Over the past week I’ve been taking photos of flowers (at Eveline State Recreation Area) and of birds – primarily juvenile (or hatch year) birds. To me it seems as though there are a lot more nesting birds in our yard this year. This is the first time we’ve had American Robins nest in or close to our property. And the other day I saw a Varied Thrush – a first for our yard, although there are numerous ones at Eveline, which is located nearby.
Surprisingly there is little lupine at Eveline this year. In previous years lupine is found in abundance in the open areas of the park. Despite the lack of lupine, the park is lovely this time of year with all the flowering plants. Delphinium, Chocolate lilies, and Monk’s Hood are especially dominant right now. Once August comes and the Fireweed are in bloom and their leaves are red, the park is again aglow and a flower lover’s delight.
This time of year young birds have left the nest and are learning to feed and fly. Of our 4 swallow nest boxes, only one was occupied this summer. This nest box has three holes so that one chick (usually the first born) does not get all the food brought back to the box by the parents. At one time, we had three swallow chicks with their heads sticking out of the box waiting for dinner. It was fun to watch the chicks slowly exit the box for the first time and take flight. Thye didn’t go too far, and ended up back at the box. They may have been afraid to go back into the box through one of the holes as they sat for a long time (way past my bedtime) on top of the box, and were there in the morning as well.
I did watch the fourth, and final chick, exit the box. Through the scope you could see the bird’s feet on the bottom of the hole. The bird finally left the nest box and none of the chicks or the parents have been back since. In about a week or so we will check out the box and see if there are any unhatched eggs or dead babies. We will then clean out the nest box for use next year.
Other juvenile or hatch year birds observed include the Golden-crowned Sparrow, American Robin, and Gray Jay. Of course there are also a number of adult bird species still about – Alder Flycatcher, Fox Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, and Common Redpoll. This is the first summer I’ve seen Common Redpolls at our house. Usually we only see them in the winter months.
Oh and we cannot forget the other young of the summer – moose. We have a cow moose with twin calves this year. They were outside one night feeding alongside the road. The neighborhood dogs started barking and the moose took off, including this guy (or gal).
If you look closely you might be surprised by all the wildlife activity occurring right outside your door. Enjoy the wildlife, but keep dogs under control and cats indoors. This ensure the safety and security of both the wildlife and your pets.
Remember – Its a Great Day to Bird. Bird On…