Blue Jay Fledglings

The blue jay kids were keeping the parents busy this morning. I throw peanuts out and the parents scoop them up and take off with the kids following close behind. I think sometimes if I had an infinite supply of peanuts, they would never stop coming. I would be sitting there throwing them out for eternity.

adult blue jay
blue jay fledglings
blue jay fledglings
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A Little After the Rain Grooming

I think we are friends now. A couple of weeks ago, I was out in the morning right before dawn and discovered this little guy sleeping on a small limb in a bush very close to where the feeder is hanging. I tip-toed around, but he woke up, buzzed around my head, and took off. Ever since then, whenever I am near the feeders, he just comes right over and starts drinking. I can be just a few feet away. I often think for some birds, all they need to know is you’re not going to mess with them. For many of our yard critters, I am just part of the baseline. I love that.

Adult male ruby-throated hummingbird.
Adult male ruby-throated hummingbird.
Adult male ruby-throated hummingbird.
Adult male ruby-throated hummingbird.
Adult male ruby-throated hummingbird.
Adult male ruby-throated hummingbird.
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Young Orioles

The fledgling orioles are out and about. They haven’t come to the jelly feeders yet, but I’ve been hearing them in the trees. They hang out nearby while the parents come for jelly. Soon, they will be coming on their own. They are so much fun to watch!

Baltimore oriole
Baltimore oriole
Baltimore oriole
Baltimore oriole
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Birds in Danger

The Center for Biological Diversity’s June 15 press release cited a federal report noting more than 60 migratory bird species are in need of conservation: https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/federal-report-more-than-260-migratory-bird-species-in-need-of-conservation-2021-06-15/

In the press release, you can find a link to the Excel file noting the species in trouble, and it is staggering. Think of the species in your part of the world that are regular visitors to your yard, the birds you see at area lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Imagine them gone. Birds we regularly see in Kansas on this list include the American white pelican, red-headed woodpecker, common nighthawk, chimney swift, rufous hummingbird, American coot, American avocet, lesser yellowlegs, Franklin’s and Ross’s gulls, common tern, little blue heron, northern harrier, belted kingfisher, orchard oriole, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, painted bunting, dickcissel, and the list goes on. The last four years did so much damage. Please support conservation in any way you can.

American avocet
Little blue heron
American coot
American white pelican
rose-breasted grosbeak
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Backyard Action

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.

Juvenile rabbit
Baltimore Oriole

Catbirds love the raisins!

Gray catbird with raisins
American robin eating from jelly feeder
House wren singing on top of nest box
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Finally, a Wetlands’ Morning Without Rain

It was cooler and cloudy this morning, but just a few sprinkles. Many of the paths were covered with water, but I decided to risk walking through it. I’m glad I did!

Many egrets and a great blue heron!

Great egret
Great egret

I think the smaller one is a juvenile little blue heron.

Great egrets and juvenile little blue heron
Great egrets
Great egret and great blue heron
great blue heron

Frolicking muskrat youth. I counted five, but I only see four in this pic.

Juvenile muskrats
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