Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Two Birds and a Moth
Last weekend the orioles arrived from South America.
This male Northern Oriole (Icterus galbula) does look a bit tired from his long trip.
When they first arrive, they can be tempted by oranges to come near the house. And, of course, we do just that.
It's such a thrill to see them and know they're going to nest somewhere nearby.
Once they start nesting, they stay in the tall treetops and are rarely seen again until next spring.
The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) doesn't nest on our property, but they do pop in occasionally to catch some dinner.
This one is fishing in our pond, his long legs underwater so you can't tell how tall he really is - about four feet. They also like to wade down the creek where I usually don't see them until they fly up and startle me.
The hunting is good here, and I'm sure we'd have more Great Blue Heron visitors if Glory (dog) didn't delight in chasing them.
A few days ago while I was doing something else, I heard a DH call from the porch to "Bring the camera!"
By the time I got there and got focused, there was only time for one picture before this hummingbird moth flew away. Fortunately, it's not a bad picture, except you can't see its quickly fluttering wings.
There are several species of Hummingbird moths who earn their common name by looking very much like hummingbirds as they dart from bloom to bloom in the daytime. This is a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris diffinis) thoroughly enjoying the sweetness of my woodland phlox.
There are gorgeous pictures of the entire Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth life cycle here, including a good view of the wings that don't show in my photo.