapples beginning to open in the background.
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The finches are content to share a feeder with anyone. That’s all skunk cabbage growing in the background. Skunk cabbage is a nice woodland plant with beautiful glossy leaves and a horrible name.
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The blue jay is a resident but rarely comes to the feeder (since we stopped putting mixes with peanuts out there).
What birds are you seeing in your part of the world now?

One Response

  1. Our orioles are NOT shy. Their population has grown a lot on our property over the past five years, and they are great "neighbors!" I love watching them work the trees for spiders, etc. The barn swallows and lazuli buntings are back, and the bluebirds (at least some) stayed all year, along with the house and gold finches, mockingbirds, cardinals, chickadees, etc. Have seen a decrease in the tufted titmouse – can't remember seeing one all winter, and they used to be around often. So some populations increase and some decrease. I LOVE watching the mockingbirds stalk through the grass doing what my daughter calls "dragonwings," flushing insects out ahead of them.
    Happy birding!

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