We have an amazing Tulip post coming, but I’m not posting it until Wednesday because 1) Judy took so many beautiful pictures of Tulips that even after I whittled them down, there were still almost 50 which is too many, so I need to work some more on photo elimination; and 2) we have bird news.
Namely, that our subtropical bird migrants started returning to our garden this past weekend. In fact, I put grape jelly out for the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday and the next day: there they were. This is really one of those moments that establishes that spring has well and truly arrived.
Here’s a female.
Baltimore Orioles are probably my favorite avian migrant in the garden. They show up around the beginning of May and stick around until September or so. Mostly they live in the tree tops, but they descend regularly to snack on grape jelly and oranges.
Sometimes I feel like maybe I encourage the Orioles to have a junk food diet, but here Judy has caught one feeding on the buds of Silver Maple.
Oh, and we also saw an Orchard Oriole over the weekend, but Judy didn’t get any pictures.
Waiting impatiently for his turn at the jelly is the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. This is another bird that arrives around the beginning of May.
Unfortunately, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks only hang around in the garden for a couple of weeks.
In other bird news, I’m pleased to announce that a Black-Capped Chickadee pair has taken up residence in the blue birdhouse.
On a good year there are a number of other colorful migrants that show themselves right around Mother’s Day. We’ll let you know who makes an appearance this time.
Are you seeing any newly arrived birds in your garden?
Next post: Tulips on Parade.
They are so pretty. I’ve never seen one. Nor the grosbeak. It seems that western birds just aren’t as colorful, or that’s the way it looks in my backyard! We should have Bullock’s orioles, but I haven’t seen them either. I did see a killdeer the other day, which was a first for me! My bird book says they like to hang out around railroad tracks, and it was across the street from some! The mourning doves are trying to make nests in the usual stupid places. A scrub jay has moved in and messing up the containers with acorns. I don’t have bird feeders, which would help. Now that there are duplexes behind my house I should get some again. Before they just drew the vermin from the field!
Perhaps, but you have many more hummingbirds than we do.
Those photos are really wonderful. I have certainly seen more birds since I started gardening but i do not know much about them other than the popular birds regularly seen here such as cardinals, robins, blue Jay’s, red throated woodpeckers and crows.
It’s easy to pick up a guide to backyard birds of your area, then all you have to do is sit and watch. (That is the only kind of bird watching we like, we don’t go in for anything strenuous.
Beautiful orioles, Jason!
Today I saw our first goldfinches of the season.
The Goldfinches here stay year-round, but they wear their bright gold feathers only in spring and summer.
I’ve seen exactly one Baltimore oriole in the life, and it was on Galveston Island after the spring fall-out. No doubt it was headed your way. I did catch just a glimpse of a migrant at my feeders this spring — an indigo bunting. It was under some bushes, in shade, so my pair of photos aren’t much, but they’ll be a nice souvenir of its visit.
From what I understand, the jelly is fine. I have a friend who puts halved oranges and such out for them. Maybe I should try that next migration.
Love indigo buntings! We have seen them here a few times, usually right around Mother’s Day.
I love your feeder. I put out oranges and grape jelly and two orioles ignored the oranges entirely, going straight for the jelly. Eventually an orange-eater showed up. But I noticed the orioles went for suet as well. As for birds showing up, it’s a mystery to me why I haven’t seen a Grosbeak yet, but had an Ovenbird yesterday. Being able to finally see the birds that visit is really the best thing about working at home for me.
We don’t see Ovenbirds, but we do see Catbirds and Brown-Headed Cowbirds. The grape jelly is very popular with a lot of birds, though it gives them sticky beaks.
Yep, we have had a hummingbird and various warblers. A Warbling Verio has been calling around the garden for several days. It would be fun if it would nest around here. I watched the House Wren chase it away when it got too close to it’s nest box. Always drama in the garden when a House Wren takes up residence in your garden. The poor Carolina chickadees tried to nest in two boxes. The darned House Wren threw out them and their nesting materials. I was so sad when that happened. Now I wonder where the chickadees went to nest. Great pictures of the birds. Orioles don’t come in to our jelly feeder. Only the Catbirds use it. The Catbird that has first arrived here this year must not be the one that was here last year as it doesn’t seem to notice the jelly which seems strange.
A lot of the birds here really like jelly, including the catbirds. This is the first time our birdhouses have a nesting pair of chickakees, it’s almost always the wrens.
