I thought I’d give an update on what’s going on in our yard as May comes to an end (can you believe it?)
Bluebirds – We’ve already had one successful bluebird nesting, which we documented in a day-by-day diary. You can read all about it here: First 2012 Bluebird Nesting. Yesterday we noticed the same bluebird pair spending quite a bit of time back in our yard after having been off raising their babies for the past week or two. And sure enough today they began building a new nest in the nest box! They’ve already made great progress!
We will begin our second installment of The Bluebird Diaries shortly to track this second nesting. It won’t be a daily blog like the first one, but we promise plenty of pictures and updates as the nesting progresses.
Killdeer – Our first clutch of Killdeer left the yard last week. We tracked it all here: The Killdeer Chronicles – First 2012 Nesting. We won’t see those babies again, but the parents have made a visit or two back to the yard within the past week and we’re confident they’ll be back for round two as soon as the round one babies are self-supporting!
Barn Swallows – Oh those silly swallows. They’ve spent the spring building not one but two different nests. (You can read about it here: Swallow Tales.) We think they are done building the second nest and have probably begun laying eggs, however they are not incubating yet so we’re not able to predict a hatch date. We’ll certainly keep our eyes on them and report back on any further progress!
Bunnies – We believe we’ve had at least two or three bunny nests so far this year. The earliest to arrive are now what we lovingly refer to as “teenagers.” They’re not little babies anymore but aren’t yet full grown either. We believe there are two in this age category. Meanwhile we’ve had at least one and maybe two different bunches of infants meandering around helping themselves to mostly weeds, thankfully, and the occasional early flower. We see adults very rarely, although we know they are here. They leave us little “clues” in the yard. We’re happy to have them, even though occasionally they give us grief. Last year they ate through our satellite TV cable and we spent a few days with no service. Good thing they’re cute!
House Finches – Although we don’t know where our visiting house finches are nesting, they are kind enough to bring their babies around once they are mobile. They’re adorable to watch.
Male House Finches also feed the females like this so sometimes it’s not easy to tell whether it’s a mama or a baby being fed. The babies are usually fatter than the parents, plus they’re more vocal.
Hummingbirds – Even though we had a warm spell very early in the year, our Hummingbirds seemed a bit late to return this year. We’ve only put out our feeders within the past week.
This guy has himself a little girlfriend too, and we think she might be considering nesting in our magnolia bush. It might be wishful thinking, but we’ve seen some signs and we will follow up if it turns out we’re right!
Robins – Our visiting robins are always good for some entertainment!
Flowers – Our irises are past their prime now, but we loved them about a week ago in all their glory!
Now we’ll concentrate on weeding and a few annuals while the rest of the perennials ramp up!
Other Regular Visitors – We always have a good selection of visitors even if they aren’t currently nesting in our yard. American Goldfinches are abundant and always bring a smile with their sunshine-y appearance. We’ve never seen a nest but they do bring their babies late in the summer.
Cardinals are among our other favorites! We thought for sure they were nesting in one of our larger bushes but we can’t find anything. We’re happy to have them stopping by for a meal or two most days. They brought their babies last year but we haven’t seen any young yet this year, just adults.
Blue Jays come and go … when we offer peanuts they drop by and when we run out they don’t! This is the first summer we’ve had any in the yard and we’re hoping they’ll bring their babies around for a snack sometime too!
Cedar Waxwings don’t belong in a “frequent visitors” category as we only see them one or two days each year, but they’re among my very favorite birds and since they happen to be here right now I felt they were worth mentioning. They like the fruit on our Serviceberry trees, which are at their peak right now. In a few days they’ll have stripped the berries clean and that’s the last we’ll see of them until next year! They’re quiet and beautiful!
Griffin – As helpful as always in the garden!
And that about covers it! Hope you enjoyed the tour. We’ll do it again in June!