|ruby-throated hummingbird--female?, young-of-year?|
Photo by J. Harrington
So we have several, many?, species of birds that have successfully hatched a brood already, while others, such as the goldfinches, are just getting started, and yet others, like swallows locally, and shorebirds that nested in the Arctic, are already in early phases of migration. I'm not sure there are groupings such as early or late nesters, especially since one of the species followed by the Minnesota Phenology Network, the eastern bluebird, may try to hatch several broods a year and another, the ruby-throated hummingbird, is also identified as a multi-brood nester and an "early" (August) migrant.
I'm definitely getting the impression, once again, that I keep trying to make nature more neat and orderly than will ever be the case in a healthy ecosystem. Of course, these days I'm also paying more attention to more events in the natural world than I used to. When I lived in Massachusetts, my phenology interests were pretty much limited to the Spring arrival dates of striped bass and bluefish, and the Autumn "blitzes" as both species ate their way south again. That arrangement was much more simple than trying to look at the Mid-West months of the year and watch for which species is doing what. I'm also (re)discovering that fly-fishing for trout can often be more complex than salt water fishing. The latter often produced heftier results in fish "reduced to possession," but "matching the hatch" was a lot easier.
|spotted horsemint coming into bloom|
Photo by J. Harrington
Since we've already covered fish and fowl, let's add plants. Over the past few days, Spotted Horsemint (Monarda punctata) has started to come into bloom. I don't remember seeing any of that until the past few years so I'm guessing that either tree swallows or bluebirds or someone else left us some seeds as they were flying by to feed their young of the year several years ago.
Baby Wrens’ Voices
I am a student of wrens.When the mother bird returnsto her brood, beak squirmingwith winged breakfast, a shrillclamor rises like jinglingfrom tiny, high-pitched bells.Who’d have guessed such a smallhouse contained so many voices?The sound they make is the pure soundof life’s hunger. Who hangs our housein the world’s branches, and listenswhen we sing from our hunger?Because I love best those songsthat shake the house of the singer,I am a student of wrens.
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