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.



6 comments:

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

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  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.

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    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!

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  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.

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    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.

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

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