Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Backyard Birding

This birding has turned into quite an addiction.  This week I had out of state guests visiting and it kept me grounded at home on Saturday and I had a real bad itch to get out and see some birds, but alas, that was not meant to be.  So for once I stayed home and decided to take a close look at some of the yard birds.  I also decided to make a list of all the birds I have seen in my yard or viewed from my yard.  Obviously, some of the species are fly-overs such as the small flock of Mallards that flew over this morning.  My list was 31 species until about ½ hour ago when I got to add number 32 to my list even though it was dark.  A Great Horned Owl had perched in one of my neighbor's palm trees.  The hooting gave it away and it called a few times and then headed south.  So 32 species in such a small yard and in such an urban area, is not so bad.  

And while I was at home all day, I did test the camera on a few subjects.  Yes, most of them are quite common birds, but just to have them around is rather enjoyable.  This year for the first time, I have had Lesser Goldfinches feeding from my feeders and since I have put up a fountain/bird bath, I think they are much happier and might stick around.  Not sure what will happen with the heat of the summer, but today they posed on the fountain taking drinks, but this fountain has also turned into a great bird bath for many species, including hummingbirds.

 Lesser Goldfinch-Female

Lesser Goldfinch-Male

Lesser goldfinches are not the only finches that visit, the House Finch is an even more abundant bird to visit.  While I try to avoid taking photos of birds in or on feeders, since this is my backyard, I feel that it is probably a necessary downside to these photos.  This House Finch appears to be missing a toenail on its left foot.

House Finch

Hummingbird feeders have been very busy the past few weeks and with the bubbling water fountain, they have also been visiting the fountain for bathing.  Will have to try photographing that some day.  For now, I will settle for a female Anna's Hummingbird at one of my feeders.

Anna's Hummingbird

Today I was blessed with a pair of Giant Swallowtail Butterflies visiting my yard.  When flying they appear as large as the hummingbirds.  And after figuring out what species these are I also found out that they favor citrus trees as host for their caterpillars and I was only able to capture this photo while this one was sipping nectar from a lemon blossom.

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

And to finish off this short blog post, I could not resist taking a photo of one of my potted cacti's blossom.  

With Sunday coming in just a few hours, I will finally get to do some birding this weekend.  


  1. LOL!:) I had the same experience several weeks back when my Dad was here. It IS addicting! I love grabbing my coffee on the way to the trails early morning. Pretty exciting stuff out there! PLUS we live in the hottest(in more ways than one) state for birds. There's practically a new species every week visiting. Hope you get back out on the trails soon. Chris

  2. Hehe I did a little 'yard birding' yesterday as well.
    All the addicts...we do what we gotta do to get by, to get our fix.

    Those Lesser Goldfinch shots are very cool

  3. Gordon, what lovely bird photos and I love that cactus bloom! i know we all like those natural pictures but feeder photos are valid too. I am so sorry you have not been able to get out to bird. I well know that feeling of frustration. You are always welcome to come bird with me! I'd love to have you! Thank you for your kind comment one my blog. come back and visit again. I will have to come back here as these photos are fantastic!

    BTW, I had more lesser Goldfinches in the winter but now I have more House Finches. perhaps you will notice the same pattern in your yard. Oh, and I love keeping a a yard list. Have I asked you before if you are an eBirder? if you are not, it is easy and fun to do and its a great way to keep track of all your bird sightings and lists!

    1. Kathie, Yes, I am an eBirder and have been for several years now. In fact, you were the person that inspired me to download the BirdLog NA app from one of your posts a few weeks ago. Just sent you a FB message about visiting the TUS area.

  4. Those are the greatest pictures. I am planning on getting a better camera so I can get some really great shots like your. Good Job. Susan

  5. Hey, could you tell me if you think this is a lesser goldfinch or a Pine Warbler