Birbs! [NOT 12/8/21]

image of hummingbird about to drink from red trumpet flower
Not my picture, I'm not that skilled. Thank you Missouri Dept of Conservation for this picture.

Hi, friends!

Earlier this year I was stressing because I hadn’t seen any hummingbirds yet.

Now I’ve got several who fight over my feeder and at least one of them will hover at my window and look in like “Hey lady the bird buffet is low and you need to get off your ass and refill it.”

Any birbs you’ve been watching lately?



  1. just the sparrows and robins that come in to my garden to taunt the cats
    i think its like a birb game of chicken…lol
    they pop down from the roof or the shed into the middle of the garden twitter madly and then fly back up soon as a cat charges
    not all of them make it…(mostly the ones that land near the one they didnt see dont come out alive…..snowball the stealth cat has birbs damn near land on her….they do not typically survive that mistake)

  2. I was getting hornets swarming my hummingbird feeders. Not good.
    I searched online a bit and found the cheap plastic ones tend to spring little leaks which draws the killers, so I upgraded to glass feeders and the hornets are gone. The birbs seem to be fine with the new feeders.
    Our coneflowers are ripening so I’m expecting a swarm of goldfinches in the next few weeks to pick them clean of seeds, which is always fun.

  3. This is the first time in the 25 years I’ve been coming to Tahoe I have seen lots of pissed off ravens.  Probably because of fires.  I’ve never seen these little black birds before this year & one keeps walking into our condo looking for food.


    • I’m kinda jealous you got a new birb friend. 

      • Well, he is a Brewers blackbird so we are a perfect match!

  4. We used to have red-tailed hawks in my neighborhood (and I live in Manhattan, as I’ve mentioned ad nauseum) but they all vanished. There was no concerted effort to drive them away that I’m aware of. My guess is the 2020 pandemic lockdown generated a lot less food for the rodents and other wildlife, and the pigeons, and then the hawks left because their food sources in turn dried up. For that matter we don’t have any pigeons anymore, and the feral cats have also moved on. Some rats have been sighted by me and The Faithful Hound in the last couple of months but that’s rare, and they’re only back because de Blasio –oh, I won’t get into Department of Sanitation budget cuts. [Shave $10 million here by not picking up the trash; funnel $300 million there for some pet project doomed to failure.]

    • I would think ceasing trash pickup would cause an *influx* of rats…

  5. We haven’t had any hummingbirds this year, I don’t know why. But we do have  Mississippi Kites that have nested somewhere in the neighborhood. I see them flying around. I don’t know if there’s a connection.


    • My hummingbirds showed up way late. Like, maybe a few weeks ago? Not sure why they’re off this year.

  6. No birds, but I saw that the plot of begonias surrounding the Japanese pine is awash with bees. Like a carpet of bees in the morning. Doing our part to help the pollinators. 

  7. Some of you may recall I’m at family camp this week, and I was nervous. But it’s almost all outdoors, and indoors is all masked except when eating (our family has eaten exclusively outside at picnic tables though), and everyone had to be tested once the week before, and again at arrival, so I reasoned it’d be relatively safe. 
    Yesterday a family was contacted to be told the camp their daughter was at last week had a positive case. They were sent home when they got that news, and were tested. We heard back last night that they had one positive case in their family (I assume the daughter, though they didn’t say), and now the close contacts of that family (their extended family) have been sent home as well. So they all had negative tests Sunday, but a positive on Wednesday. Lil didn’t spend any time with the daughter, who’s maybe 7ish, but he did spend some time with the younger brother, who’s 3 or 4. I’m trying to talk myself off the ledge thinking that if the daughter became contagious between Sunday and Wednesday, it wouldn’t be enough time for secondary contacts to develop enough viral load to infect others. And I’m assuming the younger brother was also tested and negative so far. 
    Ughhh. Not the most relaxing vacation. We haven’t immediately left, though we thought about it. But we brought enough stuff and food that we’re keeping entirely to ourselves today. I’m hoping we’ll get news later that the whole extended family has been tested and negative. All campers will be tested tomorrow… Unfortunately there’s a delay as the camp had to report it to the state and the state is sending out the tests, which takes time. 

    • I feel for you. A friend in our pod got a dreaded breakthrough Covid call from someone they had hung out with the week before. Luckily it didn’t spread to them (they were outdoors and wearing a mask). But the stress of potentially having it and spreading it was a wake-up call to all of us. So we are back to self-imposed isolation and strict mask wearing in public even outdoors.

  8. There are tons of birds here on the lake, but lately the ducks have returned from their nesting hiatus.  Mrs. Butcher feeds them safflower seed in spite of my admonishments that we not allow them to get too used to people.  But, she can’t help herself and she does love her little duckies!

    • I know we’re “not supposed to feed the animals” but honestly i think they’ll be fine. I don’t have any moose or bears, tho. Bunnies, squirrels and birds. When I am out of seeds i go out on my patio and tell them to “go be a wild animal now.” They just look at me… But eventually leave. I am sure they’re not starving in between feeder replenishing. 😏

  9. We have some super aggro hummers – about five or six. We have two feeders – one in the back and one in front and a red honeysuckle. I’m always afraid of getting impaled in the face by one of the little buggers as they attack and chase each other – but they sure are cute.
    We also have a couple of sets of Goldfinches that eat the seed heads of the echinacea, coreopsis and sunflowers. Then, the usual gang of Nuthcatches, Cardinals and House finches. 

    • This is the first year I’ve had the sweet coneflowers (rudbeckia). I’m really hoping that finches and nuthatches show up. I’ve seen tons of house finches and cardinals year round, and I’ve seen a pair of yellow finches in the neighbor’s pine tree. Once in the spring I saw a nuthatch at my suet feeder. So anyways, I’m hoping it’s a great snack spot for lots of them. 

  10. A good part of my bicycle commute is right on the shoreline, so I typically see Canada Geese, Coots, various gulls, pelicans, and crows on a daily basis.  Also a couple other weird shorebirds that I have no idea what they are.  And some herons and egrets as well.
    At work, there are a couple hummingbirds in the area, a small population of very dim-witted Mourning Doves, and a group of about four turkeys that circuit through once or twice a day, and assorted other smallish birds that I don’t have any clue what they are…
    See some sort of raptor (red tailed hawk? coopers hawk? i’ve no clue…)circling about over head fairly frequently, and some sort of buzzard? likes to hang out sailing around in the off-shore wind over the salt marshes.

  11. I had two cherry tomatoes under my bush the other day. Someone either brought a snack and got spooked or brought ME an offering. I don’t grow tomatoes. Last summer I found a random walnut in the shell and some mystery fruit (which i eventually discovered growing on a tree down the block). 

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