I had 2 monarch butterflies emerge yesterday. It was strange how this worked. I think somehow or other they must have been able to sense that the weather was bad over the weekend and delayed their emergence till yesterday, because these two were really overdue. I tagged a female and a male and put them out on the flowers on my deck. Yesterday was the first day we had any sun since last Friday and it wasn't windy, so they were able to sit on the flowers quite a while....long enough for me to take some pictures anyway.
Top (right) and bottom (left) you can the tags on their wings.
Left and right -- just building up their strength a little more before taking off (look close, they're kind of hard to see).
I have a lot of birdfeeders right on the deck. This drives my Spousal Unit crazy because there's always bird seed and bird poop all over the place. He would like to have our deck cleaned and re-stained, but I refuse to take the feeders down, so there!
We've been experiencing hummingbird and goldfinch frenzy for about the last week. Even in all the rain over the weekend, they were flying around and eating all day long.
Tonight I refilled the hummingbird feeders with fresh nectar. Then I sat down in the chair to watch these little guys. I never get tired of seeing them flying around and hearing their little chirps and buzzes. They are so territorial now. I have seen up to 6 at one time fighting over the feeder on the deck. I have a couple feeders on the other side of the house too, but don't get to watch those as much, however, I'd be willing to bet there's at least that many out there too.
Look at this picture....did I catch the hummingbird blinking?
I like this Wild Birds Unlimited feeder because the nice perches encourage the hummers to sit still long enough for a photograph.
I have a dead tree branch attached to the deck railing to encourage birds to perch when coming to the feeders or birdbaths. The hummingbirds will perch on these branches quite readily.
They also like to perch on these Wild Birds Unlimited branch arms (an Advanced Pole System add-on). When I worked at the store I always told people the little leaf was the perfect size for a hummingbird's feet to perch on (also good for hanging a nectar feeder on).
While I was sitting on the deck, I could hear a very agitated chipping sparrow in the crabapple tree right next to me. Oh no, something doesn't look right here....is part of your head missing? Hmmmm, I guess it's either moulting time or a little mite problem. Poor thing, I guess I'd be a little agitated too.
Shortly after this I saw a bluejay with a similar "bad hair day" condition, but he was too embarassed to allow a photograph.
The goldfinches are really going through the seed in this nyjer feeder.
I'm having a difficult time keeping everything dry and haven't done a good cleaning of the feeders yet because they're still predicting rain all the way till Friday. At least with this one, they're eating the seed fast enough it really doesn't have a chance to get wet. A couple times I have seen every perch on this feeder filled with finches--that's a pretty neat sight, but the camera isn't handy when that happens.
I noticed over the weekend that there was an awful lot of chirping going on and when I looked out I saw these three little ones sitting on the top arm and flapping their wings rapidly for their dad to give them some food. Dad was pretty much ignoring them and one finally attempted to fly down to the feeder and get its own lunch.
Don't forget, it's the Songbird Lyrics Game over at Larry's blog. I've only solved 3 so far....