Monday, June 6, 2022

First Osprey Chicks!

This afternoon we documented our first Osprey chicks of the season. This is in Dallas at a nest site located at the old Willamette Mill site and can be seen from South Main Street. This is one of 8 Osprey nests that we keep track of here in Polk County, four in West Salem, three in Independence, and this lone one in Dallas. What makes this so significant is that most of the nests have completely failed this year, and at this point I only know of only one or possibly two that may still have a possibility to succeed.    

Friday, June 3, 2022

Hummingbird Time Line

On our second-floor apartment in The Lodge at the Dallas Retirement Village we have a juice feeder hanging from our balcony. One evening, I just happened to see a hummingbird make a quick descent from the feeder to a pink flowering dogwood tree in the central courtyard. I rushed downstairs with my camera, hoping to be able to find a nest, and sure enough there she was on her nest, carefully hidden deep in the tree.

 May 2 - 7:00 PM

We continued to keep a close watch on her, not even sure if she was an Anna's Hummingbird or a Rufus Hummingbird, because we had females of both species coming to our feeder. Eventually we became convinced she was an Anna's, and by the 15th of May we noticed she could barely fit on the nest. 

May 15 - 9:35 AM

Daily we checked the nest hoping to get a photo when she was away. On the 19th, we got our first look at tips of two tiny bills protruding from the nest. Confirmation that we did have babies, in fact two! 

May 19 - 4:24 PM

On May 21st we got our first view of the babies. Not a pretty sight, and we were concerned whether they were actually getting care, because we did not see the mom coming to the juice feeder.  In time, we discovered her searching for insects in the trees, bushes, and buildings, concluding she was probably in search of protein for her babies.
May 21 - 7:43 AM

The mom apparently made quick stealth feeding visits, because the babies continued to grow, and by the 29th we could tell the nest was getting very crowded for the two babies. We began to anticipate that fledging (that's when birds first fly from the nest) could occur any time.

May 29 - 1:43 PM

Daily we were checking the nest, expecting to find it empty. I was extremely lucky when making a quick check on the nest before leaving on a Bus Birding Trip with the Village Birders on Thursday morning to arrive at the dogwood tree just after the first baby had left the nest and was sitting somewhat dazed on a limb. 
June 2 - 7:59 AM

Minutes later, this little guy took flight to explore the world on his own.  His sister bird was still on the nest. Later in the day our neighbor on the first floor, Dell Warren, would get a photo of the second bird off the nest.