This heat is awful. I should be used to it as a Kansan, but never! I saw a possum covered with babies this morning–so amazing! Sadly, I did not get a picture. I was standing between where she was and where she wanted to go and when I realized that, I walked around to the other side of the house. The back part of our yard is kind of intentionally wild. We let things overgrow there and create small brush piles. That’s where she was headed, and I hope that provides a safe, cool place to hang out today. Anyway, by the time I made it around from the other side of house, I saw her going into the brush, so no pic. I decided to hang around a bit longer and see if she poked out, but no luck. I did, however, get to see plenty of our other backyard friends.
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 one of our neighbors started destroying backyard habitat last year right after Westar had sent their tree butchers out, I was very concerned about the birds who nest here every summer. Shortly after, a nearby slumlord rented to the family from hell, complete with a preteen who liked pissing off the roof and throwing rocks, sticks, and whatever he could get his hands on at the neighborhood wildlife. Things looked bad and we were thinking about considerable debt to get a high privacy fence to protect our yard and those who live there. Our backyard is generally host to a large diversity of birds who make it their home during breeding season. I was particularly worried about the secretive gray catbirds who use the thick hedges along the backs of several yards. Fortunately, when the catbirds arrived this spring, the slumlord had kicked out the family and much of the thicket around the trees and fences was starting to grow back. I was overjoyed this morning to be out wandering around in the yard and discover fledgling catbird and parent hopping around in the thicket. The light was not so good, so the pics are a little dark, but you get the idea. Click on pictures to enlarge.
While the heat has made everyone a bit scarce these days, there are still quite a few young ones out in the morning, following their parents around, and taking advantage of the cooler temperatures (if one can call 80 cool!). Click on pictures to enlarge.
The catbirds will be leaving soon. It’s always sad to see them go, but quite the privilege to know we had a small role in providing a relatively undisturbed space for raising young. I caught a nice glimpse of this young one bouncing from limb to limb with a house sparrow. The house sparrow looked pretty young too. I think they were playing. 🙂 Click on pictures to enlarge.
The catbirds have been very busy in our yard this year. Since they are generally not so easy to observe, getting to see them so much this year has been a real treat. This one had a little scuffle with a robin, thus the body fluff. They worked it out. Click on pictures to enlarge.