Windy Afternoon in the Backyard Bird Blind

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It was really windy on Sunday afternoon. Bird activity was slower than usual, but it was a gorgeous warm day, and I headed out to the backyard bird blind. Our cat Whiskey was delighted to supervise me from the screened porch.

Our little Ruby-throated Hummingbird continues to delight me. It’s the first time we’ve had a hummer winter in the backyard. Watching him guard his territory and defend his feeder is such a joy. Turns out he often zooms back from the feeder and hovers for a few seconds after nectaring, which makes it easier to take his glamour shot…

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

In some of the images, you can see a dusting of pollen on Zippy’s head. I wonder how it got there? It’s a mystery! ;-)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Painted Buntings were unusually quiet on this particular afternoon. The high winds kept everybody close to ground. The most activity was at the peanut feeder. Everybody wanted to come in and get a treat!

Pine Warbler
Pine Warbler

It was a good afternoon for warblers. I’d seen a Yellow-throated Warbler as I got set up. Then a Yellow-rumped, then the Pine, a Palm, and finally an Orange-crowned. The Orange-crowned decided to take a bath, and he rewarded me with a fun view of his orange crown.

Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler

As we heard Cedar Waxwings and American Robins flying overhead, a single Eastern Bluebird called from a nearby tree. Then an Eastern Phoebe joined in the party: Phoebe, Phoebe!

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe

The Northern Cardinals are starting to think about nesting and protecting their territory. One male chased another male out of the backyard. Then a female in spiffy breeding plumage came by. When her mate pigged out at the nut feeder, I thought he was going to offer her a morsel. But no, he wanted all those peanuts to himself!

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Turns out this cardinal was very possessive of his peanuts. I watched a Gray Catbird fly over to the feeder, and the cardinal chased him away. Once, twice, three times, four times…this cardinal wasn’t giving up!

Zippy made his last appearance as the light really started to fade. He’s a big fan of the purple salvia in the backyard. I bet he can’t wait for the firespike and coral porterweed to start blooming again! Look closely at his head and you’ll see his nectar hat.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Gray Catbird got the last laugh – and the last peanut! Sssh, don’t tell Mr. Cardinal!

Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird

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Rufous Hummingbird at my Parents’ Feeder!

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Fresh off the birdcam! Look at the awesome visitor who showed up at my parents’ feeder this morning!

This is a Rufous Hummingbird. They aren’t easily found in Florida, although their range does seem to be growing as they establish a footprint on the East Coast. The last one I saw was at nearby Bok Tower. He’s so pretty when his feathers gleam in the sunlight!

My dad has been saying that he knew he was seeing a Rufous. So yep, Dyeyo, you were right! :)

That last sentence is music to a father’s ears!

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Around the Backyard

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Birds, My Parents' Backyard

Finally! The American Goldfinches found my feeder this week! It’s been a few years since I’ve heard my favorite “Potato Chip” call. So you can imagine my excitement when I peeked out and saw four of them stuffing their faces with niger seed. Welcome, friends!

American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch

The finches aren’t the only fun winter visitors. We found some Hooded Mergansers at the neighborhood pond last weekend. Normally there’s a big flock that hangs out there for at least several weeks in the winter. This time we just had a couple of birds. Still, I love to hang out with my hoodies!

Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser

Whiskey has big news from his butterfly garden, too. His fat caterpillars hung themselves upside down in the bush outside his window. We got to watch as one of them turned into a bright green chrysalis. In another week or two, we’ll get to see beautiful butterflies emerge!

Monarch Chrysalis
Monarch Chrysalis

But my mom gets the prize for the best bird video of the week. Look at what she’s getting with her Christmas birdcam! Make sure to turn up the sound when you watch these hummingbird close-ups. :)