Birds we saw back in May 2021

It’s still pretty cold here in Indiana. Let us reminisce about our backyard birdwatching last spring.

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Pair of Grosbeaks

Flicker enjoying suet

Pair of Cowbirds

Chipping Sparrow

The short video is of a female Pileated Woodpecker. We did have a pair show up several times during May and June. This is when they are feeding their young in the nest. We named them “Woody” and “Wilma”.

The Birds of Mukilteo Lighthouse Park

 

Like us, this gull enjoyed just watching the water

One thing you can always count on at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park is seeing birds. We mean seeing lots and lots of birds. When we visited we saw crows, pigeons and of course different species of gulls. We saw them everywhere.

Staking claim to a picnic table

Stretching its wings

 

 

 

 

 

It was interesting to note that these birds were so used to people, dogs, and moving vehicles. When we drove through the parking lot birds were in the unoccupied parking spots, but kept the drive lanes clear.

What???

The picture above shows the public boat ramp and twin docks. So what is the deal with the birds here? What is wrong with the right dock, or what is so appealing to be on the left dock? The gulls were still boycotting that right side dock when we left.

 

Our backyard bird feeders are back in service

Hummingbirds are so amazing!

In May 2021 some species of songbirds began to be afflicted with a deadly disease of some kind. This started in Virginia and moved west. Indiana birds began to die in late May and by early June the Indiana Department of Natural Resources put out the warning to stop all bird feeding in private yards. We posted about that. We both really missed our almost daily birdwatching time our back.

By the first week in August the DNR published the news that 76 out of Indiana’s 92 counties were bird disease free, and could resume the use of bird feeders.

Our cute little Nuthatch is back

We soon refilled our two seed feeders, and also refilled our hummingbird feeder. (DNR also had said to stop using hummingbird feeders as well.) It has been a couple of weeks since we started feeding our avian friends again, and slowly lots of the birds are coming back to our yard. We haven’t seen all of the species we had seen before the “lockdown”, but perhaps that is to be expected. We are grateful that we can again enjoy birding from our backyard swing!

“Stop feeding birds and take down your feeders” says Indiana Department of Natural Resources

In late May of this year songbirds were turning up sick and dying in Monroe County, Indiana, home of Indiana University. Birds were found with swollen and crusty eyes and neurological issues. Affected birds have also been found is several other counties, though not in ours. Species mostly affected are the blue jay, American robin, common grackle, starling, northern cardinal and brown-headed cowbird. We have seen all of these birds regularly at our backyard feeders.

On Friday May 25, 2021 the Indiana DNR issued the following for residents in all Indiana counties: So far testing has only confirmed that the dead birds have not succumbed to avian influenza and West Nile virus. Stop feeding birds until the mortality event has concluded. Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution. Avoid handling birds. If you need to handle birds, wear disposable gloves.

Further updates may be found at this DNR website.

Our feeders are now empty. Tomorrow we’ll take them down and sanitize them. At least the past year has taught us how to sanitize! Sad that now our birds are in a way on their own lockdown.

 

Yet another new visitor to the backyard

Sher and I were enjoying sitting on the swing enjoying the multitude of birds feeding at our feeders. We were seeing Cardinals, robins, sparrows, wrens, Grackles, Blue Jays, starlings,  doves. and nuthatches. Turkey vultures were soaring on thermals overhead, and we even saw a couple of chimney swifts, the cigar with wings insect catchers. Squirrels were chasing each other up and down and around trees.

There he is, in the center of the shot.

Look closely, you can see chipmunk looking out of the wishing well at us/you

Then out of the corner of her eye, Sher spotted movement. She poked me and pointed. There running across the yard and not 6 feet away was a cute little chipmunk. We have never seen one in our yard since we moved here. The cute little guy romped around for awhile checking out the tree, wishing well and the whole area. He acted like this was his first time in our yard.

Left the nest a bit early?

Yes, mouth is open

3 feet away, it’s not moving

This young robin must have fallen from it’s nest. It was trying to spread its wings with no luck. It also opened its little beak when it saw me. Not knowing how to catch, ingest and regurgitate a worm, I couldn’t help him with that. Hope he makes it…

Wet and disheveled

After a pretty good rain storm a while back we noticed that a hatchling had fallen out of a nest in a tree limb in our backyard. This little fella looks quite wet and disheveled. One of the parents did come down to the ground in front of the hatchling, and the last we saw of the two (adult and youngster) they were still together across the yard. We can only hope that this story had a good ending.

A yearly backyard favorite

Who hasn’t seen this early bird¬† getting the worm in the morning in your yard? This classic backyard favorite bird ranges from coast to coast in the US and Canada.

Did you know robins can raise three broods each season? Probably a good thing, as only 40% of the nests successfully produce young. People say that robins are a sign of spring. They actually winter over, however and spring is when you’ll see “the first” robin in your yard!