Latest Local Birder News

Yesterday a flock of Indigo Buntings flew through the area. The males are deep blue and the females a sparrow-like brown. There is an empty lot next to our home currently filled with ripe-to-bursting wild peas of some sort, and indigo buntings apparently love to eat seeds and berries.

And I do mean literally bursting – as I went out recently to check on our newly planted honeysuckle and blackberry bushes, I realized I was hearing an odd popping sound. I stood quietly and looked around. Gradually I realized the pea pods on the wild plants were now fully ripened and dried, and since the sun was hot enough, the heat was literally making them explode open, spreading the tiny black “peas” in each pod in every direction when they burst. As I watched, one split and hit me in the face.

These plants must be very popular with the local birds because I have also seen our resident nesting cardinals fighting other birds over rights to feed in the lot, as well as significant blue jay activity there, along with the inevitable small brown birds you see all over.

We saw a hawk last weekend – I think a young one, it seemed clumsy, as if it had recently become accustomed to stretching its wings. It only appeared to be passing through, because after a moment it was gone. Other recent sightings include a flock of about 20-30 Monk Parakeets, and a close up sighting of a buzzard.

Currently two ducks seem to have taken at least temporary residence in a pecan tree across the street. I am not clear on their relationship – sibling or mates? Young ducks tend to stay close in family groups until mating time, and these look very similar in color, and small. Possibly they are both young mallards.

Our four cats remain convinced that if I let them out they could catch any of these fascinating feathered creatures, but the only cat I have known to have caught a bird is the feral cat who graces our doorstep and whom we feed to discourage her bird-hunting ways.