Thursday, June 21, 2007

Birdwatching, or, "Can you hear me now?"

It was a perfect porch morning.
The temperature had dropped into the 50s last night, and, once out of bed, I grabbed a fuzzy pullover to take the chill off. We decided to watch birds--Lily and I.
I never sit down at her end--there really is no need for a chair. But Lily likes this vantage point to watch the goings on in the side yard below.
I'm tucked cozily into one of 2 folding, nylon chairs (and far more comfortable than that cute hard-backed chair!) we have on the opposite end--equipped with binoculars, camera, bird book, coffee cup and slippers. Lily travels much lighter than I.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting much animal excitement.
Our tanagers have raised their brood and we haven't heard another peep out of them--literally. Where they are now, is anyone's guess. I had expected, naively, that when the young fledged, they'd stay a while, but, apparently not. This close to them again, I may never be. But, if they return next year, I'll know their call in a minute. It was fun to learn so much--and satisfying to know I had a place good enough for them to stay and nest.
The other backyard birds have become rather predictable--so I was really only "watching" with half an eye, when I picked up bright, orange-y motion in the woods.
Scrambling, with too few hands for all my "gear"--neck straps all snarled, I did manage to point the camera in that general direction. The trumpet vines cover just about every inch of the woods' edge--bright spots of orange, facing toward the sunlight. Bird? Flower? What's that?

I know these pictures don't show much--but he's there--the oriole--feeding from the trumpet vine.

And could this be his mate? (Based on the fact he was one tree over--probably not very scientific, but logical)

Well, at least you know why I can't get cell phone coverage out here--I'm buried in vegetation!

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cestoady said...

Attracting hummingbirds with bright red ,liquid filled feeders is rather common and a fun way to attract those feathered wonders .

I am told that you can do the same thing with special oriole feeders -- but I have never heard of anyone doing it although such feeders are available. Your observations that chilly morning prove that orioles were indeed feeding on nectar -- just like mummers.

mon@rch said...

This is such a great way spending some time watching the birds! I always have to remind myself to say still and let the birds come to me!

nina said...

Actually, I HAD an oriole feeder that I immediately hung out (weeks ago) when I first saw the oriole in our yard.
It was totally overlooked--and we left it for a good while. They seemed to have left our area, so I took it down and stashed it in the cabinet for another year.
But, now, with all the trumpet vines' blossoms, I don't know if the orioles would want a feeder--when they have so many more secretive feeding spots!
Our feeders hang just off this porch--it's all open-air--the birds have to be bold to visit. Doesn't seem to phase the hummingbirds--they'd land on my toe if my nails were red--but the oriole seems shy.

possumlady said...

Beautiful contemplative prose and photo of your porch with silhouette kitty! Talk about bold--I have a blue jay that has taken a liking to the dry cat food on the porch rather than the seeds from the feeders hanging just three feet away from the porch! He always flies to the porch railing, then cocks his head this way and that to see if the coast is clear, then lands on the lip of the large bowl and stuffs himself with kibble and flies off. Sometimes he will even be so bold as to grab food when there is a cat on the porch. The cat is always surprised but never makes a move to go after the jay. I'm crossing my fingers that the jay's luck doesn't run out!

RuthieJ said...

Awesome--the trumpet vines grow right in to your trees! I like the jungle effect!

Q said...

I am so happy the Orioles returned!
Mine love the grape jelly. I do the nectar and the oranges too, but it is the grape lelly they really go for!
I have the jelly feeders in a tree so they can be hidden if they want to be.
How exciting to see the Orioles again.

Mary said...


The tantagers will come back. Listen to Sherry on Orioles. She knows how to keep them!

I love your story today. A crisp morning, like an early October morning, resting with kitty and watching...not expecting to see much...then woo hoo!

We had a cool morning, too, but quickly turned to HOT.

Thanks for your view of a great place.