Orchard Oriole – A New Visitor

New visitors have come to the garden and they are a family of Orchard Orioles.  These birds spend their time in the trees, so I was really lucky to have one land outside my kitchen window.  I took the shot with my phone in between the blind slats.  It was good enough to Identify the bird as an immature male Orchard Oriole.  He was not alone and had sisters and parents with him.

The mature males have a black head and chestnut body and the mature females are yellowish green. The birds are fast moving, but were interested in feeding on the nectar of the  Bottle Brush that was blooming near the window.   I checked my bird lists from neighboring parks and they were listed as rare and uncommon in this area.  They winter in Mexico and Central America. Hopefully, the Orchard Orioles will come back next year to nest.

Meanwhile, all the other baby birds had to come around to see what the fuss was with the Orchard Orioles.  Cardinals, Carolina Wrens and Chickadees came to check out the plants for something to eat.  The three hummingbirds were getting territorial with the Orchard Orioles drinking their nectar.  All of this provided lively entertainment during my lunch.


Hummer Madness

Hummingbird madness descended on the Automatic Garden this morning.  The little birds are impossible to count, but there may have been nearly 10 participating in a feeding frenzy.  The little Ruby Throated hummers are also impossible to photograph, but these pictures give an idea of the action.


The sparring was rampant.  Little bodies clashed with thudding sounds and dropped to the ground.  Bees were chased away by screeching hummers using their beaks like swords.


There were moments of rest between fights.

DSC_0451Clever hummingbirds took advantage of the feeders while the rest of the birds chased each other.

This group will probably be here a day or two during their migration, loading up on nectar from Hummingbird Bush, Cigar Plant, Bottlebrush, Salvias, Mist Flowers and good old sugar in the feeders.

I wish them well on their trip south and the garden will be ready for the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds’ return.

Blooming Bushes


The best part of spring is the flowering shrubs.  The Loropetalum is one of the early bloomers.  It has a slight scent.


Flowering Olive has tiny flowers with a big scent that drifts across the garden.  It will bloom on and off throughout the year.


The flaming red Bottle Brush is a beacon that attracts hummingbirds in the spring.


Azaleas are always a show stopper in these parts, inspiring communities to put on azalea trails.


One bush that has it all is Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Each flower displays three different colors and it is heavily scented.


This small tree had to be included for the fanciful flowers that hang from the Fringe Tree.