Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July in Southern Colorado

It’s warm early in July, to be sure…sometimes reaching the high eighties here in the mountains of Southern Colorado, but the afternoon rains cool and delight the senses and bring relief from the sun that hangs so closely to our part of the country.

This is a sweet little clip of a fledgling Blackbird and parent...by Banquet01, of Youtube.

For the past several weeks, I’ve enjoyed watching the birds who visit my feeders bring their fledglings for the picnic. The little, fat, fluffy young sometimes have downy feathers sticking at odd angles, giving them a look of a sleepy child with bed-head. Once at the feeders however, they don’t act all that sleepy but they do act like demanding children; fluffing and fluttering and begging to be fed. Eventually they get the idea, as the parents don’t feed them every time they squawk anymore; it’s time to learn independence. I consider how many people would do well to be that sort of parent…

I’ve seen White-breasted Nuthatch feeding babies, the House Finches have brought more than one brood, and the Pine Siskins have suddenly exploded in numbers as have both the American and Lesser Goldfinch. Even the Bullock’s Orioles have young here…pale males still developing their beautiful black markings are easy to spot as youngsters, though they look sleek and stunning already. The pair of Black-headed Grosbeaks that have been around from time to time have returned more often of late…with young birds in tow; again, the deep color and black head-dressing still developing on the young males. The other day I saw several Downy Woodpeckers visit together and suspect they, too, are a new family come to visit. Even the tiny Chickadees are coming with their parents and learning to pick-a-seed-and-fly. All this pleases me no end. I am thrilled to have perhaps had a hand in ensuring the success of so many avain families.

On a recent visit to Perennial Favorites, an absolutely wonderful plant-outlet for high mountain gardeners, I discovered a Hummingbird nest; first time I’d seen one in person. It is with great interest that I read the stories on another Blog; Nature Remains by a master storyteller, Nina. While I wait for her to come out with a book (surely to become a favorite of nature-lovers like me), I follow the sweet stories she weaves; including the new one on the Hummingbird nest she has discovered: Born on the Fourth of July. In another story of a different Hummingbird family, Nina commented on the cramped quarters the two baby birds live in and said it must be a lot like “…sword fighting in a telephone booth”; I mean really! Who comes up with stuff like that…except a master story teller? Wow!

Still, I was tickled to have found a nest on my own…as well as a Say’s Phoebe, a lovely flycatcher that I identified myself; and added another ‘first’ to my list!
It’s all good.


nina said...

Yay, you found a nest, too!
This is certainly THE year for them. Let's hope all do well.
Can you go back and watch from time to time? What a wonder they are.
Good for you!

Beverly said...

No, unfortunately it's about a 90-mile round trip. Perhaps I'll find one closer someday...and one I can see IN-to.

I have three or four variety of Hummers which visit here regularly and like you, absolutely delight in their company.

Did you happen to see the flycatcher nest here: http://natureblog.blogspot.com/ (July 05 post). The young man writes some interesting stuff…you'll understand why I thought of you when I saw 'his' nest photo.