I imagine many of you are wondering where all the hummer photos are. The bees have been very busy at both the hummer and oriole feeders over the last few weeks, so I have been avoiding sitting nearby. For whatever reason, and it may have something to do with preparing for fall, the bees pretty much leave the feeders alone all summer, and then do some serious eating in August. The orioles, hummers, and bees seem to coexist pretty well and everyone eats eventually. I put out a small test-tube feeder every morning that the bees drink from, so that helps. Click on pictures to enlarge.
We generally do not leave feeders up in the summer, except putting the hummingbird feeders up in August for those on their way south, but with the drought, it seemed like a good idea. The bonus is getting so much activity and seeing all the parents feeding the fledglings. The oriole feeder is a new addition, so getting to see so many over the last few months has just been incredible. Click on pictures to enlarge.
I am in love with all the oriole fledglings visiting the yard with their parents. I think we have at least three pairs in the vicinity; I feel very privileged to get to spend some of the morning with them. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Adults are starting to bring their babies around and I am loving watching the robins stuff as many raisins in their mouths as they can to distribute among the young ones. I was thinking this morning that perhaps one of the reasons few people really experience the birds around them is it takes a lot of time before birds become comfortable enough with a human to get close. I have robins coming up to me on the patio for raisins, but that did not happen overnight (I started handing out raisins during our awful extended winter). They are leery of humans, as they should be. Generally, when I sit outside to watch, I need to be in my “sit spot” for about an hour before they get comfortable enough with my presence to hangout nearby. I realize my own privilege in being able to make time to do this. Time outside being still and quiet, watching everything, is immensely good for my soul. Click on pictures to enlarge.
When I started seeing orioles trying to drink out of the hummingbird feeders, I thought it was time to get an oriole feeder. I made one out of an old feeder by taking off the cage that holds the seeds and using it to hold oranges (the tray made a nice place for the grape jelly they love). That was a big hit, so I got another feeder. Now, we have orioles everywhere, which makes me pretty darn happy. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Today was a great day for seeing little birds. With the south wind and warm weather, spring arrivals were everywhere. I hope they all do well over the next few days of rain and cold. I saw my first of the season Baltimore oriole, numerous warblers, FOS Eastern kingbird, and more little blue-gray gnatcatchers than I could count. While they were just too fast for pictures, I also got great looks at indigo and painted buntings, a summer tanager, and an American redstart. What a day for colorful birds! Click on pictures to enlarge.