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The Ten-Ring Bird Circus Continues

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We left our heroine just before 1 PM on July 30, 2012. She was nearly limp with excitement at the incessant bird circus going on outside her studio window. But it was not close to over.  At 1:09, the juvenile hooded warbler decided to try bathing in the Spa.

The bubbler is attractive but very, very scary to a small warbler at the same time. The hooded made about a dozen passes at landing before she screwed up her courage to do it.

It helped to have a friendly tufted titmouse enjoying himself right there in front of her. If he can do it...

The Warbler has Landed. But she's too shy even to drink. Knock-kneed with fright she is.

At 1:38, the juvenile orchard oriole returns. It still hasn't bathed, but it's watching a male northern cardinal with great interest. What a beautiful sleek bird. Reminds me of my Ora Lee, who lived in my studio for 17 years.

Turns out that the oriole's watching the cardinal because it wants to drink and bathe in the spray from its bath!

It drops down beneath the bath and laps drops off the Creeping Charlie leaves with its long, feathery tongue. Then it wallers around in the wet leaves a bit. That'll count for the Spa bird list. It landed and drank from the bath. #70 it is!!

At 1:43, the juvenile hooded warbler finally works up the courage to bathe!

And glory be, she preens it out in the birch right where the worm-eating warbler was earlier.

 She makes sure every feather is just so before she leaves at 1:44.

1:46. A young male American redstart comes to check out the thistle feeder, as a redstart has several times each day for the last week. I don't know if it's the same redstart, but the curious young birds figure that if the goldfinches are eating from the feeder, there might be something there for them, too.

Such a gorgeous plumage, this young male born this spring. See the peachy orange breast patches? That would be yellow if this were a female. And it's a bird hatched this year, showing no black speckling in the head or back as it would if it were a 2011 model. Can you see the flattened, flycatcherlike bill and rictal bristles at its corners? It catches flies and other insects right out of the air. Hence the flycatcher bill.

1:53. A common yellowthroat, again a juvenile, shows up and skitters through the saucer of water I keep for those birds that prefer still, shallow water to the deeper, more challenging Spa.

It preens and preens, rearranging its mussed feathers right under my nose.

1:53. I get one of my favorite shots of the day from our little male redstart. Just beautiful, like an avian butterfly he is. 

  1:59. That gorgeous orchard oriole bombs back through. Who knows. It could be an entirely different individual. I'd believe anything today. All these birds in less than an hour. At this point I've given up trying to get anything done on my article.

Man, I love late summer. Spring is fun and pretty and exciting, but fall birding is THE BOMB. Get out there, people!! Or, if you've got a good window, stay in!!


Holy cow! Just amazing, instructive, beautiful and, oh, gee--I MUST plant more birches close to the feeders and bath: then I must stare out the window more. Thanks and tons of love!xxoom.

Posted by Anonymous August 5, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Never seen a knock-kneed warbler before. Perfect!

Brilliant! You have a great variety of birds right in front of you.

I was told to come here by Pauline Clarke because your posts would cheer me up. I'm sad because I just lost my dog. She is right. I too stand at my windows and watch birds land on the feeders outside the kitchen, but they never hang around for long enough to get a clear shot of them.

Oh Friko.

I'm so sorry about your dog. I can't imagine it, but I know I will be living what you're going through in just a few too-short years. If the birds out my window help, that's lovely. The only way forward is straight ahead. Hang in there. It will get better, but allow yourself time to grieve.


Posted by Anonymous August 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM
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