Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Even though there is still a little summer left for us, birds are beginning their journey south.

I am on a birding list serve and folks on the list are sending in posts with long lists of shorebirds and warblers they are seeing passing through.  I watched as waves of Common Nighthawks flowed overhead starting their journey south.  It was quite a spectacle.

Migration has begun.  It is just part of an inevitable uncontrollable cycle.

I appreciate living in the north because the seasons are noticeable and the migration contributes to the change.

I take comfort it knowing it will all happen again.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Better Late Than Ever

The breeding season is gearing up for a bird that is one of the latest nesters. American goldfinches don't start building their nests until late July into August. They use thistle down to build their cup nests and the thistles aren't ripe until late summer.

In the morning when I have the windows open, I can hear the males displaying rambunctiously with their "potato chip, potato chip, potato chip" calls. They fly up and down like a roller coaster trying to impress the females.

Male goldfinches wear cheery bright yellow plumage that is unmistakable as they visit gardens.  Some gardeners might not be pleased when they eat petals from flowers, but I have planted my prairie garden just for wildlife. They can eat as many coneflower and ox-eye petals as they please.  That guarantees a goldfinch visit to my yard.