As the wind blows….

Judging what you’ve seen, DaLo, it sounds as though the E. Kingbirds are migrating through your area.  Perhaps a bit of research about when they migrate through your area and where they go for the winter would be helpful.

Speaking of migration, we have noticed that there are no male RT Hummers in the yard today.  The females, both adult and immature, have been at the flowers and feeders several times without being chased away by Mr. Chatterbox.  Sadly, we think he left on his migration trip this morning.  The resident meteorologist informed me yesterday afternoon that the wind was coming from the northwest and he wondered if the males would be leaving today….it seems to be the case.  How the birds know this is a mystery, but evidently they are meteorologists, too.  Guess I’ll have to wait until next year to get any pictures of the males at the flowers.  Mr. Chatterbox is definitely missed already.   Will he return next year?  We certainly hope so.

Here are some of my efforts from the past few days of the females at the flowers….first one is at Crocosmia and the other two are at Bee Balm…both flowers are magnets for the Hummers.


And, here is what appears to be a misguided juvenile at the Asarina vine, which has large, tubular flowers, but this bird didn’t notice them, preferring instead to go to the leaves….Image

Here’s one of our Blue Jays taking a bath this morning. I never fail to be entertained by the birds in our yard, and always enjoy watching any of them taking a bath, splashing water over themselves repeatedly.  What fun!Image.

Yesterday, while sitting on the front porch, Terry pointed to a very large bug flying past.  I reached for my camera to get a picture but as I watched the bug, out of the blue…..POW!   A Blue Jay smacked into the bug, sent it tumbling, but then grabbed the bug and flew to the nearby Fir tree to enjoy its meal.  This all happened faster than I could type this account of what happened.  Boy, was that Jay fast on the wing!  Goodbye, bug!  Nature at work.

Today, I heard a Belted Kingfisher calling, which sounds like a baby’s rattle.  After hearing it a few times, I then saw the bird dive into the river and then fly back to its perch.  It was quiet for several minutes before it started “rattling” again, so I have to assume that it had eaten its meal and was ready for more.  Why they call before they dive is something I don’t understand.  What I have observed from this past winter in FL is that the male always went to the same perches, whether a tree in our yard or on the other side of the lake.  As I’m typing this, in fact, I hear the bird “rattling” again.  Trying to get close enough for a picture is probably not possible, as I had no luck in FL  I think the bird actually knew when I got up from my chair with camera in hand, because as soon as I did, the bird flew to the other side of the lake…..every single time!  Frustrating!  I finally got a picture of a female when we went to the Big Cypress Preserve, 40 miles west of Miami, a place we will definitely visit again this winter both for birding and for the dark skies needed by Terry for his astro-photography imaging.

We’ve noticed that the Hummers have been at the flowers and the nectar feeders more often than usual today….a sign that the adult females are probably fattening up for their migration journey, doubling their weight, going from the weight of one penny to two pennies.  Think of how incredible these tiny birds are…..undertaking a journey of several thousand miles when they leave us…..with the immature ones, who have never been to where they are going, programmed to know how to get there.  It is mind boggling, especially when you consider their size.  The adult females will be leaving us soon and shortly after that the babies will leave.  Summer is coming to an end.  Thankfully, we can see Hummers at our home in FL and I don’t think the neighbors would complain about my providing food or flowers for them.  We go from one extreme to the other when you consider size, because we have both Sandhill Cranes and RT Hummers visiting our yard, and all sizes in between.



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