Our backyard is a nursery!
- We are being feathertained by a number of recently and not quite so
recently fledged birds... Our backyard, especially, resembles a
feathered nursery at times!
We currently have at least 3 Mourning Dove, a couple Common Grackle,
several American Robin, House Finch and House Sparrow fledglings, and at
least 1 young House Wren and a few Pine Siskin fledglings. On Monday
(July 28), Ryan saw a young Gray Catbird in the backyard. There has
been a young Baltimore Oriole hanging around in the backyard off and on
this week as well.
Over the past two weeks, the two families of Tree Swallows fledged...
July 20, 3 young Tree Swallows left their nestbox in the backyard, but 2
did not leave (the same nestbox) until a week later, and not the same
day (one left the evening of July 25, and the last one left mid-morning
July 26.) I am guessing they must have hatched later than the first
3. The front yard Tree Swallows left sometime later evening July 26
or early morning July 27 because they were gone by 5:00 AM on July 27.
We aren't sure of exactly how many were in that nestbox - at least 3
maybe 4 guessing from the heads I saw poking out.
July 29, our 3 Purple Martins fledged from their nest gourd in the
backyard, but they have been coming back. Now that they have fledged,
we are seeing 8-10 Purple Martins in the backyard... and often going in
and out of all the gourds. Grand Poobah PUMA doesn't seem to have as
much of a problem with them checking out the real estate now. I sure
hope we have more than one family in the gourds next year.
It looks like the Western Kingbirds fledged a few days or so ago... no
more noisy activity concentrated in one particular spot in the next door
The Tree Swallows fly over from time to time... but aren't hanging
around in the yard like the PUMA. I guess they just like to fly by the
old neighbourhood to see how/ or if things change.
In our yard and immediate neighbourhood, we are seeing our 'usuals' in
varying numbers - namely at least 5 Mourning Doves (including the 3
young), 1 or 2 Northern Flickers, at least 1 Least Flycatcher, at least
4 or 5 Western Kingbirds, 1 Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallows (flying
around - catching bugs and maybe checking out the 'old neighbourhood'
that was considered theirs for several weeks this year), at least 10
Purple Martins, Red-breasted Nuthatches, at least 2 House Wrens, several
American Robins, at least 1 - 2 Gray Catbirds, at least 2 or 3 Yellow
Warblers, a few Chipping Sparrows, a couple Common Grackles, a few
Brown-headed Cowbirds, several House Finches, several Pine Siskins, at
least 4 American Goldfinches, & too many House Sparrows. The 2 American
Crows continue to be seen (and heard!) behind our yard, as well as a few
Ring-billed Gulls & Rock Pigeons. We see the Cedar Waxwings occasionally.
The evening of July 30 a flock of at least 20 American Crows flew
over... flocking already? I hope not!
Our Saskatoon and Chokecherry trees are full of berries right now, so
there will be some wars going on over who has control of the fruit. The
black-oil sunflowers are blooming so there should be some added interest
in them very soon.
This morning, the young Robins are out of control... fight fight fight!
Our backyard is a war-zone... they remind me of young gangs who have
taken over the streets and no one is safe!!! They chase each other, and
even go after the young Grackles! At one point this morning, I counted
over 20 young AMRO - all chasing and fighting! (There is one young one
back there who has half his back feathers that are white.)
We have 2 Gray Squirrels around the yard... a Black-phased and a
Brown-phased. They were a sore spot in the life of the PUMAs before the
3 fledged. Every time they came into the backyard, the PUMAs would
divebomb them (and call in PUMA reinforcements from the neighbour's yard
a couple doors down!) Poor Squirrels didn't know what way to go at
times! We saw one Nuttall's Cottontail on the neighbour's lawn a couple
days ago... I wonder if that was the 'baby' who spent several weeks in
our yard up until a couple months ago.
We also have more feathercitement happening at work.... on July 21, the
Barn Swallow pair were doing some slight renovating to their nest and
are now into a second nesting in the nest above the dryer vent, just off
the deck. Their 4 young just fledged from this same nest July 15!! We
have a lot of Western and Eastern Kingbirds out there, and have a few
Tree Swallows flying around as well (Larry and I put up nestboxes in and
near the Compressor Station yard, and the Tree Swallows have been taking
advantage of that these past two years.) We also have our 'usuals' out
there and going to / from work. We are continuing to see a number of
hawks - Northern Harriers, Swainson's, Red-tailed (only a couple), & at
least 2 Ferruginous Hawks. Lots of gophers out there for them to catch.
We wish everyone a great long weekend.... and happy birding!
- Mary Ann and Larry, Swift Current
50° 17' 00" N - 107° 48' 00" W