PART I-THE GOOD: Seeing a new bird in your backyard can be a thrilling experience. A few years back, I remember an exotic looking bluish bird visited one of our feeders. Look at that beautiful blue color! What is it? After a little research, I figured out that I had seen an Indigo Bunting.
My wife recently had such an experience. Over the past month, She has been observing the courtship behavior of one dominant male pigeon in our yard. She has been impressed by the way the male fluffs his feathers, up and herds all the other pigeons like a flock of sheep. Last Wednesday, she was talking to me on the phone and said she noticed a pigeon with oddly colored feet.-"Wait a minute-It has a different colored band on each leg!" she exclaimed excitedly. She described the various coloring of feathers and overall size to me. Also noted, was the number 41 was on one of the leg bands (I'm not really that interested in pigeons but I'm pleased that my wife is subtly honing her birding skills). After asking around, we discovered that this was more than likely a racing pigeon. I don't know much about pigeon racing. If you are familiar with this sport, I would appreciate any additional information you could give me. This Pigeon is surely going to lose the race. It's been hanging out in our yard all week now.
What bird had you excited the first time you saw it in your yard?
Other than the pigeons, Tufted Titmice and American Goldfinches have been the most common visitors to our feeders this month. There has also been plenty of Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Cardinals, White-breasted Nuthatches, Northern Flickers, Downy Woodpeckers , Common Grackles, House Finches, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Black-capped Chickadees and Blue Jays at the feeders.
This is a Mimosa Tree in our backyard. Many birds, including Baltimore Orioles and Hummingbirds enjoy picking at the flowers on this tree. Recently, I found out that this tree is considered to be invasive. From what I understand, they are a a problem in the southern states. They don't seem to be a problem in this area. Does anyone know if having one of these trees in your yard can cause any problems?
PART II-THE BAD: The weather has been extremely hot and humid this week. Extreme humidity is like Kryptonite to me. It has dampened my enthusiasm for birding, or any other activity that involves physical movement.
On a more serious note, the towns of Bloomfield and Granby have been leveling huge sections of wooded areas and Farm fields for industrial development over the past few months. No wonder bears and foxes have been visiting us at my worksite (Granby/Bloomfield border). They're running out of space to live. This should be good news for House Sparrows though.
PART III-THE UGLY: Despite the heat, I decided to take a short walk to do some birding on a nearby nature trail. Seeing this pile of junk in the middle of the trail entrance, was enough to make me turn around and go back home. I tried to envision what type of person would leave a pile of debris consisting of discarded vinyl siding, nails, shingles, insulation, and various other rubbish.
Then it dawned on me. Maybe somebody was trying to make their own contribution to the park. Maybe they thought this would add some visual interest to the area.-Or maybe they thought that this would make a nice play area for children. What a wonderful gift! How could I have been so cynical?