Date: 8/1/22 2:52 pm From: Daniel Getman <000002b3a133f539-dmarc-request...> Subject: Activities in our Kirksville Yard
Several activities of note in the yard the last few days;
1) Lots of juvenile rose-breasted grosbeaks. An adult male was feeding several of them above a feeder. We haven’t been seeing many baltimore orioles - not sure why.
2) Hummingbird numbers have started to increase. An adult male is guarding one of the feeders, chasing the juveniles away. He’s got 2 favorite perches that he watches from, providing easy photo opportunities. I looked at last year, and the adult males stayed around until Sept 9th. So the next month should be fun.
3) Yesterday, we had a beautiful indigo bunting in what I call Millers Field, a 1.5 acre wildflower area. This is the 1st time I’ve seen one actually in the field, rather than the nearby tree lines. I think the shrubby habitat, flowers going to seed and berry-producing bushes are enticing them onto our property. Supposedly they like elderberries, which are not yet ripe, but we have 22 bushes spread around the property, with lots of green berries right now.
4) The arrowwood viburnum berries are now ripe and the birds are devouring them. If you’re looking for a large berry-producing bush, this is a good one. We have 18 spread around our property.
5) Although not a bird, some of you might be interested. A female monarch was laying eggs on swamp milkweed in Millers Field. Here’s something to watch for - if you see a butterfly fluttering around the leaves of a plant, it’s probably laying eggs. This one was laying an egg on the bottom of a flower, not yet in bloom. August and early Sept is a big time for monarch caterpillars here and mid-Sept is when they migrate through on their way to their Mexico overwintering site. Great flowers to support them during migration are annual zinnias and two blazing star species, rough blazing star and eastern blazing star, both of which bloom later in Sept than the more common blazing star. The monarchs really seem to like them.
Photos can be viewed at: flickr.com/photos/dgetman/sets
Dan Getman, Kirksville, northeast MO
The Missouri Birding Society's Wild Bird Discussion Forum