Birds of the Valley

moon phase Week of 05/17/2009 Time to trim the roses.

Rufous-side Towhee Rufous-side Towhee The perfect warm, spring rain came Wednesday afternoon, the kind of rain that makes the corn and oats grow, and makes the frogs sing with vocal delight. It came straight down in a moderate but steady pace for about an hour, with lightning against gray clouds that intensified the green of the lush wet pasture. What a big difference in the landscape over the past two weeks. From brown on brown, the green over green in only a couple of weeks. It quickly made me forget all about what it's like to see only white on white.

Peacock showing off Peacock showing off I found the first hollow blue fragment of a Robin's egg today, lying in the grass at the edge of the garden. From now on there will be hungry baby robins that require a lot of TLC from their parents. They grow fast and will be able to fly by the last week of May. The adult robins may raise two or three families through the summer.

The Rufous-sided towhee has been patiently waiting for his mate to arrive. She appeared on Thursday morning and together they spent the day eating sunflower seeds on the ground under the birdfeeder. Marsh Marigolds Marsh Marigolds All of the male birds are wearing their most splendid colors, and I hadn't realized just how splendid until I saw a male peacock. He has to be the most colorful bird I've ever seen, and maybe the most vocal. What a magnificent display of iridescent blue and green feathers—he really makes the ultimate statement.

There are bright colors in the marsh as the Marsh marigolds are showing off their beautiful yellow flowers. In the wooded area at the edge of the wet marsh a two-acre bed of Bluebells makes a lush blue blanket of flowers. It's a sight I look forward to seeing every May in the Kickapoo Valley.

A leopard frog shows off his green and black duds as he enjoys some sun at the rivers' edge.

Baltimore Oriole sunning on an orange Baltimore Oriole sunning on an orange Only half as many Blue jays in the yard now, as the females are incubating their eggs in their nests of sticks and grass. The cardinals haven't started nesting yet, and the females are still looking for a free handout of sunflower seeds.

There are several Baltimore orioles in the yard now, both males and females. They are easy to keep around by putting out some orange halves. They can't resist the sweet, juicy oranges, and are sucked in like a nail to a magnet.

Some of the white-throated sparrows have started nesting and the female Rose-breasted grosbeaks are still regular visitors.

Downy Woodpecker Downy Woodpecker It's been a few days since I've seen a female Downy or Red-bellied woodpecker. They no doubt have started their nesting duties. The Indigo buntings have returned, and soon their courtship will begin. The special blue of the male complements his green surroundings and the female is a drab gray/brown with barely any markings at all. Some of the male goldfinches are already wearing their bright yellow nuptial plumage, but they won't start courting the females for a couple of months yet.

It doesn't come together all at once, but spring is definitely coming together, more and more with each passing day. Life is colorful, life is musical, and best of all, life is beautiful.

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Joyce from from Southeast Missouri on May 20, 2009 at 09:45:50 PM
Life is beauitful here in Missouri also...and since i put my hummingbird feeders out i had two beauitful Baltimore orioles light on i bought a feeder for them and filled with sugar water and haven't seen them since. I went walking around on our litttle spot of soil the other day with my camera and took some pictures of honeysuckle and wild roses. Spring is beauitful. My favorite time of the year.
"Each Spring the song of the universe begins again"
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