Birding at Twilight

We were sitting on our patio at the end of the day, when the action started. First, a Hummingbird slap down occurred right in front of us.  I swear I saw tiny feathers fly.  The Hummer that hit the ground backed off to the safety of a low branch.

Then I heard a call that I haven’t heard in the backyard for awhile.  I was very pleased that I recognized it was a Summer Tanager.  Tanagers are not seed feeders and are harder to find in the trees.  I used a trick that I learned in a birding class to lure him out.  I turned on the Summer Tanager call on my bird app.  Soon the bird started coming closer and buzzing us as he flew over.  I managed to snap a photo, which is not great in the dimming light, but I did identify him with my binoculars.  After teasing the Tanager for awhile with the bird call, we started feeling bad for the poor guy looking for another of his kind and stopped.

While all that was going on, an American Crow was having quite a fit in a neighboring yard.  Usually, this means that a predator is near.  I finally spotted the raptor and could make out a white head.  I was hoping it was an Eagle, but it flew away quickly through the trees in the twilight with the Crow in pursuit  and I couldn’t get a good look.

All in all, it was a very entertaining evening.



17 Comments on “Birding at Twilight”

  1. A bird calling app!

  2. I’d say! I didn’t even know there were such apps.

  3. pbmgarden says:

    That’s so cool. I’ve seen Summer Tanager only once, back in my old garden. We had the pair, so one yellow, one red.

  4. shoreacres says:

    I saw my first hummingbird of the season yesterday. With no feeders, I don’t see them so often; this one was feeding at a blooming Mexican olive. The mix of birdsongs in the evening (and early morning) really is marvelous. I’m so glad for open windows, though I fear summer is coming, and the season of closed windows with it.

    On Friday night I was in Galveston, and I’ve never seen so many brown pelicans in my life. I’d never thought about the fact that they migrate, too. A birder on the west end of the island said they’ve been moving up the coast for a while, and just now had reached the upper Texas coast. There had to be thousands of them, moving in waves.

  5. Tina says:

    Great hummer shot–those are so hard to get! I’ve also enjoyed some Summer Tanager visitors; they always show up for some bee meals. I had a female and immature male for about a week, but haven’t seen them in about a week–very typical behavior from previously.

  6. Christina says:

    You and my husband share a passion for bird-watching; I’m quite interested too. Before we went to Amsterdam to see the tulips we went to Ventotene an island off the coast between Rome and Naples. We were there to see the newly arriving migrating birds. The island is the first landfall for many of the birds arriving from Africa. they are exhausted and so more easy to see. Our guide said we saw 70 species in three days; but I don’t think I could claim quite as many!!! We have Golden Orioles in the garden at the moment but despite their brilliant colour I hear them but haven’t seen them yet.

    • We have the same thing with birds coming up from South America making landfall in part of Texas. I hope to go there some day. Sometimes I get lucky and the birds come farther inland to where I live.

  7. tonytomeo says:

    Do hummingbirds migrate away for the winter? They never leave here. Mount Umunhum is named for them.

    • The Ruby Throated leave around October. Occasionally some stay. I often get Rufous and Buff-bellied for the winter. I keep a feeder out all winter. Most of my plants froze this winter, but the Rufous stayed and fed on sugar water. I was in California many years ago and remember seeing flowering shrubs filled with hummingbirds.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yes, I think that there might be more of them during winter. It seems odd to me that they would leave, but I suppose if they come here, they must be leaving somewhere else.
        Hummingbirds can be amusingly aggressive while defending their nests. I work with otherwise fearless arborists who are terrified of an angry hummingbird! We have delayed quite a few jobs because of nesting hummingbirds.

  8. Sheryl says:

    I never would have thought of using a call on a bird app. Great idea – I’m definitely not up to date on all the things that my phone will do.

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