While the theme of this blog has been chasing “rarities”, I don’t want to leave the impression that only code 4 and 5 birds matter. ALL birds matter, because they are an ecological litmus paper. Remember the canary in the coal-mine? I really do enjoy all species, except maybe invasive European Starlings and nasty brown-headed cowbirds…they don’t even deserve capital letter punctuation.
April produced a nice variety of bird species at my own backyard feeders in Haverford, Pa. So, it occurred to me that anyone reading this may be more motivated to take their own birding interest to the next level, if they knew that they could see pretty cool birds without getting up from a chair. So that’s what is depicted below. A selection of somewhat fuzzy photos (blame the glass) of several species taken from my morning-coffee-chair.
The irridescent blue Indigo Bunting is a stunner that I had not seen at a feeder since 1968 with Jeff Dingle at his grandfather’s home in Coconut Grove, Florida! Seen in mid-April, its presence was a harbinger of true spring and migration.
The Hairy Woodpecker is a bigger version of the much more common Downy Woodpecker. It represents the 6th woodpecker species seen in my yard in April.
The Carolina Wren’s white eye-stripe distinguishes it from the similar House Wren. If you live in the east, you have likely been awakened before dawn by its LOUD “teakettle-teakettle-teakettle” song.
I believe everyone knows a hummingbird when they see one. And 99% of the ones we will see in the east are the Ruby-throated. This little guy was my FOY (first of year) that appeared April 22nd.
Full confession, my desire to share the appearance of TWO male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS accented by a male Northern Cardinal, is what really motivated me to post this blog. They are absolutely incredible looking and these two mark only the second time I have had them at my feeders.
Currently I am winging to LA where I will join a dedicated group of birders this weekend on a pelagic adventure to see unusual off-shore birds…..and hopefully a Blue Whale. The chances of decent photographs of my target species (three types of petrel and the world’s largest mammal) are very slim. But I do hope to have an entertaining story to share!