21 May 2012

About the birds and the trees

Ash-lined drive at the Hill
Sycamore Hill is a regular bird-lover's paradise and for some reason this spring seems to be particularly busy for the little feathered folks.  In one week at the beginning of May we recorded 47 different species of birds up here on the hill.  A good showing by a wide variety of warblers and other spring migrating birds inflated that list.  These include the Yellow Warbler, Common Yellow throat, and the Cerulean Warbler.  A Scarlet Tanager also hung around for several days and at one time was within just 15 feet of the kitchen window.  Orioles abound too.  Almost without fail these smaller birds are working at a feverish pitch to glean bugs from the tips of our ash trees.

Yellow Warbler
I finally put 2 and 2 together with the number of warblers we have and the number of ash trees we have.  Probably not long after our house was built the farmer planted ash tree around the homestead.  There are 13 of these big trees now, several line our driveway.  I'm hoping the ash borer doesn't find them.


Cerulean Warbler

A warm spring evening brought the sound of a Whippoorwill....we've never had that here before.  A pair of Wood ducks have been camped out in the creek so my dad gave me a Wood duck box I've yet to hang up.  But one of the more interesting developments occurred just the other night.  It appears the squawking, mating pair of Barn Owls is back....though their call seems to be a little further off in the distance, which suits my wife just fine.  The pair was here our first summer, 2010, and we learned that they are pretty rare in Northern Indiana.
Barn Owl

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