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.
The Automatic Garden is tweeting (the old fashioned way). The American Goldfinches arrived around Christmas, which is pretty much right on time. There are about 20 to 30 of them, but they are very camera shy. These two were too hungry to notice a photographer. The populations of Cardinals, Titmice, Doves, Chickadees, House Finches, Sparrows and Red Bellied Woodpeckers (to name a few) has picked up. Visitors also pass through this time of year and a Vermilion Flycatcher with a scarlet underside and black top was spotted.
The American White Pelicans spend the winter on a nearby lake and take to the sky daily to stretch their wings. Also seen on a flyover was a Bald Eagle. There is a nesting pair on the lake and they will also stop on nearby trees in the evening. All the action in the garden also attracted some predators. A hawk chased a bird into the window and a cat has been hanging out hoping to get lucky.
The identity of the second hummingbird was revealed while trying to snap some pictures. This tiny bird fits the description of a Black Chinned Hummingbird that is a female or immature male. They are known to show up on the Gulf Coast in the winter.
Here is the photo from a previous post of a Rufous Hummingbird. Even though it is going to get cold again, as far as the birds are concerned, Spring is in the air!