Backyard birdies

mhardy6647

Señor Member
-- and a goldfinch! :)

Man, those indigo buntings are gorgeous things.
Yes, the goldfinches are (finally) back -- we're getting on the order of 20 males out in those sumacs now and again, most every day.

Re: the buntings -- Yes, yes they are.
The funny thing is: Mrs. H saw the one, I grabbed the photo and snapped a few piccies with my trusty 70-300 mm VR zoom (an incredible gift from our son to me some years back). I downloaded them to a 'pute and started to look through them... and I was surprised to see not one but two indigo buntings in the frame! :)

Not go all Cliff Clavin on the topic :) but, as it turns out, indigo buntings are not actually blue.

  • Like all other blue birds, Indigo Buntings lack blue pigment. Their jewel-like color comes instead from microscopic structures in the feathers that refract and reflect blue light, much like the airborne particles that cause the sky to look blue.
Indigo Bunting Overview, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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Pat McGinty

Senior Member

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Believe it or not: Orioles LOVE oranges. We slice them in half and put them in the suet cage.
Indeed. Good point.
That is how we feed and accommodate them :) They always show up first at our hummingbird feeders -- that's our signal to put out oranges. :)

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(unfortunately, most of the photos I have of orioles on the orange halves this year are pretty crummy images; sorry!)

My understanding is that the attraction to oranges is a phenomenon correlated to their migration and early breeding season. Eventually, they lose their extreme interest in oranges.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
Indeed. Good point.
That is how we feed and accommodate them :) They always show up first at our hummingbird feeders -- that's our signal to put out oranges. :)

View attachment 14011
(unfortunately, most of the photos I have of orioles on the orange halves this year are pretty crummy images; sorry!)

My understanding is that the attraction to oranges is a phenomenon correlated to their migration and early breeding season. Eventually, they lose their extreme interest in oranges.
Interesting. We had them for about two weeks, at the hummingbird feeder first and then we put out the orange feeder. Have not seen one since. We do still hear them in the neighborhood so I assumed they were just off building nests.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Interesting. We had them for about two weeks, at the hummingbird feeder first and then we put out the orange feeder. Have not seen one since. We do still hear them in the neighborhood so I assumed they were just off building nests.
egg-zack-a-tackly.
That's their M.O. in northern New England, too. :)
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
egg-zack-a-tackly.
That's their M.O. in northern New England, too. :)
Was wondering if your wife has ever made the trek to Ohio's Black Swap area for their Biggest Week Bird Festival? We went down for a day just before it started this year and were amazed at the number of new birds we saw and the number of folks that are there looking for them.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Funnily enough, I can't recall her ever birding in Ohio (now that you mention it). 🧐

I do know she's in Minnesota at the moment -- heading up somewhere north of Duluth (but south of Canada) at oh-dark-thirty tomorrow morning :p
 

gable

Senior Member
Busy swallows have built these birdie condos outside my shop.

View attachment 14008
We get a family of swallows every spring on our back patio. We're going to be closing that patio in, and knocking a living room wall out in the next few years, I'll have to build them a box so they have somewhere to nest every year. They make a bit of a mess, but it's easy enough to clean when they leave in the summer, so I don't mind too much. It's so much fun to watch them fly around the yard in the evenings.

We also have a lot of bats fly around in the evenings, those are my favorites to watch.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
We get a family of swallows every spring on our back patio. We're going to be closing that patio in, and knocking a living room wall out in the next few years, I'll have to build them a box so they have somewhere to nest every year. They make a bit of a mess, but it's easy enough to clean when they leave in the summer, so I don't mind too much. It's so much fun to watch them fly around the yard in the evenings.

We also have a lot of bats fly around in the evenings, those are my favorites to watch.
I miss those. Very entertaining birds, and I think they just might help with mosquitoes. Bats too. Never really see them around here.
 

gable

Senior Member
I miss those. Very entertaining birds, and I think they just might help with mosquitoes. Bats too. Never really see them around here.
The bats eat tons of mosquitoes every night. There are ~15 million of them in a cave ~30miles from where I live. Bracken Cave is a fun visit in the summer when they're most active.

I only see 3-5 at a time around the backyard, not sure how far their range is. Behind us is all very large properties and ranches, so I'm sure there are some natural habitats for them much closer.

I've been meaning to make some bat boxes to keep some close to eat more of the damn bugs in my gardens.

Bracken Cave - Bracken Cave Preserve - Bat-Watching Sites of Texas
 

gable

Senior Member
Another reason to like Texas ! A few years ago we took the trailer down to a place in northern Idaho. The south side of the property bordered a pasture. We'd stand near that side and as the sun went down the bats came out and they would zoom around us (within 6 - 8 feet at times) on their foraging for bugs. Fascinating.

Wow, that looks like a lovely park. My wife's parents spend the summer in their new, very, very nice rv. They go up in the mountains all over the US to get away from the South Texas summer heat.

Being able to be that close to so many bats is a great deal of fun, they really are incredible little creatures.
 

gable

Senior Member
That's awesome mred! We have some across from us in a big field, they are so much fun to watch.
 
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