Watching the Birds Midsummer 2014

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, pretty much every time I step outside, I see hummingbirds by the monarda.

They sort of chirp as they fly away, like they're miffed that I'm disturbing their meal! :)

But the monarda are just about done, so I'm waiting anxiously for the cannas to start blooming, and also on the lookout for more hummingbird-feeding plants. I'm not having much luck at the garden centers, though.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

wow, that's wonderful! must be fun to watch them! :-)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

SSG, please post some photos of your hummers when you get a chance! Would love to see!

Do you supplement their monarda nectar with a hummingbird feeder?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh I could never take a picture of them. I don't know how your cousin does it! They're either gone by the time I get my phone out, or they're too far away for a clear photo. I guess I need a better camera than my phone!

I don't have a feeder and don't think I'd get one. I don't trust myself to do proper upkeep, and I'm afraid of attracting wasps and ants.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

That's how I feel when I try to get photos of the pollinators--by the time I have the camera in position, they're gone already, or I'm so far away it all turns out blurry.

That is amazing that you're able to attract so many hummers just with the monarda! Would love to see a photo just of the monarda area where they feed, just to see what it looks like, with or without hummers present! :-)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Quote from ssgardener :

But the monarda are just about done, so I'm waiting anxiously for the cannas to start blooming, and also on the lookout for more hummingbird-feeding plants. I'm not having much luck at the garden centers, though.


Sorry SSG I only just noticed this part of your post! Are there particular hummingbird plants you're looking for? What hummingbird plants do you have right now besides the monarda? Just asking since I'd be happy to take a look around tomorrow at Betty's and let you know if I find anything you're interested in! :-)

Glen Burnie, MD

Still no hummers here (not since 2 males in May), & very few flutterbies, except for the little white & yellow dudes. Puzzling.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

This was taken a month ago. This batch of monarda got huge then all flopped over after the last storm so it's looking pretty sad right now.

I'm trying to find crocosmia in bloom. I have other flowers that are supposedly hummingbird friendly (like certain begonias and fuchsias) but I've never seen any hummers near them.

Thumbnail by ssgardener
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

wow you have so many of them together--that's probably what I would need to do too to really draw in the hummers.

SSG, I'll look tomorrow at Betty's for you and see if they have any crocosmia still in bloom. Otherwise, I'd be happy to share one of mine with you--I have so many of them.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Quote from carol13 :
Still no hummers here (not since 2 males in May), & very few flutterbies, except for the little white & yellow dudes. Puzzling.


I heard from Coleup that butterfly sightings are down all over this summer. :-( Maybe something about the weather patterns this year, combined of course with general loss of habitat and pesticide usage. I did see one Painted Lady, one Sulphur, and a couple Hairstreaks today mixed in with the Whites. The Hairstreaks were out earlier in the day, the Sulphur and Painted Lady late in the afternoon. There were also tons of skipper butterflies and various types of bees around all day, along with the Whites.

Last year, I remember a lot more swallowtails of various kinds and also fritillaries. Have only seen one of each so far this year. :-(

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Got a photo this afternoon of one of the mourning doves resting on the bird bath. I love to hear them calling, huh-hoooo, huh-hoooo.

Thumbnail by CatMint20906
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I've thought I heard a hummer a couple times, and confirmed sighting yesterday. I have red canna, catnip, blue salvia, and mimosa, all those I am pretty sure or know they like.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Very cool, Sally. I'd love to see a photo of your hummer garden area as well!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I would oblige, but the things I listed are all spread out. They have to work for food around here. The hummer was seen zooming across the driveway, hovered for a few moments over the blue salvia, then zipped away!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

There was an Audubon Society booth at the Lotus Festival so I asked them about a dark colored bird I've been seeing in my yard. It's apparently a very dark colored gray catbird. It's so dark that I thought it was black, but apparently there is quite a bit of range in grayness.

What are some common red birds around here? I saw a cute little red male bird that was doing a little mating dance for a plain colored female bird. I thought it might be a cardinal, but I don't remember seeing that characteristic mohawk. It was redder than a robin.

Catmint, thanks for the offer to look for crocosmia tomorrow! But please keep all of your crocosmias! You need them all to attract the hummers to your yard. :)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

'They have to work for food around here' --LOL Sally, you taskmaster! :-)

SSG, I have some catbirds around here, too! I always smile when I hear their mew--er--call--really does sound like a cat! :-)

Could the red bird be a male purple finch? They are surprisingly red. I had a pair here earlier in the season but one of the ferals got the male--I actually saw when this happened. :-( I still see purple finches in my yard occasionally, but not as often.


Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm not organized enough to have a hummer garden lol

Cardinals and house finches are the only ones I've seen in the yard. Scarlet tanager? I think has black wings. True purple finches are redder than the house finch , which looks almost like a sparrow that went headfirst into the raspberry koolaid.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/purple_finch/id

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/house_finch/id

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

'Sparrow dipped in raspberry juice'--nice description! :-)

Maybe what I had in my yard were house finches as opposed to purple finches. Either way, they are pretty birds and a welcome relief for me from the brown brown brown of sparrows...

