Date: 7/6/18 5:51 am From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...> Subject: [texbirds] Yard birding this summer, hawks and stuff
Was out walking around the property yesterday to see what the rain brought in and had 2 just fledged cooper's hawks on a branch. They were joined by a third and then a fourth. Had no idea there was a nest there. Saw an adult fly there a couple of times and one kekked from the area a couple of times but the pair from across the bayou had moved further away and had young out hunting some time ago. The babies sounded almost exactly like scaly-breasted munias and when smaller in the nest I put them down as munias several days.
Red-tailed hawks across the bayou also did well. They had moved further away due to bulldozers and a new house replacing a flooded one. First heard a faint sound and then one youngster moved back to the trees where chicks in the past sat and begged. A week later a second bird joined it. One of the parents twice caught largish snakes on the bayou bank; the adult carried them off with chicks following.
The barred owls had 2 young raised early this year. Usually they fledge just before memorial day. The youngsters are learning to hoot with the parents and they all get together early at night for a song fest.
Mississippi kites moved even further away and I have only seen feeding birds well to the south and they may have nested in a residential area in that direction.
First young of the year bird on the balcony was a white-winged dove that did not last very long and probably fed a cooper's hawk. The king of the white-wings still owns the place and tries to keep all others away from the food. It works a bit until a flock comes in for a stop when he is overwhelmed.
Mockingbirds have returned. The local parking lot birds vanished a bit after Harvey as they food was washed away. Even out in the neighborhood that did not flood most were gone and not there in March. Places have filled in but I still have none right around me. Miss the song as one inherited a roof corner and sang all night for over 30 years. Very good mimic too and the generations inherited that trait. The new mockers do not mock or it is not the season to mock.
Downy woodpeckers, chickadees and titmice did well with youngsters early. Still have seen no baby red-bellied woodpeckers like last summer. The wood duck nest apparently failed as the pair vanished without chicks or enough time at the nest. I last saw them as she was doing egg laying.
Had my first ever fledgling green heron look in my window. No great egret or herons chicks seen.
Several different munia groups come by but no chicks seen yet. Cardinals have done well and the house finches are bringing lots of chicks to the balcony where they abandon them and go off and raise more.
House sparrows vanished after Harvey. Had some groups of all males move through in late winter. A few birds flew in from far away back in early may but the birds that always nested up the street are still missing and the dove feeding people have none.
Robins are still singing but not as many as the last few years and no signs of chicks yet. Successful pairs seem to breed very late or do better with late broods so there is hope.
Blue jays had one brood but they still are very shy. I lost most of mine to west nile late last year so the arrival of west nile this year a month earlier is not a good sign. The general area is one of the city hotbeds for the virus since the first year it arrived. But then it generally vanished for 3 year before last year and the jay numbers really went up. There are just 2 clans that come on a regular basis and another of two or 3 singles that probably are non-paired. When one of those birds signals that there is lots of food and even peanuts out, often no one comes to join the feast.
Heard a warbler chip early yesterday am so they are starting to wander. Probably a parula but it was still dark. Louisiana waterthrushes should be moving along the bayou any day as will black and white warblers. And by the end of the month it will be migration time.
-- Joseph C. Kennedy on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston <Josephkennedy36...>