Prediction: A Good Year for Birds

This is shaping up to be a record year for birds here on the lakefront. The swallows came in early this year, back in the first part of April. There are lots of them around now. "Our" pair has built a new nest on the ledge that we added under the roof of the upstairs balcony. We’re glad they’ve gone up there, as we figure they’ll be safer from the snakes in the higher place. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them).


Mom bird working on the nest

Whenever the mom bird is in the nest, the dad bird sits on the balcony rail under it and watches to make sure nothing/nobody comes near.


Dad bird on the balcony rail

The dad bird got into a big "argument" with my Siamese yesterday. She saw him on the railing and went up to the French door, doing that "chattering" thing that cats do when they’re stalking birds. He saw her through the door, and started chirping and clicking and fussing at her – this went on for at least fifteen minutes until she apparently lost interest and fell asleep, whereupon he decided she was no longer a threat and flew away.


Dad bird looking in at me and the cats through the French door

But it’s not just swallows that are visiting us this year. We had a mockingbird who was making a nest in our honeysuckle vine, until the first big storm of the season apparently washed her out.

The garden has blossomed out beautifully already. The honeysuckle and jasmine are blooming, and so are the red sage and the roses.

 
The garden in bloom

There’s a little green hummingbird who comes by most afternoons to partake of the flowers. And yesterday, we noticed a small dove-type bird sitting on the ground under the sage bushes.


Baby dove landed in our garden right after fledging

We were worried that it was hurt and unable to fly, and watched it for a couple of hours. Then a pair of large mourning doves flew in and stayed with it for a long time. The little one would follow them around and they would feed it, from their mouths to its. So we figured out it must be their baby.

 
Big dove feeding the baby

After much coaxing on the part of the bigger birds (they would fly up on the fence, then back down to the baby, then back up on the fence), the baby finally flew and joined them on the fence. After sitting there for half an hour or so, they all flew away. Apparently we’d gotten to see part of the fledging process.


Baby dove makes it up on the fence with mom

We also have a brand new type of bird this year. After asking around and doing some research on the web, we’ve identified him as a scissor tail flycatcher. He has the longest tail I’ve ever seen on a bird.

 
Our brand new friend: scissor tail flycatcher

There are plenty of old friends, too, such as the beautiful red cardinals.


Cardinal shows his colors

A few mornings ago, there were three baby egrets by the lake, but they flew before I was able to get the camera and get back to them. Summer hasn’t even really begun yet, and already we have all these great birds. I can’t wait to get more photos of them.


deb@shinder.net

About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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