We last saw a red-breasted nuthatch at our feeders on May 29. I noted about two weeks earlier that each time I saw one I expected it to be the last time for the season. We've not seen any pine siskins, also mentioned in the post of two weeks ago, for quite a while either.
We've seen fewer songbirds and hummingbirds at the feeders as hatching insects and blooming flowers have offered more nutritional variety. It's my understanding that even birds that prefer seeds or fruit at some times of the year tend to feed insects to their hatchlings, due to the higher protein content. The grackles are becoming our most common visitors, enjoying the sunflower seeds, grape jelly and peanuts we put out with other birds in mind.
One of the flowering shrubs that may be attracting the hummingbirds away from the feeder is our red Weigela bush, now in full flower. It's at a corner of the house that's not overlooked by any of our windows, so we don't have much opportunity to watch to see if the hummers are going there, but this bush is mentioned by a variety of sources as being very attractive to hummingbirds.
"Baby" crows are very comical -- as large as their parents and quite formidable-looking but bleating pitifully to be fed. We've heard them often and occasionally seen them near the house.
|Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)|
We all know it's been a mainly cool and rainy spring, slowing down both farmers and home gardeners from getting their planting done. We bought vegetable plants Mother's Day weekend and had them under lights inside until last weekend, when we finally got enough garden space cleared to put in seven tomato plants and some broccoli (we lost our pepper plants when the cats got at them), just in time for the dry, windy heat wave straight from Arizona that brought the temperature into the low 100s by some readings.
|Sage in flower|
|Cottonwood seeds on deck|