Back to the Backyard

Imagine my surprise one recent morning when I went into the backyard and spotted yardbird species #51 at the birdbath! A Black Phoebe took a quick drink and then flew off. I’ve never seen it since, wish I would, but it seems an unlikely place since I usually see them by bodies of water. I was glad it waited til I ran inside and grabbed my camera.

I was doubly surprised 2 days later to see a Say’s Phoebe diving for insects which was yardbird species #52! I see these birds often in parks but never in my yard. Once again, I have not seen it since. Phoebes are such pretty birds, I hope they visit again.

As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, a couple days later, I saw my favorite little bird, Tink (an Orange-crowned Warbler), return to our yard for the winter for the 5-6th season. At least I think and hope it was her. She seemed like the same bird, going back and forth between the 2 jelly feeders. I saw her for a few days and now have not seen her again for a few so I hope it was her and she plans to stay the winter. I don’t sit in my yard all day everyday so I could easily be missing her…I hope…I really wasn’t expecting her this year as I know they don’t live forever but, right on schedule, she returned…or so I think.

So those were exciting days! Here are a few of the Verdins who inhabit our yard all year…cute, tiny, and busy…

Verdins have roosting nests all year long. I think it’s where they sleep at night and hang out. The opening of the nests are on the side or bottom. Here is one leaving its nest in our pine tree:

They love jelly and oranges. Here they are in the little jelly house (click each to see larger):

An infrequent visitor to the yard is the Great-tailed Grackle. This female entertained me for awhile a few days ago and has been back since with another of her female friends:

They are loud, raucous, curious birds that are fun to watch. And those are some of the exciting goings-on in the backyard lately.

Fine Feathered Friends

Gila Woodpecker Feathers
Steller’s Jay Feather
Red-tailed Hawk Feather

A collection of Anna’s hummingbird photos over the last few days. I think most of them are the hummer I call “Comet” who definitely dominates the backyard feeders. But the last 3 are a younger male Anna’s, just beginning to grow his gorget feathers. He mostly stays by the feeder in the front yard. Probably smart. There are others around, too, but they just are too skittish most of the time.

And this is yet another Verdin nest that blew down during a recent wind. It was already an abandoned nest, though. We’re waiting for our monsoon season that has not quite happened yet and cooler temps that have not quite happened yet. Climate change, you know.

The Mesquite Tree

I wrote this as a PDF file not really intending to make a post of it but since it’s all written and I need a new post pretty soon, just click on the link to read about my backyard bird feeding. You don’t have to download it, you can just click on the title to read it.

Meanwhile, here’s an abandoned Verdin nest that went down in the wind last night. They have several nests in our pine tree. No birds were injured or became homeless.

Stay-at-Home

Our governor extended our stay-at-home order until May 15, at least, which is fine with me. I’m of the mind that we need to keep doing this to prevent more illness and deaths. However, I know others disagree and want to get back into the world, even though it’s not going to be the same. So I’m not really communicating with those types…

Someone lost their little nest. It looks too clean to have been used. I’m thinking it might have belonged to a Lesser Goldfinch. It’s one of the prettiest nests I’ve ever found. Poor birdies…all that work.

Boring as things are, for the most part, I’m glad to have my yard to take some photos in but it’s at least 100º everyday so the amount of time I spend out there is dwindling.

Excited that a few Black-chinned Hummingbirds have returned to the yard for the summer and will occasionally let me photograph their purple collars:

And, of course, there are several Anna’s Hummingbirds around:

Verdins can tough the heat out very well as they are birds of the desert:

And here are a few more residents:

Abert’s Towhee with a mouthful for nestlings

Northern Mockingbirds, top one has a mulberry

Rosy-faced Lovebird
Baby House Finch

Stay home, stay safe…like Ferguson and Svengali.