Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Updates on Past Topics and Some New Developments

Local birds are fledging and moving now so an update on several topics that I have written about in the last month or so seems appropriate.
The Mississippi kite pair off Alexander road has successfully fledged at least one chick. There have been reports of a possible second chick but that has not been confirmed yet, to my knowledge. There have also been reports of additional adult birds, suggestive of other nesting in the same area.
Recent heavy rains have raised the water levels of area reservoirs and smaller ponds, effectively eliminating shoreline and exposed mud. Consequently habitat for shorebirds and dispersing larger waders is virtually non-existent right now. Accordingly reports of the larger waders have been meager with only one report of white ibis and little heron received thus far. The area will need a lapse in the rain for a few weeks to allow for better habitat to develop. Don’t forget to let me know if one turns up in your local area.
Let the hummingbird wars begin! Numbers of hummingbirds at feeders is fast on the rise as local and migrating individuals stake out easy food sources. At my home I am hearing constant chattering chase calls and seeing dueling birds spiraling into the air. It doesn’t seem anyone is getting to the feeder but they must be since they are hanging around. Look for numbers to grow through this month and into September.

Two times turned out to be the charm in my chase for the Eurasian collared-dove. I returned last Saturday to the residence in Starmount and after a one hour wait was rewarded with two doves cautiously coming into the feeders. Over two visits I had logged about one-hundred five minutes in a chair on the deck that is normally not occupied. I finally moved to a chair where the hosts normally sit and the birds showed in less than five minutes. Sometimes a deviation from the norm is enough to spook wildlife and I think that may have been the case here. I also received photos of Eurasian collared-doves from a residence off Archdale Road so there are more in the area.
Male ruby-throated hummingbird by Phil Fowler