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By Sandra Ebeling
This morning, April 28, as chilly as it is, I had my first hummingbird visit my flowering quence bush by the front porch.
It was a male, he was alone, and I am sure by the time you are reading this, we will be seeing them on a regular basis, although with the weather forecast, it is to be quite chilly. On this same morning, I have had a Baltimore Oriole sucking the nectar out of the quence blooms as well.
I did not have any grape jelly, put some blackberry out and nothing so far. I have got to get that on my list.
I also had a Rose breasted Grosbeak show up at the feeder, along with the female. A male Cardinal has also been visiting today.
I have been noticing this quiet female at the feeder for a few days now, and we had discussed that it looked so much like a female purple finch.
It is very very similar to the female finch.
It is a bit more laid back and still and maybe a bit meek. They will visit the feeder, but they do consume a lot of insects.
The female is streaked brown and white with white eyebrow bars.
They live in fields with shrubs and old orchards.
They consume fruits, seeds, insects, spiders; and at the feeder prefer black oil sunflowers.
Of course, the male is showy and joins the area in April or early May.
Though less colorful, the female is usually the one to build the loosely constructed nest, some pairs will share the work and both male and female will incubates.
If a pair raises a second brood, the male may take charge of the first brood while his mate sits on the new eggs.
With the Baltimore Oriole, at least the female has a bit of orange on her as well, to make identification easier.
Of course, they nest high in trees, and build a pouch like nest very intricately prepared and hooked to a strong branch.
They are so very interested on watch. What birds have you been watching this spring?
With this cool weather, I have my bird bathes still plugged in, and some black oil sunflower still out.
I have a feeder out in the front yard away from the porch and keep it filled with a millet/corn mix and it keeps the grackles and sparrows busy.
Until next time, good birdwatching.