Friday, April 5, 2013

Notes From My Nest

1. YRWA-kab Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)

Migration is in full swing here in Tucson and a lot has been happening in the yard. I’ve been watching the Yellow-rumped Warblers slowly molt from their winter plumage to their spring finery. Their yellow throat patches have turned as bright as eggs yolks, while their head and back feathers look like black calico as they molt.

2. molting-kab Molting Yellow-rumped Warbler 3-11-13

Of course, all the birds are feeling amorous, and a pair of Mourning Doves have already built 2 failed nests under the eaves of my covered patio. They have chosen a very narrow ledge and built a very flimsy nest. The first time I tried to chase them out of here, but then gave up when I saw they had already laid two eggs. However, within two days the eggs rolled off the ledge and smashed. The birds abandoned the nest…or so I thought. Earlier this week they returned and started all over again. This time I left them alone, but alas, they fared no better. They chose the exact same nesting sight and though they dragged a mess of twigs and weeds up there, they never wove it into much of a nest and once again one of the two eggs laid rolled out and smashed on the concrete below. While there is still one egg left up there, I do not know if it will survive. I did not see the parents on the nest all day today until this evening. Who knows…I will keep you posted.

3. lego-kab Lesser Goldfinch

My finch population has definitely changed. During the winter I would get upwards of 20 to 30 goldfinches a day, with just a few House Finches. Then, they evened out to a 50/50 mix of 20 to 30 birds of each species, but now I am only seeing half a dozen goldfinches a day with maybe a dozen or more House Finches.

4. anhu-kab Female Anna’s Hummingbird 3-11-13

I thought my hummingbird population would go crazy when the migrants returned, but instead it has tapered off. I am getting one or two Anna’s Hummingbirds a day-mostly males, and a stray female Broad-billed hummingbird, but no male! Earlier in January my feeders were buzzing with Anna's Hummingbirds. Now I only catch a glimpse of a hummingbird now and then.

5. sharing-kab Sharing 3-11-2013

As for me, my leg and knee are still hurting and I can’t walk very far, so I have been staying home. It’s been nice to take a break and I have been focusing a bit more on my poetry blog, since this is National Poetry Month. Usually I have been lucky to get one or two poems posted a month but this month I am trying to write a poem a day for the NaPoWriMo 2013’s 30 Poems in 30 Days Challenge. Some days I follow the prompt and other days I do my own thing, but so far I have written and posted a poem every day this month, so pop on over to:

And, don’t forget to check into Birding is Fun on April 7th when my post about Black-throated Sparrows goes up!

I still have over 500 photos to offload and process. Then the birding stories and adventures will begin once again. Until then, I will keep on watching and counting the birds in my yard and at Michael Perry Park where the White-winged doves have returned with a vengeance!

During the month of March I counted 141 species here in Arizona. I added 2 new species to my Life List, and I added 10 new species to my yard list up to and including today!

New Yard Birds in March and April:

  1. Bullock’s Oriole 3-14-13 (in front yard at orange-flavored suet)
  2. Pyrrhuloxia 3-14-13 (in backyard at sunflower feeder)
  3. Pine Siskin 3-15-12 (in backyard at thistle seed feeder)
  4. Great-tailed Grackle 3-16-13 (on neighbor’s rooftop)
  5. Lucy’s Warbler 3-22-13 (gleaning insects from mesquite trees)
  6. Gray Hawk 3-22-13 (flyover)
  7. Harris Hawk 3-31-13 ( a family of 3 flew overhead)
  8. Gambel’s Quail 4-1-13 (heard only)
  9. Lark Sparrow 4-2-13 (in front yard tree)
  10. European Starling 4-4-13 (flyover)


  1. I was wondering about your hummers. Mine have also disappeared but I think this is normal. Flowers are blooming and therefore, they have a large food source available right now. I'm finding the Verdins edging their way in again....and the Gilas:) Hummingbird juice all over the place! Hope that knee gets better or I'll have to push you around the trails in several weeks:)

    1. Rohrerbot, I think many of them have moved off to breed and nest but I was hoping some of the returning migrants would move in to take their place! LOL about your last comment! If that's the way it has to be! But I'm not ready for a wheel chair yet!

  2. Fun post! I like the idea of your yard list. I think I'll start that next month... Great photos :)

    1. Rebecca, thank you! Keeping a yard list is a lot of fun and helps you to see changes over time! Good luck!

  3. After being gone with no seed out for two months I think the birds have all given up on me. I see an occasional cardinal couple, jays, doves and a few sparrows. Haven't filled the feeders in three days.

    1. Gaelyn, the birds are around and once they have raised their young they will be bringing them to your feeders..if you keep them filled! Plus, you will get to see who is around in summer instead of winter. The Bird population is changing!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Karen. I am working on it by STAYING HOME!

  5. Hi Kathie

    Wow it sounds like you have a lot of birds drifting thru your yard. The photos are every nice I really loved the Anna’s Hummingbird.



Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.