Tuesday, February 22, 2005

February 22, 2005
Yes, Spring is here! Everywhere I go I hear birds singing. I heard a beautiful concert from a goldfinch in the big palo verde tree yesterday. Alas, I don't hear mockers here in the yard (sniff, sniff), but they're in full voice everywhere else. Today the Riverwalk was thrumming with birds (and the river was rushing with water. What a treat!). There were a couple of trees full of starlings, whose yellow bills proclaim they are in mating plumage. They sound a little bit like bells, and it's fun to hear a bunch of them chirping at once.

There were plenty of mockers, too, including one especially beautiful singer who turned out to be a thrasher. I always forget that they can sing beautifully too, but don't generally do so except in early spring. I think what the thrasher and the mockers were singing was, "Look at my beautiful territory! It's a perfect place to raise a family, plus I'm the hottest dude on the river!"

And speaking of mating, the entrance to the Riverwalk was a raucus cactus wren singles bar, with half a dozen of the little guys displaying, squawking, hopping around, and making a general spectacle of themselves. I'm pretty sure that what they were saying to each other was, "Want to do it?"

Thursday, February 17, 2005

February 17, 2005
More signs of spring: early blooming trees as we drive through Tucson. Yards full of bright splashes of African daisies. Weeds (or wildflowers) sprouting everywhere on our property, thanks to the rain. And still more rain to come, this weekend and the middle of next week. I had nearly 1 1/2 inch on the rain gauge after last week's downpours. The gray days get to me, but it's exciting to see how happy the desert plants seem to be.

The male cardinals and pyrrhuloxia at the seed feeder seem to be in full mating plumage. And yesterday afternoon I saw an oriole bathing in the pond. I didn't get a good look at it--just the back. Brilliant black and yellow. I have at least a gazillion woodpeckers draining my hummer feeders. I may have to go back to the drippy single-serving feeders, at least for a while.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

February 8, 2005
Spring will be here any day, but isn't yet. There does seem to be a bit more bird activity, but except for a broken egg on the ground after the last windstorm, I haven't seen much evidence of breeding. The male cardinals are getting redder, so that's a good sign. Whenever I go over to the other house, I hear mockingbirds singing, but except for that one day, don't hear them over here. Sob, sniff. I want mockers in my yard!

The beautiful male Costa's is still around. Or they are still around--hard to know how many. I don't know how many hummers of any sort I have; the most I've seen at once is three, but I think there are more. As far as I know, they are all Costa's and Anna's.

Yesterday when we were walking by the river, we passed several trees that were loaded with squeaking starlings. There must have been hundreds of them. I suppose they were migrating, though have no idea from where to where. They were gone today.

No other interesting bird activity, but as I say, I am expecting some soon!