Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Serenaded by a Red-winged Blackbird April 24, 2012

Each Spring, I wait for the “rush hour” of migration. This usually means that for several days, migrating birds are passing through and filling up at my feeders. By now I have my jelly, nectar and plenty of tray and hopper feeders full, in anticipation.

Even though I have no body of water nearby, each Spring I’m serenaded by a Red-winged Blackbird. I have no idea why he stops by my yard. He doesn’t eat any of the feeder food, he just rests in my tree and sings to me. 🙂

red-winged blackbird | | paula bonelli

red-winged blackbird

Nesting activity:
Several weeks ago a pair of Mourning Doves built a nest in a pine tree at the back of the yard. They were incubating 2 eggs. As part of my NestWatch participation, I’m monitoring the nests in and near my yard. Last evening, I didn’t notice any activity on the nest. Evening is a time when birds sit in their nests on their eggs, so I thought it was odd that they weren’t around. This morning, no sign of them either. Since the birds were not present*, I got out the ladder and looked to see if the eggs were still there. No eggs! 😦 I’ve seen a squirrel around that area and in that tree. I think he ate the eggs. Ugh. Squirrel beware! I’ve got your number…

I did hear them cooing in the front yard this morning, so I hope they’ll build another nest in the front pine.
*Don’t disturb nests while a bird is present. Doing so may frighten the parent(s) and may disturb the eggs. In some cases, the birds may abandon a nest if they feel threatened.

I’m also watching a pair of Tree Swallows build a nest in one of our nest boxes. They return each year to raise their young. They’ve been in the vicinity checking out the box they usually use.

tree swallow | nesting in nestbox | | paula bonelli

tree swallow nesting

Today I saw them with nesting materials. Won’t be long before we have eggs!

If you haven’t checked in on the Red-tailed Hawk nestcam, the first egg hatched and #2 and #3 are beginning…find the link under the Birding/Nestcams tab in the upper right corner of this page.

What birds have you seen in your yard lately? Any migrating species?

P.S. When we were in Kansas last week watching my son compete in a Decathlon event at University of Kansas, we watched a Red-tailed Hawk soaring above Memorial Stadium for several days. Like the Cornell Red-tailed Hawk, the nest is on a light pole high above the athletic field. We watched both the male and female on the nest and got to see the male eating a rodent in a nearby tree. Very cool!


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