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the spring/summer birds

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Charlene

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just a mile from home, on my way out to the highway going to work this morning, i saw my first baltimore oriole. i almost went off in the ditch! the chipping sparrows and the mourning doves are nesting in a little cedar tree in the front yard, found a dove nest this afternoon with one egg. the bluebirds are nesting in a box just down the lane, 5 eggs. gary's brother called me tonight to tell me he, too, has an active bluebird nest with 5 eggs. yipeee!!!

as soon as i got home from work today, i put a couple of grape jelly feeders out for the orioles and hung a couple of hummingbird feeders. the hummies will be arriving any time now as will the indigo buntings, rose breasted grosbeaks, orchard orioles...i can't wait to see them all. birding is my passion and was something gary absolutely loved. we spent hours and hours on the deck, just watching our busy back yard.

i spent last weekend cleaning up and repairing several bluebird nest boxes that are mounted all around the little cemetery where gary was laid to rest. before it got dark tonight, i went over to check. two of the 5 boxes look to have the beginnings of bluebird nests.
 

Bunnylady

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Bluebirds are special to me, too. I don't even have to see one - just the sound of one lifts my spirits.

I saw a hummer working over a perennial Salvia yesterday, so yes, they are on the move!
 

Matt73

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Yay!

We have these gorgeous black birds that are very exotic looking. The first time I saw them was ten years ago on my first trip to Mexico. Needless to say, they don't fly to Toronto but they do come 2 1/2 hours southwest of there -where I live now-. I saw them for the first time here five years ago and they come every year; they've been here for three weeks or so. The Robins came around the same time as did the Killdeers. Can't wait for the Swallows -my fave-. And it looks like I'm going to be putting the humming bird feeder out soon...
 

Equuisize

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Despite our weird spring weather we've seen lots of birds in the past

few weeks. A Hummingbird, either one or it's twin keeps buzzing the

window where the computer is. I think there must be a reflection of

cherry blossoms in the window.

We've seen the normal Robins, Chickadees, Stellar Jays.

Last week saw a Flicker.......oh and the Cowbirds in the pasture with the horses.

I love this time of the year when you can awake to the sound of birds singing.
 

anoki

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Well, I am in Kentucky right now....but it is SOOOOOOO nice to see some blooms!!! Cherry trees and red buds are out!! There are all kinds of birds singing when I am out walking dogs!!!! It is just sooooooooo nice!! I hope it's half as nice when we get back home!!
I can't wait for hummers and orioles and all of those birds!!!!

Matt, what black birds are you talking about?????

~kathryn
 

Charley

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We have been watching the birds coming back too. Yesterday I did see our first hummingbird. I love spring!
 

Matt73

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Well, I am in Kentucky right now....but it is SOOOOOOO nice to see some blooms!!! Cherry trees and red buds are out!! There are all kinds of birds singing when I am out walking dogs!!!! It is just sooooooooo nice!! I hope it's half as nice when we get back home!!
I can't wait for hummers and orioles and all of those birds!!!!

Matt, what black birds are you talking about?????

~kathryn
I'm not sure what they are. They're really pretty though. Very shiny. When they fly their tail flips vertically and acts as a rudder. I'll find out what they are and post.
 

Margo_C-T

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It has been a weird spring here--first 'WAY warmer than usual, then abruptly, 'WAY colder--with even MORE wind than usual, even for here! "My" barn swallows were late arriving, but it's a GOOD thing, as it has lately been so cold and windy, there are just NO bugs. The first two arrived only about 10 days ago, and I'm still not sure they aren't going to STARVE; they huddle together on a beam in the barn and look miserable, because most of the days since they arrived, exhausted and thin from the long trip back, have been UNUSUALLY cold AND horribly windy! This AM I counted 7 here(usually, there are three or so times that many by now); the later arrivals seem livelier than the poor little first pair! I usually have so many nesting pairs that I have to remove nests and keep removing as they rebuild, after they raise ONE bunch of babies--otherwise, there'd be a hundred swallows in my barn by the fall! I LOVE them, but have to keep EVERYTHING in the barn covered(I am the 'queen' of old sheets!), and just had to find a way to 'control' their numbers---but this year, I'm wondering if that will even be necessary...

On the brighter side--the kingbirds(a flycatcher)returned about two weeks ago, and have been quietly busy, and I think have already hatched out babies in THEIR nest in my barn! I LOVE them; they are 'neater' than the swallows, carrying all of the babies' poop away! The swallow babies quickly 'learn' to just turn around and stick their behinds over the edge of the nest--resulting in a MESS below! (If I had a nickel for every swallow poop I've scraped/swept up in the past 28 years, I'd be a RICH woman!!
) I've also been seeing some mountain bluebirds, who are special to me, because I consider them a direct 'messenger' from my dearly missed mother....No hummers yet; my neighbor asked me this AM if I'd put my feeder up yet, but I have not, because I've not seen a single one--and the feeder would have been spilled repeatedly in these winds! Usually, I'm alerted to the need to put out the feeder when I see one fly up to where it hangs, under the eave in front of my dining room window, and 'pointedly' look around as if to say, "Where IS it??"
I then hustle to get some sugar water made and the feeder filled and put outside!!

We also have had a covey of scaled(blue) quail in my area; hope they are still around! One day this winter I drove in and the whole bunch emerged from under the juniper hedge against the east front of my house--but I haven't seen them in awhile now....I grew up on the state game bird farm down at Carlsbad(home of Carlsbad Caverns), so am especially partial to quailies, ringneck and golden pheasants, and chukars(my dad was one of two gov't. employees who went to Turkey in the very early '50s to bring the chukar partrigde back to the US to establish it as a game bird.)I am NOT 'into' hunting, do love the birds, though.

Margo
 
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Charlene

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margo, our barn swallows came back last week and are busy building nests. i usually only have 4 or 5 nests so there isn't a lot of clean-up but i sure hear ya! those babies sticking their behinds out over the nest make SUCH a mess! too cute though!

oh you have mountain bluebirds. we have eastern bluebirds here and they are special to me for the same reason they are to you. i had not seen any blues for several months prior to gary's death. the day after he died, i came back to the house to find a pair of blues waiting patiently for their mealworms. i took it as a sign from gary that he was well and watching over me.


once every few years, we have tree swallows that will use one of our nest boxes. they are SO pretty and i love seeing them!

our hummers are the same way! i did not used to put feeders out until i actually saw them arrive but now i put them out a couple of weeks ahead of time so they will have nectar as soon as they get here. in the spring, and again in the fall before migration, i mix my nectar 3 parts water to 1 part sugar to give them an extra "boost". it's not at all unusual for us to have 75-100 hummers all summer. i put 10 big feeders out and fill them twice a day. it's almost another full time job!

i have an old door propped up against the wall in the hay barn. i noticed just a couple of days ago the beginnings of what i am sure is a robin's nest. silly robins will build ANYWHERE. she has been working feverishly because i looked again this morning and the nest is almost complete. i don't know how safe she'll be from feral cats and raccoons so i'll just have to keep my fingers crossed!

EDIT: 4:45 P.M., FIRST HUMMIE!!!!!!! i'm sure glad i put those feeders out!! let the gaaaames begin!!
 
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