Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Flies Into the Hill Country

Last winter's Rufous hummingbird flew out in mid-March.   

He knows the early bird gets the best territory, key to mating.  

The migration map shows wintering grounds in Central America with spring migration far west of our Hill Country home.  "Our" Rufous is getting a head start on the birds that read maps.

The chattering flocks of Chipping sparrows began leaving in March, all gone now.  Our front feeding ground seems quiet without their busy thronging.

But we're hearing Carolina wrens as the males build nests and sing for mates.  In the wren world, females choose mates based on the male's quality of song and nests.  He may build as many as five to get her approval.

I hung a nest-building buffet of cat-fur, cotton and dried grasses to help him along. The cat-fur disappeared right away.


This first-spring Summer Tanager still has splotches of juvenile yellow but in his short life he's flown more than a thousand miles to and from Central/South America.  Now he'll compete for a mate and the chance to rear a family in our neighborhood.  

He and his family will eat wasps on my porch this summer, a benefit to both of us.  It works because we don't don't pesticide the property, allowing nature to balance the cycle.

I'm a Summer Tanager and I approve this message.-->

Soon another generation of Hill Country birds will brighten our gardens and lives.

Copyright 2009-2012 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.
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