It’s gotten quiet at my hummingbird feeder and I understood why after I read Anne Schmauss’s column this week—the females are busy at the nest feeding hungry chicks. Next month the activity will pick up again with babies coming to the nectar for the first time and the rowdy rufous hummers arriving from the south.
Schmauss also talks about the amazing migration we have experienced in Santa Fe this season, but I, unfortunately, have not seen the colorful tanagers and warblers that have been stuck in New Mexico longer than usual due to storms to the north of us. I stopped putting out seed several weeks ago to discourage bear activity and have only seen the regulars: robins, doves, crows, and lots of house finches (male, pictured above).
The small red males and their less showy mates perch on the feeder stand and sing with the gusto of Pavarotti. I’ll be listening more closely after hearing this recent episode of Bird Note—is that a call or a song?
So far I haven’t noticed any of the finches nesting in our outdoor light fixtures, but that’s been one of their favorite spots in prior years. We try to discourage it, the perch is precarious and the nestlings are at risk of falling out. So what’s the best thing to do should you find a baby bird out of the nest? All About Birds provides the answer in this question of the week post.
I have learned more about baby birds than I thought possible watching the Decorah eagles this spring via a camera trained on their nest. There’s still time to get a look at the three eaglets, now big birds, but it won’t be long before they spread their wings and take flight for the first time.
I’ll miss having breakfast while watching the eagle family, but Laura Erickson and Marie Head’s book, Into the Nest, is a consolation. It’s filled with up close photos of bird families, from eagles to wrens to jays.
Have a great week and spend some time outside!