The back yard has been very busy the 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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love how much activity there is right now! Click on pictures to enlarge.
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.