The old cherry tree is in full bloom, and, as it turns out, is host to a pair of chickadees. For weeks the two birds diligently drilled out the base of a limb that had been cut several years ago. I could hear them working away as I passed below the main branch. Since I hadn’t seen them for at least a week, I thought they had perhaps abandoned that attempt. I know chickadees tend to do that because they work on multiple nesting sites at a time, opting for the best one in which to lay their eggs. But it seems the old cherry is their home after all. I’ve been watching them enter and leave the hole all morning. Alas, I’m not patient enough to camp out under their nest to get a picture. So, you’ll just have to settle for a picture of the entrance.
I have set up multiple bird feeders this spring, hoping to attract some of the birds that flock to my neighbor’s feeders. In the past, I’ve simply spread bird seed out on the ground and would get a nice collection of sparrows, mourning doves, cardinals, and blue jays. The hanging feeders are now attracting rose breasted grosbeaks. And, white crowned sparrows, who, in the past, only passed through, have stayed for several weeks. Perhaps they will be permanent guests.
This morning two male grosbeaks and a female came to the large feeder to feast on the black oil sunflower seeds. A tufted titmouse seems to like the peanuts that I put out. Goldfinches, of course, like the thistle and seed blend.
The grosbeaks, though, have been the stars today. They are related to cardinals and have a large powerful beak that dispatches a sunflower seed very quickly. Males sport the bright red patch. Females look more like large sparrows and have no red on them at all.
The old cherry tree is letting its fragrant petals fall in a lovely shower of white. Perhaps I should sit out there in the moonlight!