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

That's so cool SSG that you see hummers so often! I just saw my second one today.

I was excited to see that our Mockingbird has come back. I haven't seen it for at least a month or so.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

We have a couple- 3 crows taken up residence it seems. They sit in the tall trees around and call to each other in that weird honking 'Ar arr' it sounds like a game to them, or that they keep saying Hello?? to each other.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

OMG....that's the most annoying thing Sally. We have a few of them around and they'll wake us up in the mornings....so annoying.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Saw a big flock of Crows(~ 20) flying around and around above my area the other day,
All honking/screeching...going in circles....never seen that many in one place.
Actually--neever seen a crow here close-up.

Nothing dead in my neighbor's yards...
They were a bit high up--and did not look all that big.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Once when I left a bowl of kibble on the front porch for the ferals, a huge flock of crows descended on it and gobbled it all up, and this weekend a bowl of kibble attracted a few of them to my yard. I leave the kibble out for the ferals only occasionally when I notice they look particularly skinny. The crows also patrol around on garbage collection day--I'll see them flying around the neighborhood on that day.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

There were 6 of them hanging around the deck this morning. They try eating my suet and take large bites of it sometimes. They're quite irritating and it's creepy that a flock of crows is called a murder.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes definitely creepy!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

My greedy birds have begun attacking the 'Greatest Variety' seed bag even though it's not even open yet! It now has little holes in it and the seed is sifting out onto the patio. I saw the birds crowding around it yesterday to peck away. Okay, 8 claws up for Wagner's Greatest Variety mix, even though it's not even in the feeder yet! :-)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Lol...feast or famine in the wild :) Greedy = Life

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Cat--

Now you know why there is always piles of bird seed around the area
where Bird seed and feeders are kept at HD. It is such a mess!
It is like the "Endless Buffet" to them...and "Endless clean-up" for us.

Besides birds--the mice also do their share of damages.
They chew little, round holes in bags..and then the birds go at it..

G.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

It was a great backyard bird weekend! The Goldfinches came back - first time I have seen them this year. I was so excited to see them that I ran outside to put up the Finch feeder. Naturally, they're more interested in the real thing. I was able to get this pic of one on a Black-eyed Susan. Unfortunately, it flew away before it occurred to me to zoom in.

A hummingbird was enjoying my Cardinal Flowers and Salvia 'Black and Blue', but it flew away before I could get a pic. Normally hummers aren't very shy, so I was surprised.

This message was edited Jul 27, 2014 4:53 PM

Thumbnail by Muddy1
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Love the photo of the goldfinch, Muddy! :-) I've seen a couple now swoop through my yard but they are so fast and uncooperative about posing--no photos. :-(

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks! They love Black-eyed Susans. I know birds weigh next to nothing, but it still surprises me that they can perch on flowers without bending the stalks.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I've heard the barred owls here, on and off, all summer. Now PLEASE will they come get my voles? I pulled a square yard of chocolate mint and found more holes under the area. And a number of holes in the 'David's Wildflowers' garden back near there too, this is all near the Corner of Sinking Dirt, behind the vegetable garden, and near the line of pine trees.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Found this while looking for something else, about rescuing a trapped Hummingbird.

http://wilderness.motleyvision.org/2011/how-to-free-a-hummingbird-from-a-skylight/

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

My batch of monarda is looking awfully tired, but I can't cut it down yet because the hummingbirds are still coming! I guess there's enough nectar left in the dying blooms for the hummingbirds.

I have a Bonfire begonia that's blooming like mad, but the hummingbirds come for the monarda and then just leave without checking out the begonia or the honeysuckle that's still in bloom. I wonder why they're so picky?

It's awesome that you have owls! I don't think I've ever heard an owl around here. I'm think I'm just too close to the city, maybe?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

yay! saw my first hummingbird in my yard today! He was sipping at the feeder, then flew over to the Agastache 'Tutti Frutti.' Hope he comes back and brings his buddies! :-)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

That's fantastic, Catmint! Today I saw the hummingbird feeding at the monarda, Paul's zinnias, and the honeysuckle! I'm glad it's getting a diverse diet!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Can you see how this sedum sieboldii has been pecked at the ends? Last week I saw a small bird (finch?) pecking at it for about 5 minutes. I'd never heard of birds eating sedum leaves before.

Thumbnail by ssgardener
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

thanks, SSG. Sounds like you have some happy birds there! And a particularly tasty sedum! :-)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

This year with the barred owl has been unusually nice. Before this, we'd just hear the rare, as in once per year or less, great horned owl...and those I figured would be gone when the woods behind us were cleared.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Dear fellow suburbanite bird lovers:

We live in "subirdia!"

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2014/07/28/335142374/where-the-birds-are-is-not-where-youd-think

It turns out more birds live in the suburbs than in the forest!

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