OOps I misspelled Vireo. That is liable to confuse people. Sorry. Warbling Vireo is what I meant.
You are so lucky to have a Chickadee pair take up residence in the blue birdhouse! Both are adorable. I find the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak very handsome: it doesn’t come around the Pacific Northwest. A pair of ducks picked my garden to lay eggs in. I’m so proud 😀
A few years ago we had a Varied Thrush hang around our garden for several weeks in early spring. It is rare here but common in the PNW, I understand. Caused quite a commotion among local birders.
Enjoyed viewing your beautiful photos of the birds. We seldom see an Baltimore Oriel here in Arkansas. We do see Grosbeaks once in a while. Very nice post – I enjoyed it very much.
Thank you. I imagine you see many birds that we do not. Our son lived in Memphis for about a year and we drove into Arkansas a couple of times when we visited him. A beautiful state.
We have a lot of birds in Arkansas. My favorite bird in the little house wren. Have lots of bluebirds, cardinals, brown thrushes, mocking birds, red tail hawks, buzzards, and on and on.
We never see bluebirds, mockingbirds, or buzzards.
Interesting. I know different areas of the country have different birds that we do not have here in Arkansas.
It’s more a question of the landscape. Bluebirds like open fields, not so much urban areas. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
Yes, bluebirds do like open fields and lots of room between them and other bluebird nests. We have to space bluebird houses at least 300 feet apart and have trees and bushes between the boxes so the bluebirds feel they have the room they need.
Your visitors are handsome. I hear a chorus of birds when I’m outside working, but I don’t see them since they are up so high. I don’t have feeders out because we have black bears in the state.
That would deter me as well. The biggest nuisance animals we have are the possums, though I don’t mind them at all. Though I can’t stand skunks!
Beautiful photos of the birds in your yard 🤩
What a treat to see a picture of the orioles, both the male and female. How different they look from each other! No summer visitors in our yard yet. We are waiting for the hummingbirds.
The orioles are always awesome. I can’t believe how bright some of them are.
Is this supposed to ramp us up and get us ready for the blaze of the tulips post? You can’t just go into the brightness of tulips cold turkey after all.
Great set of shots! I’ve seen orioles come through my garden during migration, but not this year. I had one brief glimpse of a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, but no male. Birds are boss!
Oh, how beautiful!!! fabulous photos! Our swift and swallows have now arrived.xxx
We’ll have cedar waxwings any time now. You got some great shots of your birds!
Great photos of the beautiful birds. The Grosbeaks are back at my place, I love them they are so beautiful.
Wow awesome bird shots! the Grosbeak looks as if it is posing for you. Beautiful.
The hooded orioles here are super cautious. I can’t get within 50 feet without them taking off. The black phoebes are here, and the Western Kingbirds are hanging around longer than usual. Twittering flocks of Wrentits andBushtits. Saw a common yellowthroat this week which is–common–but not common right around here. Owls hooting in the night. A great spring for birds.
Looking forward to the tulip photos!
Great birds! I’m envious that they visit your yard.
The Baltimore Oriole is gorgeous…I think it is extra special when birds arrive in spring. I love your blue birdhouse, and now being used by the chickadees, it is all happening!
Lovely photos! Your birds are always so colourful. Our housemartins returned mid-April. It is impossible to count them as they on the wing ALL the time and then all squeeze into four nests under the eaves at night. I guess there are around 15 so far. 😃
That’s certainly a good number. That’s one I don’t think we have here.
Hello Jason, you have such wonderfully coloured birds visiting your garden, we just seem to have the common dull black/brown types here. Having said that, they do have character as they follow me about the garden and just generally behave somewhat mischievously, digging around in pots and squabbling with each other.
Character counts. Our Chickadees are basically just black and white but they are fun birds.
If you watch the white house East of your place, you will notice that birds are living behind the window shutters on the second floor. We like to hang out across the street and watch them emerging and flying away.
I never noticed that. I’ll have to give it a close look now.
Absolutely wonderful to see all these birds here. Beautifully captured.
Do you recall the brand name of your oriole feeder? I like the style. I saw my first oriole last year–on my hummingbird feeder, so I put out some jelly and this year I have at least three pairs of orioles. The house finches are the only other birds at the jelly feeder. The rose breasted grosbeaks stick to the safflower feeder.
The feeder comes from Wild Birds Unlimited. Quite a few of our birds have developed a taste for jelly, especially the Robins!