Hummers and Orioles

The back yard has been very busy that last few days! We generally get tons of hummers at this time of year, but I’m not used to still seeing so many orioles this far into September. I’m so glad they’re back! They disappeared for a while and I was sure the neighborhood cats had run them off. The hummers are eating the jelly, too! They are most welcome!

Ruby-throated hummingbird at jelly feeder
ruby-throated hummingbird perched.
ruby-throated hummingbird in flight
Baltimore orioles on jelly feeder
Male Baltimore oriole perched on branch
Possible female or young Baltimore oriole
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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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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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House Wrens, Orioles, and Caramel Glitter

It’s still raining every day, but we did get some sun today. I was able to get some of the yard mowed. More storms are moving in tonight. I’m counting on the weather forecast providing a good wetlands walk on Friday. In the meantime, our backyard house wren friends are very busy singing and bringing twigs to the box. They are just so adorable!

House wren bringing twigs to nest box.
House wren
House wren singing

We have fewer orioles visiting the jelly feeders right now, which means they are busy feeding insects to the young ones. It is so much fun when the parents start bringing the fledglings to the feeders.

Adult male Baltimore oriole

I bought this shrub on a clearance table a few years ago. It always looked like it was near death, this spring especially. I resisted pulling it up and just waited to see what happened. Now, we have these delightful little flowers. This is the first time it has bloomed. It is called Caramel Glitter Ninebark.

Caramel glitter ninebark
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Strange Summer

We are coming off a terrible heatwave in my part of the state. Interestingly, when it started last week, the oriole adults and fledglings just disappeared. We still have plenty of catbirds coming to the jelly feeders, but I have not seen an oriole in over a week. There have also been significantly fewer ruby-throated hummingbirds visiting this year.

Orchard oriole and Baltimore oriole.
Baltimore oriole fledgling and parent.
Baltimore oriole fledgling and parent.
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2016 Spring Yard-Birds

I never mean to wait this long to post. Here are a few of our year-round residents and spring visitors. Most of these are mid-May through mid-June. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Brown thrasher with peanut

© Chris Taylor

Rose-breasted grosbeak

© Chris Taylor

House finches

© Chris Taylor

Orioles

© Chris Taylor

Orchard oriole

© Chris Taylor

Orioles

© Chris Taylor

Gray catbird

© Chris Taylor

Male northern cardinal

© Chris Taylor

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Bees, hummers, and orioles

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.

RT Hummingbird

© Chris Taylor

RT Hummingbird

© Chris Taylor

RT Hummingbird and bee

© Chris Taylor

Baltimore Oriole

© Chris Taylor

Baltimore Orioles

© Chris Taylor

 

 

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Feeding the orioles

I have been privileged to have some great up-close viewing of our neighborhood orioles as they come to the feeders with the kids. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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