Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hummingbirds are hummin'

The fall migration for hummingbirds through the foothills north of Boise, Idaho is in full swing. At my home in Avimor, we've been getting around a dozen Black-chinned Hummingbirds at a time at our two feeders. This morning we had two Rufous Hummingbirds join in the party. "Rufous" is a color by the way, which can be seen on the flanks and in the splayed tail feathers of female and juvenile Rufous Hummingbirds (see above photo). We are no longer seeing adult male hummingbirds of either species.

The Swainson Hawks are still hanging out in the cottonwoods near the Avimor entrance. They are very vocal recently. I'm not sure why.

This morning I also observed Cedar Waxwings, Black-capped Chickadees, a Spotted Sandpiper at the Town Lake. The summer regulars are still hanging around like Western Meadowlark, American Goldfinch, Yellow Warbler, Mourning Doves, Western Wood-Pewee and California Quail. A couple of Gray Catbirds are still around and can be heard meowing in the thick brush along the creek. Say's Phoebes seem to be enjoying a gluttonous lifestyle feasting on the massive invasion of grasshoppers and mormon crickets. The Lazuli Bunting's, Bullock's Orioles, and Black-headed Grosbeaks are getting much fewer and farther between. All the varieties of blackbirds have evacuated in the last couple of weeks.

Any guesses when our winter residents like Dark-eyed Juncos and White-crowned Sparrows will show up? eBird data suggests that late September will be the most likely time to see our winter guests arrive.

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