With spring bird migration in full swing, our yard has become very busy with bird activity. Every corner, nook and cranny of our yard has something going on. Whether it be nesting activity, feeding, chasing or territorial set up, there’s never a dull moment. Except for two days, rain has fallen everyday so far this month. Photographic activity has been nil because of the weather, and I’m still waiting for a sunny day to make a trip to Evergreen Cemetery in Portland which is a Warbler magnet.
Here at home, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Yellow Warblers, Blue-headed Vireos, Palm Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Black and White Warblers, Prairie and Yellow-rumped Warblers are seen daily gleaning insects from the trees. Some of these Warblers have been eating from our suet feeders and most stop by for a fresh drink of water from the bird baths.
Trying to keep up with the activity is trying task. Warblers move very fast from twig to twig. Just when you think you have a focus on a bird in your binos, they are gone. Tis the season for Warbler Neck!
Warbler Neck is a malady from staring up into the tree canopy for long periods of time and snapping your head back and forth everytime you see a bird move.
Adding to all the confusion is the presence of 11 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds chasing each other around our yard and visiting our ten Hummingbird nectar feeders. Last year, we had 12 hummingbirds all summer long, with most pairing off and nesting, with a resulting influx of young Hummers everywhere
A first ever for our yard, a beautiful male Red-breasted Grosbeak has been seen at our feeders over the last several days. Also, 4 male Baltimore Orioles and a single male Orchard Oriole stopped by for some grape jelly, nectar and oranges. The Baltimore Orioles have nested nearby in the past, but not in our yard.
Plenty of nesting activity in our yard and very nearby, including Tree Swallows, White and Red-breasted Nuthatches, Tufted titmice, Black-capped Chickadees, Chipping, Song, White-throated and Savannah Sparrows. Standing in our back yard, I can see 3 Bald Eagle nests, with all looking very active.
Possible nesting species includes Rufous-sided Towhees, several Warbler species, Gray Catbirds, American Robins and Pine Siskins. These species need more investigation, but it’s looking good. If this rainy streak ever let’s up, I will later confirm or deny these possible nesting species.