Thursday, April 21, 2011

New visitors to the bird feeders

Hooray, the birds are ignoring Minnesota's ridiculously late snowfalls and beginning to migrate to and through our neighborhood. Just moments ago, I saw my first-ever yellow-rumped warbler, who paused for one photo only. Hope he and some friends stop back here before moving on northward.

Meanwhile, we had a small group of black birds with almost no distinguishing features, and after studying them and the bird books (and the internet) we've concluded they must be brown-headed cowbirds. The cowbird is not an honorable creature--they lay eggs in the nests of other birds, who feed the babies. The sad part is that those babies soon are larger than the bird's own babies and eat way more than their share. Thus cowbirds diminish the population of the birds whose hospitality they abuse. I hope they move on quickly.

Meanwhile, many of our winter friends are dropping by in pairs. This includes cardinals, chickadees, mourning doves, finches, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. We hope there is lots of nest-building going on.

11 comments:

Teresa Evangeline said...

I saw a pair of doves recently and was very surprised. This morning a black squirrel shared the feeder with a pileated woodpecker. Nice sight. Isn't it good to have these signs that spring really is coming?

DJan said...

How wonderful! Not the cowbirds, but everything else. I've got all the same birds except for the doves, which I see all over downtown, but not here in the 'burbs. My nemesis is the house sparrows, who muscle in and push out the finches, goldfinch, nuthatches, and chickadees.

Darlene said...

We have also seen several cardinals visiting our feeders. But, the past couple of days the squirrels have been making hogs of themselves, emptying out the bird feeders on a daily basis! Grrrrr. There are plenty of nuts on the ground that they could be eating, but no, they have to eat the bird seed!

Retired English Teacher said...

You have interesting birds in your part of the country. I am enjoying the doves that visit us every year.

Linda Myers said...

I'm hearing the birds this week - wonderful sounds!

Cloudia said...

Warm Aloha from Honolulu


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Marion Williams-Bennett said...

This my favorite part of spring, the return of birds singing and all this bird activity! Though, I think your feeder is THE place for birds!

Linda Medrano said...

We've had a huge number of black crows this year. I have a fish pond in the backyard and we get the occasional egret looking for a sushi lunch. I love the wide variety of birds we see out there, but I can't really identify a lot of them. We also get a ton of hummingbirds because of all the flowers in the yard. Love them!

grammy said...

Cow birds sound very bad...I know...it is just natures way...but still.
We have snow this morning....really????
I am just so done with it....

*Honest Abe said...

Looks like a cowbird to me too. I have never seen a warbler like you saw and photographed. Or maybe I did. I forget which one it was...

Deb Shucka said...

Great picture of the warbler! We're still in the transition time with birds - the winter ones are gone and the summer ones have yet to arrive. Although the white-crowned sparrows are here.

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