During Spring Migration I see many birds in my yard that I do not see the rest of the year. This spring I saw some familiar birds as well as at least one new yard bird. Here are a few of the species I was able to photograph as they passed through, along with the dates they were seen. Some visited several times, or hung around for a few days; some I only saw once and they were gone. And some have stayed to raise their young, which they are now bringing to my feeders! Scroll down to see who came to visit me!
I only seem to see this species in my yard when they pass through during migration but, after that they seem to disappear. I have not seen a phoebe in my yard in weeks!
Pine warblers were here for a few weeks in early spring, but have since moved on. They love to eat suet! Still, sometimes I wonder if that is one I hear calling from the tops of the tall pines that surround my yard, but since chipping sparrows have a similar call it can be difficult to tell. I know I have Chipping Sparrows because I see and hear them. I have not seen a Pine Warbler here in weeks.
This was a new Yard Bird for me this year!
Once the starlings arrived, they never left. They gobble up all my seed and suet. It’s no wonder they have survived and multiplied in this country, they eat everything! I quit putting out meal worms because these greedy birds eat them all in one day!
Every now and then this species shows up again, so they must be nesting nearby.
This species is still hanging around and I often hear its noisy call through my open windows!
I had this female Red-bellied hanging around all winter, but I never saw a male. I knew she needed a partner in order to nest and reproduce but one never showed up. She must have moved on, because I have not seen her in a long time. She was always very shy and flew off at the slightest sight of me. I was lucky to get this picture!
Both these species are still being seen in my yard.
This was a one day wonder and this was my only chance at a photo through the window. I never saw this species again. Last year I had the same experience where a Carolina Wren passed though the yard one day and then was gone.
All the above sparrows were seen in my yard on May 12, 2015. This was an overlap in seasons with White-throated Sparrows being a winter species here, White-crowned being seen only during spring and fall migration, and Song Sparrows being a returning summer breeder! The Song Sparrows and an occasional Lincoln or Savannah Sparrow are all I see now.
I have not seen this species in my yard in awhile.
I think you can tell that May 12 was a very busy migration day here!
There are still plenty of catbirds hanging around!
I had hoped this species would hang around and I tried to find an Oriole feeder to encourage them, but none of the stores sold them! Rats! Still, it was nice to see them while they were passing through.
I had at least 4 Ruby-throats in this yard at one time, but then their numbers dropped. For awhile I was only seeing 1 male hummingbird on rare occasions, but just yesterday I finally saw a female again. They are very fussy about the feeder and like fresh nectar. I have to change it every 2 to 3 days to keep them coming and to keep the feeder from growing mold, which is deadly to them.
Hummingbird feeding tips: It is important to remember not to use red dye in making their food, and do not be tricked by companies trying to sell “flower nectar” at ridiculous prices. Hummingbird nectar is easily made from traditional white sugar and water. Just dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 4 cups of water warmed on the stove and stirred until it is dissolved. Cool and refill your feeders. You can store the extra in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Do not try to use honey to make nectar. This could also prove deadly! Wash your feeders in plain water as dish soap leaves a residue. If you find it necessary to use soap, please rinse the feeders in a mixture of white vinegar and water to remove any residue and prevent mold. Never put warm or hot nectar out in your feeders as hummingbirds lap up their nectar with their long tongues which would get burned!
During the peak of migration I was seeing 20 to 30 species of birds in my yard every day. Now that number has dropped back to 14 to 18 species a day. If I get 20 species right now, I feel lucky! I feel lucky anyways because I love to see the birds. it is so nice to hear their calls through the open windows, or see them at the feeders and in the yard! Birds make my yard come alive, and I feel alive then too!