There are some mornings when every bird in the backyard is skittish. I sit quietly in my normal place, but instead of seeing regular expeditions to the bird feeder, I hardly see anybirdy. Instead of the usual happy morning chatter, there is silence.
Then I look up on the roof and see the culprit. Hello, Mr. Red-shouldered Hawk! I have way too much lens when he realizes that he’s being watched. Yep, having a predator around will definitely disrupt the normal morning routines.
It takes a while for the little birds to come out again. First up is the Orange-crowned Warbler, who stays in the branches of my coral porterweed bush.
Then Zippy comes around and nectar at the purple firespike. He probably figures that he’s too small and too agile to be worth the hawk’s time. Here he looks like he’s nectaring in a forest of pink flowers.
Zippy’s visits are always short, and as the weather gets warmer, they are getting shorter. I suspect it’s getting easier to find nectar as springtime blooms become more plentiful. He zips away but comes back 20 minutes later, this time visiting “his” salvia bush. I love the little cloud of pollen dust that he scatters as he comes out of the flower.
The Orange-crowned Warbler builds up his courage. He ventures out onto a salvia stalk and bites at the flowers to get at the nectar within. I love the tones in this image.
The cardinals come around to the feeder. They have definitely paired up for the spring and are looking spiffy in their breeding plumage. When Mrs. Cardinal hops to the ground by herself, I focus on her, knowing that Mr. C often feeds her as a springtime courtship ritual. It’s something I see regularly but have never photographed…and alas, when Mr. C does deliver her seed with a kiss, he’s standing right behind a bird feeder pole!
Now I have a new goal: a cardinal kiss with a clean foreground :)