Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Colorful Summer Birds

Even though it doesn't feel like spring here in Minnesota (I'm wearing a wool sweater this afternoon and the furnace is still running!), the summer birds are arriving in the backyard, and pretty much on schedule with previous years' arrivals. Last Wednesday, I was happy to see my first hummingbird show up at the nectar feeders. It was a cloudy day, so this ruby-throated hummingbird looks more like a black-chinned hummingbird.

I spotted the first Rose-Breasted Grosbeak last Friday, the 7th. Today while I was eating my lunch, Mrs. Grosbeak also showed up to dine on safflower seeds. Aren't they a handsome couple?

Here's a series of pictures I took of Mrs. Grosbeak all by herself in the crabapple tree outside the dining room window. I love this shot!

She posed so nicely for this profile shot too!

Then she noticed something a little ways up the branch......

......and stretched up to bite off a little crabapple!

Perched in the tree beyond Mrs. Grosbeak was another male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (yellow arrow is pointing at him). The first male still at the feeder wasn't very tolerant of this other guy hanging around.

Baltimore Orioles also arrived late last week. He doesn't seem to have any problems getting nectar from this hummingbird feeder.

And this afternoon, I was thrilled to spot the first Indigo Bunting in the backyard. These pictures are a little blurry, but there's really no mistaking the brilliant blue of this little bird.
I hope he decides to stay around at my feeders for the summer!

That's all Folks!!


Mama Pea said...

What WONDERFUL pictures, Ruthie! Those shots of Mrs. Rose Breasted are so good. I can't get over your bluebirds (fuzzy pictures or not). How lovely it would be to have those flitting around your yard. If my mind isn't getting too soft, I have a vague recollection of seeing a bluebird up here once about 30 years ago. Obviously, he was lost, poor guy. :o)

Gaelyn said...

Still feels like winter here too, it's snowing yet again. I really haven't had time to look for birds. Maybe on my two days off.
It really is nice to see the return of at least the summer birds. It's a start, as long as they have enough to eat.

Bonnie said...

I LOVE Indigo Buntings. I really hope to see one this summer. Wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

Love your bird pics especially the indigo bunting, well really I like all of your "birdies". The little squirrel is so endearing.


Jayne said...

Sure wish we had those beautiful Orioles! And, I am so looking forward to seeing the buntings back. :c)

Angie said...

Ah Ruthie, they are all so lovely!! I would love to have them all come visit me, even the squirrel. :) I'm just getting my trees started so I mostly have Finches, Song Sparrows, etc., but I do have lots of Eastern Bluebirds and Goldfinches for color. :) Maybe one of these days the Indigo Bunting will come back---and maybe even a Grosbeak. :) Enjoy!

troutbirder said...

What a neat backyard treat!

dAwN said...

Oh..oh..great shots! when in Texas I was able to get a video of the Female Grosbeak Bathing...a pretty gal!

Wonderful time of the year.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mama Pea,
According to my Kaufman field guide, Indigo Buntings are summer residents throughout Minnesota "in farmland, brushy pastures, woodland edges." I'm wondering if they don't like your evergreen woods as well as our deciduous woods here in the SE part of the state. Hope you get a chance to see one again this summer!

Hi Gaelyn,
Ugh, SNOW! We had snow flurries last Saturday too. Our weather is finally supposed to turn around tomorrow and I'm looking forward to that. Hope spring arrives for you soon too!

Thanks Bonnie. I hope you get to see one too. Here's a link where you can learn more about them:
I usually hear them before I see them, so if you can recognize their song, then look up towards the top of the tree to spot their brilliant blue feathers.

Thanks Mom. That squirrel was a lucky shot. The little house has peanuts in it, but I guess the squirrel wasn't interested.

Hi Jayne,
I love the orioles too. Those orange feathers are just so amazingly beautiful, as is their song.

Thanks Angie. I guarantee the bigger your trees get the more birds will come--that's what happened in my yard too. The only bad thing is as the trees grew and filled out, the bluebirds have moved on to more spacious areas, so enjoy your bluebirds while you can.

Thanks Ray. Hey, John Hockema's guiding a birding trip for Zumbro Valley Audubon Society on June 13th.

Thanks Dawn. I hope to get a chance to bird in Texas some day.

Ruth said...

Lucky you! I chased Baltimore Orioles and RB Grosbeaks for an hour on the trails today. They were always on the next treetop singing away and keeping ahead of me. And an Indigo Bunting! What a bonus.

Maureen said...

Isn't it fabulous when the birds come back? It's about much more than the seeing them - it's the sounds too! The trees are alive!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Ruth,
Hope you get a chance to see those colorful birds - at least you were getting some good exercise outdoors, right? ;-)

You got that right Maureen! I really love this time of year and being able to have the windows open and wake up to the sound of birds.