Saturday, September 15, 2012


     Every year I get rufous hummingbirds and they stay the winter.  They travel all the way from Canada and Alaska.  I've read that they winter in Mexico, but I always have them at my feeders, all winter.
     Sometimes, I can tell that certain ones have returned from year to year.  Some of them hover a certain way, some of them squeak a lot and it's easy to recognize them.  Recently, I moved my feeder from one area to a few feet away to a different window.  A few minutes ago, I was in the kitchen and a rufous hummingbird, (I guess he just got to town), went to where the feeder used to be and kept hovering, like he was looking for it and then saw the new one and flew to it.  That was so neat to see!!  I love watching and learning about animal behavior!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Yesterday was the most amazing day!! A new flock of Baltimore Orioles came in with the cold front. About 10 of them were here early morning.  I got photos of 5 or 6 other migrating birds at my bird bath, but there were others that got away before I could grab my camera.  These orioles were chattering and chirping at each other to share the orange, so, I put out two more and they were very, very happy.  I've never heard their chirps before.  Just so glad I got to work at home, today, and witness all of these migrators.  How do they find my yard???
Look at the one flying away.  He's so beautiful and look at the colors in his tail feathers.
I've always felt that birds can see colors. Maybe, that's how they identify each other.  In the very back of my yard, I have a red and blue birdhouse and the cardinals, through the years, have always hung out, right in that area.  So, since they eat oranges, these little orange zinnias, possibly attracted these Baltimore Orioles. But, I do have them every year at this time, and each year, I see more and more of them.  I'm just so curious about how they find my yard.  In this world, this country, this city, how do they find this one little plot of land??  It just thrills me and I wonder who's passing through, when I'm not looking, (with my camera).
These two very large brown birds with speckles came in for a drink of water and a bath.  It was amusing how, suddenly, all of these sparrows flew over to bathe with them.  Did the brown color make them think it was kin?   The birdbath was just full of sparrows.
            This beautiful little bird has visited for several years.  This time, he had a tiny mate with him.  Maybe, I just didn't see her, before.  Early this morning, he was here, moving quickly from bush to bush, I'm sure, eating caterpillars and bugs.  He's beautifully bright yellow with a little black cap on top of his head and black back and wings.  Approaching fall, I always leave everything in my yard, kind of bushy and overgrown.  I feel it attracts more insects for the migrating birds.
           His little mate is not as brightly colored as he is and doesn't even have a tiny black cap, like him.
I don't know what these birds are, but, they came with the orioles and, even, ate the oranges.  They're not as large as the orioles, but, have similar wingbars, so, I'm wondering if they're some kind of oriole.  I googled them, but, couldn't find them in any of the photos.  As soon as they landed on the birdbath, they were fighting each other.  Then, as the orioles came in, they stopped fighting.  All day, they were coming and going with the orioles.
The bird in the middle of this photo, is the same bird and you can see how yellow his tummy is.  The tan bird is an oriole at some stage of maturity.  They were all so colorful!
This is all so much fun for me!!  Today, I'll be watching for new migrators!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


     For three days, now, I've seen the most beautiful, large male Baltimore Oriole.  But, when I look out, he's flying away from the birdbath, with the evening sun shining on his, oh so bright, neon orange tummy.  I've been trying to watch, so I can get a photo of him, but not yet!  I don't see any family, just him.  Maybe Charlie, running out to chase the grackles and doves, makes him leery of hanging around.  I'll keep trying!!
     HERE HE IS!!!  Finally got a photo of him!

    I was at the kitchen window watching for him.  I usually see him around 5:30.  When he first landed, some doves, guarding the birdbath, chased him off.  I knew he'd be back, so I was ready with my camera.  And, I wonder where he's been today, because he drank and drank water.  Maybe, even for a minute or so.  He was really thirsty.
I have a lot of swallowtail butterflies in my yard, lately.  Black and giant tiger (I think) swallowtails.  Yesterday, as I was watchng the oriole, there were two very large tiger (I think) swallowtails flying near him and I thought that was so beautiful and colorful.  When I see two at the same time, I guess they have just hatched.  I've seen giant swallowtails hovering around my key lime tree and maybe one laid eggs on it.  I just didn't notice.
So, I'll be watching for the Baltimore Oriole tomorrow, because they will all be gone soon, and I won't get to see them again, until next fall.
Thank you!  Thank you! that I got to see them in my yard, again.