I don’t think the birds agree with the groundhog this year. The groundhog may have predicted 6 more weeks of winter, but in Central Florida, the spring is here early! The oaks are dropping their leaves as new growth pushes out, and already it’s getting harder to see the little birds in the treetops. I spent a happy afternoon birding in my backyard and enjoying our winter visitors before they leave.
Blondie the Palm Warbler (named because of his blond beak) is starting to get his brown and yellow hues of the breeding season. He also looks like he got into a bit of a fight. He’s missing some feathers on his forehead. I hope he didn’t have an encounter with the local Red-shouldered Hawk.
Our Painted Buntings are still here. We have at least 4 wintering males and at least 3 greenies. Their numbers go up as the spring migration approaches, but I think this is the most we’ve had through the winter months. I never get tired of photographing their bright colors!
It’s fun to watch which birds are the most dominant in the backyard. This little greenie Painted Bunting had just chased off an Orange-crowned Warbler. I’ve also seen the buntings chase away the visiting hummingbirds. But when the male cardinal shows up, the Painted Buntings know that he’s boss. It’s a funny pecking order!
Speaking of the Orange-crowned Warbler, he finally showed me his orange crown. It’s usually hidden unless he gets agitated. Or when it’s bath time…
Squirt’s Gray Catbird is still hanging around. Squirt is our gray cat, and he enjoys sitting on the porch watching the Gray Catbird splashing in the birdbath. Maaaaaa! says the catbird, and mrrow! answers Squirt.
The Northern Cardinals are thinking seriously about nesting. Papa Cardinal sits in the treetops singing in the mornings. I want a wife-wife-wife! Mrs. Cardinal is sporting some spiffy breeding plumage. I watched Papa feed her a morsel of dinner, so we know they are getting ready to expand their family. I can’t wait to see the babies in the backyard!