Well, I continue to be lazy with my bird watching here; have not even looked for a warbler or another sparrow. [sigh]
I've been too busy and besides... I met a friend. For all his gruff nature and ol' rancher qualities...the man is a sweetheart. Hard to believe such a man who can talk so rough also teaches cake decorating at the local 4-H. Go figure. But then...I like odd ducks. He's smart as a whip but talks like a cowboy (oh, and he insists he is NOT a cowboy; while he has horses, he doesn't ride 'em anymore.) Okay, perhaps a sailor is more like how he talks. Lordy that man can cuss! Anyway, for an old man (he's 61; keep in mind I'm 60), he acts like he's 40...and I like that in a man. This could be fun! But as I said, bird watching has fallen to the back burner...
About bird watching, though...this morning I think I saw the first Western Tanager of the season...always a treat! I spent a good amount of time mowing this morning...so the birds are somewhat skittish. Saw no Rose-breasted beauties, but the Black-headed and Evening Grosbeaks abound.
This Tanager enjoys the oranges and grape jelly I put out...as well as home-made suit. I've done a bit of research and have some of my own photos; read some facinating information about the red on this red-headed bird on a previous post here.
Hummers are here in increasing numbers; still have yet to see a Rufus or a Calliope, though. It is a bit early, me thinks.
[A few hours later...]
OMG, I just saw my first-ever Indigo Bunting! Sure, I thought I might have seen one several days ago...but I didn't get a good look; just an intense blue smear. Today, I watched the little, very blue, blue bird go from a feeder to the grass to a branch; offering me splendid looks at his beautiful self. WOW
It is no wonder they sometimes cross-breed with Lazuli Buntings; they are nearly the same size (Indigo is a tiny bit smaller) as their cousins and have the same, smudgy, dark-eyes. Clearly they have similar backgrounds. This one is all-over blue; darker than a new pair of good Levis...with a hint of black on the wingtips.
Indigo Buntings are actually black; the diffraction of light through their feathers makes them look blue. This explains why males can appear many shades from turquoise to black. Sometimes a very blue bird; stunning...
Before the day was done, I also found a black-headed Bullock’s Oriole; but, of course, there is no such bird. This pretty boy was drinking from the nectar feeders at my kitchen window. I watched the bird for quite some time…about 2’ from my nose. However, upon some research, I discovered what I saw was a Baltimore Oriole! Another first!
Doing the research, I tried to figure out how the heck to tell a Baltimore from an Orchard Oriole…assuming one is not familiar with “distinctive dark chestnut” color. Well, most of it is in the tail; the Orchard Oriole has a dark tail, while the bird I saw had an under tail the same brilliant yellow-orange as his belly; so it was surely a Baltimore Oriole! Sweet!!!
Photos from Wikipedia