I’m enjoying watching the house wrens coming and going from the nest box. I haven’t seen the chicks, but there must be a few in there because the wrens are very busy bringing food. I have learned just how tough these little birds are. Yesterday, one of the wrens was sitting on a power line just singing away. A squirrel was traveling along a power line below, nowhere near the wren or the nest box. All of sudden, the wren left their perch and repeatedly dive-bombed the squirrel until the squirrel fell off the line into some bushes below. The squirrel was fine. What struck me was how this little bird seemed to strike terror. Even though the squirrel was nowhere near the box, the wren seemed to be saying, “Don’t even think about it!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Catbirds love the raisins!