Sunday, 14 May 2017

Welcome Back Vacationers

A familiar sound made me look up from my morning's porridge. Sure enough, perched outside my window was a Baltimore Oriole. Again she burbled out her question. Likely, she was merely keeping contact with her mate or checking her window reflection. But I imagined she had just returned from the south and was asking if jelly was still on offer here. Of course, I had to put aside my breakfast and hustle out with an order of grape jelly. Almost before I was back inside, she had a good feed of the sweet offering and was joined by her mate.

A female Baltimore Oriole eagerly samples freshly served grape jelly.

Her mate quickly follows suit. Grape jelly has been added to my grocery list!

Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks have also recently returned from their southern migration and are making use of my feeders. 

A pair of Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks reacquaint themselves with this old feeder.

Mrs. RBG looks very different from her conspicuous partner.

These migrating friends are certainly a welcome sight but I can't underestimate the charm of the local wildlife that enriches my yard the whole year long.

Flocks of bouncy American Gold-Finches are among my favourites and for them especially, I plant sunflowers and cosmos. Most of the males have now molted into their dazzling breeding plumage.

A venetian blind reflection subdues the brilliance of this male Goldfinch.

During this past winter, I never saw any rabbit tracks at all in the snow. I did, however, see lots of coyote tracks. Some of them were huge, looking more like wolf tracks. I've read that all coyotes in the eastern part of North America are now coyote/wolf hybrids. Last week I saw a very large one running across a field. It occurred to me that I have not seen any feral cats lately. Coincidence? So I was delighted to spot a smallish cotton-tailed rabbit munching on my lawn's dandelion leaves one morning. Well done, little chap. I'll gladly share my garden asparagus with you.

A young cotton-tail enjoying my lawn's dandelion leaves.


  1. so nice to see your place without snow...the Gold Finches come here but they are not as pretty as at your place.

  2. How do the jelly jars stay put on the feeder? Suction? or are they a part of it when it was made? Beautiful bird life and others too, I so like that time when they all start coming to feed. We have one we call " Mrs Thrush" and she sits on a deck chair or comes right to the doorstep, and tells us a huge story.Needless to say, we also get up from the table or stop a job, and hurry to give her food. Nature gives endless delight.

    1. I've seen your Mrs. Thrush on one of your posts, Jean, and she is lovely! Those little plastic cups that I serve the jelly in are actually plastic honey sample pots that I bought several years ago to fill with beeswax/olive oil lip balm. I have quite a few left over so I drilled small holes in their base and then fastened them in the hummingbird nectar feeder ports with screws. Works like a charm!

  3. My Florence you are so resourceful. I too was wondering about your jelly cups; now is the jelly just regular old jello? Aren't those Baltimore Orioles beauties. I get to glimpse them rarely but there seem to be more of the rose breasted around lately. Beautiful photos.

    1. Oh, never even thought of Jello. I bet they would like that also. I've been using Welsh's Concord Grape Jelly that one spreads on toast. The Orioles get through a 500 mL jar each year. I did buy an oriole nectar feeder but only hummingbirds used it. As predicted, a hummingbird returned to my yard on Mother's Day. On the subject of birds, I also have a bit of 'empty nest' syndrome after the barred owlets left their box. I hope we get to watch another brood next year.

  4. They are so wonderful, aren't they? We miss them, and then they return!


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