[Ontbirds] July 1st birding

Geoff Carpentier geoff.carpentier at gmail.com
Mon Jul 1 11:05:20 EDT 2013

Today is Canada Day - I hope you all have a wonderful day with family, friends and our nesting birds. By the way, I promised a few of you an update when my granddaughter arrives - well Bree Alexandra Wren Apsitis arrived yesterday - 6 lbs.10 oz. Her "Wren" name honours her great grandmother who served with the British WRENS in WWII but it also reflects my lifelong passion with birds. Congratulations to my daughter Tamara and son-in-law Justin - nice job kids!

For me this is a wonderful time of year and please allow me a moment to share a few observations with you. Today 20 species were still in full song in my yard as I read the morning paper. Some were finishing their first nesting cycle and commencing the next. Others may have been the victims of failed or unsuccessful attempts to find a mate or some may just be experiencing hormonal overload! Families of birds are amusing and represent the success of the season. Today a family of bluebirds visited the yard. The interesting part of their behaviour was that the adults entered the used House Wren box to, I thought, investigate it for a future brood. To my surprise, they emerged time after time with grubs in their mouths which were promptly fed to their fledglings! The nest must have been infested with dermestid or some type of beetle larvae. Families of Broad-winged Hawks, myriad wrens and fledgling Chipping Sparrow and Yellow-rumped Warblers have kept my reflexes sharp as the bins snap to attention when I should be doing chores!

As many pine for the onset of the fall migration, I thrive on this time of year as the babies amuse me and each other and the parents feed their incessantly hungry bodies! This is also a time when odd things show up. We all know the phenomena of the wandering egrets and returning shorebirds, but now is also the time to watch for birds who clearly are on the move, long before the presumed fall migration begins. I have had several species show up of late that were not here all this breeding season, but which nest close by in the area - Common Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, Black-and-White Warbler and Black-billed Cuckoo to name but a few have showed up long after the spring migration should have ended. Where were they all season?

Enjoy today and the rest of the breeding season - fall will come soon enough!


Geoff Carpentier

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