Friday, May 18, 2007

Good morning!

Easy come, easy go.
Our excitement at finding orioles and dreaming of her hanging nest, swinging from a branch just outside our front porch has passed. Maybe she had second thoughts about being close. Or, maybe Wednesday's horribly wet, windy night discouraged her. The orioles are gone. The few strands she'd started to lay down are all that remain--of the pair, or any intentions to nest--there.
But, the activity just off the front porch remains. Thursday morning as I sat peacefully reveling at the pretty day, pretty tree, pretty little hummingbird, ...something swooped in and scooped up a snack! Immediately assuming "my" hummingbird was someone's dinner, I whipped my head around to find a smaller-than-I-had-imagined bird perched on a locust branch, crunchy legs sticking out of his mouth. A Summer Tanager, snacking on a wasp he'd caught as it flew beneath the eaves. His bright red coloring not obvious, backlit against the morning sun--but nevertheless, very pleased with himself for snagging dinner. And I, very pleased it was NOT my hummingbird.
Again this morning, the tanager's here--and apparently, staying.
I located his mate, dressed in her olive drab, mouth full of twigs--and watched to see where she would go.
Back to the maple tree. Straining to see through the leaves, I discovered her nest.......
...and she seems to agree, that beige scraps look very nice!

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Dorothy said...

Lovely story Nina - beautiful photos.
I applaud your sweet hummingbird and your oriole. I haven't had any come visit me yet!

Susan Gets Native said...

Well, if orioles don't set up housekeeping, I would take tanagers!

I was admiring your trees. A maple, a sycamore, and what's the last one?
Your sycamore has a killer hole in it. Don't you love how a sycamore can almost split in two, and stay alive????
Ever see the big sycamore at Lake Isabella, by the canoe access? It's like a living cave.

Susan Gets Native said...

I think that cat is the fattest cat I have ever seen. Love her.
And I thought she was sleeping, but I enlarged the photo and saw those eyes open, ever watching. Cats are too cool.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Susan, you're right. Maple, sycamore and the closest to the road is another maple--sort of stunted because the power line access cuts an ugly swath right through the center every other year! Errgh
Annie's our diabetic kitty--a stray kitten, 15 years ago, she can no longer be let out. (don't want to lose her and risk coma)
So, the porch is her favorite place to hang out--she can get all the outside she craves and we'll never lose her!

KGMom said...

I love the cat lazing on the porch--perfect way to spend a day.
I look forward to more updates on nesting sites.

cestoady said...

My, what a handsome porch ( and cat too) !! It provides such a wonderful front seat to all the drama in the nearby trees. What better to see than a handsome Tanager couple and their nest made of beige scraps intended for the Oriole ,now departed and bringing joy -- I hope-- to persons unknown ?

Do you suppose that if offering nesting scraps are orange -- we would have the stunning sight of a red and black bird perched near an olive mate sitting on an orange nest ? We may never know.

May 18, 2007 8:22 PM

Q said...

Dear Nina,
I have never seen a Tanager before!
How exciting.
I have been watching the Baltimore Orioles for a month now. Yesterday I saw a female gathering nesting material! I think they will stay for the summer.
I will see if I can find where she is nesting.
Can't wait for Tanager photos.
How very fun the birds are. I would sit on your front porch too!
Lovely spot.