We've enjoyed this Spring migration big time. We have had a number of new species of bird come to visit our backyard. Both Angie and I agree it has to be the fountain that we bought last Summer. I made a collage of some of the excitement. From top to bottom, left to right... Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Yellow Warbler, Nashville Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler. The Nashville was not a new species but the last visit we caught of one here was over 5 years ago. We actually had 2 Nashvilles and 3 Yellows that hung around for a good part of 3 days.
But it did not stop there. We also had an Indigo Bunting. Seen once but also heard 2 other mornings. Crap shot from the kitchen window.
Lastly, a Bay-breasted Warbler.
It's great having bird friends I can share the excitement with, who get excited like I can.
Another nice surprise was having baby Northern Cardinals appear in our backyard. This is not new for us, but it's much earlier than we've ever seen them in past years. Odd is that usually by now we are drowning in baby European Starlings, and a family of Robins spend time with us, but so far not this time around.
Squirrels took over one of my Owl boxes again and this time they had babies within. It's been a blast watching them come out of the box and explore the big wild world around them. Lucky for them the Red-tailed Hawks are not nesting in eye sight of our yard this year because last year the Hawks were flying in and picking Squirrels out of the trees semi-regularly.
Skunks appear randomly morning and night.
Raccoons too. I can't wait to see some young'uns this Summer.
I've had one Opossum encounter this month.
We've also seen a Rabbit in the yard. Second time ever with this species.
A banded Baltimore Oriole is coming in. There was a banded Pigeon for a couple days too! I'm working on getting the Oriole's band numbers but will admit I've not been trying hard. It has frustrated me because the birds have been battling a lot and I gave up for the last week. If he continues to come around as things settle, I will focus on that band (pun intended). I have 2 of the 9 numbers so far, they are 22.
The Pigeon left us after 2 days, probably headed back to his owner.
Speaking of Pigeons, my two nameless friends are still visiting.
The above bird certainly has some Pierre like habits. He is often found waiting for me in "Pierre's spot" with my waking moments. As I wait for my coffee, I peek out the window, and there he is. He's quite vocal some days too.
Then there's this one. I am certain is a female. She has her own personality, as they all do. Funniest of late is me chatting with the guy next door along the fence line. She gets right there in between us, like she is one of us. My neighbour thought she was pretty comical. I knew what she was up to though, she had arrived and wanted lunch. But one not catching on to her intentions would think she was listening to us quite intently.
How's that for excitement in our backyard?
We are at that time of year where birding is not a big thing now. It's all about the backyard. But if you care for some away from home excitement, the only thing I can throw at you is that I am still seeing Snowy Owls. Most recently was May 25th along a stretch of Hwy 401 through Pearson Airport. I was stuck in late night construction and there was an Owl sitting on a lamp post. We also encountered one at a local lake park while on vacation. So weird to see these Owls still hanging around. I've heard from others who are spotting them in various parts of southern Ontario as well. What gives?
One last thing. I released my 300th bird for Toronto Wildlife Centre. A Chestnut-sided Warbler. A mini-milestone for me with the volunteer work I do for the centre. As always, I am grateful for TWC and the dedicated people involved. It's great I can call some friends of mine now too! It's hard to believe I'm almost through my 4th year with them as an official volunteer. The top photo is the actual bird I released, bottom is another Chestnut-sided I saw recently just for a better view of this species.
Anyone following this blog may notice a lull in posting these days. I'm heavy into the nest box monitoring now. I blog there a little more at this time of year. You can check it out here.
Hopefully it won't be too long again before I am back here with another blog.