Springtime Birding in the Backyard

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It’s definitely springtime! I’ve started seeing fun migrants passing through the backyard. My winter residents have started singing, and they are all molting into their beautiful breeding plumages. I had to get out there with my camera before they leave for their nesting grounds.

Blondie, my little Palm Warbler, is turning bright yellow! His head is a bright chocolate brown. He was hanging out in the honeysuckle, sipping from the nectar of the flowers.

Palm Warbler (Blondie)
Palm Warbler (Blondie)

Another Palm Warbler (one without a blond beak) hung out at the bird bath. His face and chest are also getting a yellow cast. He waited for the Painted Buntings to finish splashing around, then took his turn in the bird bath.

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler

Speaking of Painted Buntings, the males are going to leave any day now. The females stick around for a few more weeks, usually until around Earth Day. I’ve been hearing birdsong that I’m pretty sure is the Painted Buntings. One of these days, I hope one of them will perch out in the open and sing for my camera. :)

Painted Bunting
Painted Bunting

Another Bunting showed up recently, a nice migrant surprise. This next bird is an Indigo Bunting. The bird was molting from its brown winter colors to its bright blue springtime colors. He stayed for several days, probably enjoying the bird feeders as he got ready for the next stage of his migration.

Indigo Bunting
Indigo Bunting

He’s not the only blue bird in the backyard. The Eastern Bluebirds have started visiting every afternoon in the late afternoons. They fly in, take turns splashing in the birdbath, fluff out their feathers on the top of the porch, and then fly off again.

Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird

I put out a perch near the birdbath, hoping to give the birds a picturesque place to wait their turns under the water drip. But the first bird who noticed the perch didn’t care about the birdbath. This little House Wren sat high in the bushes to sing, flew down to inspect my perch, and then ended up standing on my birdcam. :)

House Wren
House Wren

Nearby, a pair of Common Ground Doves preened each other. They are definitely a nesting pair. Maybe one of these years I will find their nest. A third dove, possibly last year’s baby, hung out on the edge of a garden bed.

Common Ground Dove
Common Ground Dove

Two male Painted Buntings liked my red salvia plants. They perched in the flowery stalks, eating the seeds. I’m going to miss them when they leave!

Painted Bunting
Male Painted Buntings in Salvia

My last photo of the day was the Gray Catbird who took pity on me and landed briefly on my staged perch. He let me snap a few photos before he joined a second Gray Catbird in the birdbath. Splish, splash!

Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird

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