The Summer Birds are Arriving

It’s been very un-May-like. Yesterday, I caught myself dating things April 9, 2017 several times. We’ve had torrential rain and it’s been cold. I have to remember this is Ontario, where we have seen snow on the Victoria Day weekend. But, hopefully, it’s a sign that warmer weather is coming when the summer birds start appearing. We feed year ’round, so we always have chirping and twittering in the backyard–not to mention squirrels and chipmunks who practically beat on the back door when the food runs out. The American Goldfinches are always here, and they have finally traded their drab winter khaki to bright yellow again.

The first spring birds back around here are Canada Geese and redwing blackbirds. Robins stayed all winter this year, so they almost don’t count as spring bird. As soon as the snow has melted the woodcocks start making their ‘pneet’ noise. And the killdeer return. The Northern Flickers soon follow. I’ve been counting mergansers, swans, kingfishers, cormorants and the other water birds and sending my counts to eBird since the ice melted.

But the birds that like the warmer weather hold back. Barn swallows returned about ten days ago. Yesterday while driving, I saw a Brown Thrasher. This morning, at the hummingbird feeder we put out about a week ago, a Baltimore Oriole was feeding. DH and I have a bet who will see the first hummer.

It’s a colourful backyard this morning. The brilliant yellow finches are dining on nyjer seed, a pair of Northern Cardinals are at the big feeder, and the Orioles are dining on orange slices. Meanwhile, the squirrels are battling, plotting how to pillage the feeders.

An Oriel. The squirrels trashed this feeder. What a troublesome bunch.

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