Sunday, May 13, 2012

Connecting Bird Activity to Mothers' Day

It is still early in the season for the birds to be celebrating Mothers' Day, but there is lots of activity that will lead to motherhood.

Many of the tropical birds are still heading toward their nesting grounds. Much of their singing is "tune-up" variety, but it makes for good birding.

Yesterday's warbler walk yielded wood warblers, but no photo opportunities. However, vocal Scarlet Tanagers were gleaning mid-level branches and through the leaves some very good views. Nearby, a potential mate to this gentleman was assessing his value, but stayed discreetly out of view ...

Scarlet Tanager
In the deep woods, a Mrs. Robin was busy gathering nesting material and constructing her nest in a high tree fork. Mr. Robin kept watch on the Mrs. Robin and the bird watchers ...

American Robin
At home, the Baltimore Orioles are singing around the house and occasionally presenting themselves for a good view. But I have yet to get one to come to the oranges and provide mouth-gaping close-ups.

Baltimore Oriole
This demure Tufted Titmouse waited in the bush while her mate (or candidate for mate) foraged sunflower seeds and fed them to her ...

Tufted Titmouse
Evening Grosbeaks are still moving through the region. A flock of ten was present yesterday. Those who have already chose the neighborhood for their breeding season are very busy singing (if you can call it that) and the males are displaying at every opportunity ...

Evening Grosbeak
The best entertainment is being provided by the Ruby-throated Hummingbird who has taken claim to our yard and feeders. He patrols his domain with unrelenting attention and absolute proprietary claim. An intruding male is summarily driven out. The following photo shows him watching for intruders. He spent about fifteen minutes on the feeder and was drinking most of the time, refueling for the energy intensive task ...

Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Of course, he was also alert for the visiting females, pursuing them with the deep u-shaped swoops that constitute hummingbird courtship ...

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (female)
I hope the birding is good is your woods and your neighborhoods.

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