Backyard Birding Corona-Style: Special Guest Post by Whiskey

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Hi, my name is Whiskey, and I’m now the resident feline ornithologist at Jess’s house. In honor of my ninth birthday today, Jess is letting me write a guest post. Today is also Mother’s Day, so we hope all our favorite mothers had a purr-fect day!

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That’s me, Whiskey, in my favorite bird-watching window. Jess says to remind everybody that I’m an indoor-only cat who looks (and squeaks) but doesn’t touch our feathered friends!

It’s been a weird spring. Jess and Rich have stayed home with Squirt and me a lot because of a thing they keep calling coronavirus. I don’t understand what that means but I do like having them around. They spoil me rotten! Because of this corona thing, Jess hasn’t been out taking pictures, so she let me re-use some of my favorites for this post.

My window has been very active this spring. Our Painted Buntings left as usual around Earth Day. The males leave a week or two before the females. Our feeder is a very colorful flurry of activity during those last couple of weeks as the birds eat up and prepare to migrate.

Painted Buntings at Bird Feeder
Painted Buntings at Bird Feeder

We only had a handful of Goldy’s finches this spring. I missed seeing their bright yellow feathers and hearing their happy “potato chip!” calls.

We miss our wintering birds when they leave, but my window stays active as the resident birds start to nest. Mr. and Mrs. “Beaky” Cardinal live in the bushes outside. They won’t tell Jess where the nest is – she wants to see the tiny babies as soon as they hatch! They fly into my window regularly to attack their reflections and guard their territory. Silly birds. They are currently feeding their first clutch of youngsters and boy, are those baby birds annoying! Their constant calls can seriously interrupt a good cat nap.

Northern Cardinal feeding Baby at Nest
Northern Cardinal feeding Baby at Nest – from last year when the birds nested right outside one of my other windows

The cardinals aren’t the only ones nesting in my yard. We have baby Brown Thrashers darting around, too. The babies have blue eyes and the parents have yellow eyes. I like to watch them when they come close to my window and toss all the mulch onto the grass. Jess doesn’t find this as amusing as I do!

Brown Thrasher
A Brown Thrasher feeds his youngster in my backyard. From 2013

The Blue Jays have started to come to the backyard feeders for peanuts. That must mean they have babies nearby. They only come to our feeders during nesting season.

Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Blue Jays aren’t the only blue birds that come visit me. A few nights ago, we were all eating dinner out on the porch. Suddenly two birds flew in and landed on the bird bath, right on the other side of the screen from Squirt. Squirt warbled a welcome as Jess and Rich whispered excitedly, “Those are bluebirds! A dad and a baby!”

Eastern Bluebird (Female)
Eastern Bluebird

Jess said she missed going to a place called Fort de Soto for spring migration. I thought we had a pretty good migration from my back window. We had a bright yellow male Prairie Warbler who sang a sweet song for us. I thought I might have glimpsed a Cape May warbler, too. Plus we had both male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds nectaring on all our flowers.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

If you listen carefully (which I always do, just not always to Jess!) – you can hear the sounds of lots of other summer visitors. Our Purple Martins are back flying over my head during the day. As the sun goes down, I hear the Chimney Swifts catching insects in mid-air. Occasionally I hear the chirp of a Great-Crested Flycatcher.

Today I even saw a Swallow-tailed Kite swooping overhead! It was very exciting.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

As much as I like the birds, I think my favorite part of this spring has been my butterfly garden just outside the window. I get to watch the monarch butterflies flutter around, then the “cat”-erpillars growing big on the milkweed bushes. One of them even made a chrysalis right in the top of my window! What a great spring. Who needs to leave home to enjoy the world of nature?

2 thoughts on “Backyard Birding Corona-Style: Special Guest Post by Whiskey

  1. What a wonderful post, Whiskey!
    I think it’s just the “cat’s meow”. Jess needs to be careful or you’ll become the primary blogger in the family. It’s hard to duplicate such “purrfection”!

    Yes, it seems Spring is proceeding just fine with or without our presence.

    All here is good and we’re visiting only remote locales and are careful to maintain at least one alligator-length between other humans at all times.

    Tell Jess we said hello. Hope to enjoy more of your scratching-posts in the future. Coffee is ready so for now I’ll hit the “paws” button.

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