Friday, July 31, 2015

My Favorite Backyard Bird This Summer ... Until Recently...

Orchard Oriole -- Parc Perlière -- Charleston, SC -- July 1, 2015

           Until recently, this bold, lovely, lemony Orchard Oriole frequented our oriole feeder daily.  When I first saw it, I thought "Warbler?!"  But no, Orchard Orioles are the smallest among the orioles and this was simply a female (or perhaps a first year male not yet in breeding plumage).  Originally, I thought female, but as the month progressed, I saw a few black feathers beginning to come out on his neck under the chin.  You will not see that in these photos though.  I spent many an early morning on the swing on the back deck and this bold bird would fly in and drink his fill from the feeder just a few feet away.  We had an understanding:  if I swung gently (and did not get up), he would come drink and perch prettily for me to admire him.  

Orchard Oriole -- Parc Perlière -- Charleston, SC -- July 1, 2015

Orchard Oriole -- Parc Perlière -- Charleston, SC -- July 1, 2015

          So why is he no longer my Favorite Backyard Bird this summer?  Well, he has departed.  I have not seen him in a week and with so many other birds to enjoy ....  Perhaps, I should give the title of Favorite Bird to the young, cry-baby Red-tailed Hawk who shows herself (clumsily) from time to time.  Yesterday, I watched her descend for a landing -- scary!  I could not actually see the landing as it was behind some trees.  She really did not look like she knew what to do so I doubt that it was graceful.  We certainly know when she is around whether we can see her or not.  Like many young Red-taileds, she cries a lot for attention.  And the mockingbirds then usually deliver -- divebombing her.  (I am guessing that this is a female because of her size -- she is HUGE!) 

          Speaking of Northern Mockingbirds, the family nesting in my Loropetalum by the front steps may qualify as Current Favorite Yard Bird.  I just discovered the nest 2 days ago when I unknowingly flushed the mama off of the nest.  She flew up to a branch in the pine and watched while I carefully moved some leaves to get a good look at her 3 mostly hairless and blind babies.  And no, neither she nor her mate divebombed me.  I have not been divebombed by a bird in my own yard in many years, not since I began feeding them.  They know where their treats are coming from!  I need to follow Nestwatching protocol so I will not be peaking into the nest until later in the weekend.  You should not look into a nest any more often than every 3 or 4 days.  Otherwise, it is simply considered too much disturbance.  I hope to be able to get a picture this weekend.  I estimated that the chicks were perhaps 2 (?) days old when I first saw them. 

          Who will be the next favorite yard bird?  Good question!  It will be either a rare bird or another bird that hangs out and captures my attention for awhile!  So, so long Oriole (I miss our morning rendez-vous), au revoir Red-tailed, goodbye Mockingbirds, and hello __________ ?  

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see your posts again. This one is especially nice and gives an outsider a better insider view. I love the look, as if to say: So whats up doc?