Monday, August 26, 2013

September Draws Near

It's almost the end of oriole season for San Diego county. The hooded orioles that have been chirping, beeping, chattering over the summer will not be here much longer. Soon they will have all left for parts south and east - Arizona and Mexico mostly. But there are still a few showing up!
The first sighting this year was mid March, now 5 months later it's about time to go - new families in tow. 

Here is a capture off the 'hummer cam' in the backyard. Adult male (bright yellow with black and white wings and tail) and female (more subdued color).

Between the hummingbirds, orioles, and bees - the sugar load has stayed around 25 pounds a week for the last month. I expect that will drop a bit as the orioles leave and the weather cools leading to less bees. We should start to see a few more returning hummers from parts north as the migration south begins.

Here is an occasional visitor too the backyard - geococcyx califorianus - greater roadrunner, or speedipus rex meep meep, as the kids might know him as.

Although usually know for eating lizards, snakes, scorpions - but they are 'opportunistic foragers' and will go after small birds at feeders and nest boxes. This guy was setting up below a feeder.

He's not resting in the shade, but ready to spring up at an unsuspecting snack. I watched as he tried once, but the feeders are too high and the hummers get plenty of warning.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer's Almost Done

Last blog was at the end of May - What's changed? The Pepsis Formosa (tarantula hawk wasp) is still visiting the feeders looking for jelly or 'nectar'. The orioles are still here, have seen less adult males than earlier and have seen more juveniles.

Lots and lots of hummers! There have been a couple adult male Rufus hummers sighted the last couple weeks, this seems unusual to me since they  migrate to Washington and Alaska for the summer and I don't think they should be on their way back south yet. Rufus hummers are always a little scarce around our yard any time of year. A nice treat!

Plenty of Anna's, of course and a good number of Costa's and Blackchinned. At the moment, we are mixing up at least 3 gallons of sugar water per day, thirsty birds.

We are finally getting some normal summer weather, which means it's getting warmer. That seems to be bringing out more honey bees to the feeders, especially the oriole feeders. 

Below are a few of the visitors to the backyard lately.

Here is a hummer that looks like she is hunkering down for the evening, it was cooling a bit and she is fluffed up and stayed there 10 minutes or so. But I have not seen hummers overnight in this tree.

These are uncommon visitors to our yard - a common ground dove. About half the size of a mourning dove and a stubbier tail.

A his and her's matched set! More unusual to see 2.

Here is our regular mourning dove, longer tail, solid head coloration compared to the black tipped light feathers of the common ground dove. Much bigger also!