Birding Blog Archives

May 25th, 2013
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New Yard Birds

I haven’t reported from Fun Birding Towers here in Rio Rico for a while. I’ve had two new yard birds in the past month or so, both somewhat expected. First, a fine SWAINSON’S HAWK flew over while I was talking my mother on the phone in late April (always a good time to find new birds – thank mom). That brought my yard list up to 88 species, which is where it stood on May 4th when I celebrated spending my first year here. Not a bad total.

Since then I’ve been out birding almost every day and have had very few chances to bird in my own yard. However, on a rare day off , another fly-past became yard bird #89, a CASSIN’S KINGBIRD. I expected this (or any kingbird) to be more regular, but it’s not proven to be the case.

Beyond that, the breeding season is well underway with several species already bringing recently-fledged youngsters to my feeders. These have included the ubiquitous HOUSE FINCH, CURVE-BILLED THRASHER and CACTUS WREN. Most excitingly, one of the four nesting boxes I erected in early spring has been occupied. I installed a kestrel or screech-owl box which has been ignored, as has a specialist open-fronted box which I hoped might host Say’s Phoebe or Ash-throated Flycatcher. The other two boxes were cheap, store-bought ‘bluebird’ boxes which I thought might suit House Finch or another common bird. Well, the local ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS that pointedly ignored the special box I’d bought for them found one of these bluebird boxes perfect, and I’m proud to announce they are now busily feeding young. I haven’t looked inside, or been near the box since I first noticed them exploring it, but their behavior over the past week or so indicates that they have several young in need of insects about twice a minute. The parents are phenomenally busy!

In the past few days a bright splash of color has been added to the usual mix, with a couple of different male BLUE GROSBEAKS becoming regular at the seed feeders. Last year they were joined by a stunning male Varied Bunting, so here’s hoping for this year…

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