Locally, the activities of birds seem to be approaching their peak for the season.  We continue to see migratory birds passing through, others arriving for the summer, and others building their nests.  

You may have noticed that one bird or even several birds seem to be nearby whenever you are outside or looking out the window.  Take note of who these are.  Your challenge will be to observe them throughout the rest of the season.  

Let me share some examples with you from our own experiences.  As I’ve already mentioned, we have a pair of house finches that are struggling with nest-building.  (See https://www.comfortmewithnature.com/house-finches-nesting-behavior/)  They continue to stop by the porch eves, the pellet stove exhaust pipe, and the lilac bush at least several times a day.  However, they seem to have abandoned that particular nesting site.  We will try to find where they have attempted another.   

These are not our only frequent bird visitors.  We also have an Eastern Phoebe that Eastern Phoebeloves to sit on our porch railing as a spotting site for flying insects.  (Yes, our porch is a veritable wildlife hotspot.  I haven’t even mentioned the porcupine that came to the kitchen door, among others.)  Most years, we have the trio of turkeys and their seasonal brood that seem to enjoy foraging in our front yard.   

There is also a plethora of other birds including blue jays, robins, and ravens, but there are so many of these that it is difficult to track the activities of any one or pair.  Others such as hawks and owls have too large a territory to consistently follow their actions. 

One of our favorite observation subjects is a red-throated hummingbird.  He arrived a few days ago after the rhododendrons started to bloom. He frequently sits atop the large lilac bush in the backyard.  Once it flowers, he will harvest the nectar.  Sometimes, for no obvious reason, he will hover and inflate his red throat.  It is an incredible sight.  

We suspect that this is the same hummer that has returned the last few years.   Since hummingbirds have a lifespan of 3 to 15 years, I am hopeful that we will watch this one for many more.  

Now it’s your turn.   Who is visiting your yard regularly?  Remember to take some notes.  You never know if you might record an unusual event or behavior.  You too could advance our understanding of nature.   

This challenge is rated as moderate. 

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