Monday, May 19, 2008

The Birds of May

According to Carolyn’s birding records, May 2008 is now (already!) officially the best May for the number of bird species I’ve seen since I’ve been keeping good monthly records at the cabin. The little pee-wees arrived over the weekend and in so doing became #52 for the month so far. Peewees are typically the latest of the regular summer residents to arrive here on the mountain.
Theoretically, I could reach at least 55 species by the end of the month. Whether that will actually happen is another story. Now that it has stopped raining, I might be able to locate a few of those sparrows that I don’t have on my list for the month.

The rose-breasted grosbeak has become a regular, if temporary, visitor to my feeders. The male that I see most often doesn’t have much rose on his breast, so that makes him fairly distinctive. He’s likely a younger bird. So far he shows no sign of leaving and heading northward into territory where grosbeaks more commonly breed. I can find no reason why grosbeaks don’t breed around the cabin, but I’ve never known them to do so. They don’t travel much further north of me, though, to reach areas where grosbeaks are common breeders.

I’ve also heard a yellow-billed cuckoo this weekend. The call was very distant and was perhaps not even on Roundtop. I haven’t decided yet if I will count this bird on my May list or not. It was definitely a yellow-billed cuckoo, but it might have been sitting on a neighboring mountain.

I’m not very good at matching my daily photographs with my blog writing, am I? Maybe one of these years I’ll get better at that. Today’s photo is my container tomato plants and the flowers on the front of the cabin. The tomatoes aren’t doing too well right now. I don’t get much sunlight, so I put the tomatoes in a container I can move around, hopefully to get them the most possible sun. But it’s rained all week, and they are now in desperate need of a few sunny days.


Cathy said...

I have a grosbeak hanging around my yard too but he has female too. She might nest here.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I've seen grosbeak up in the northern tier counties in summer, so I wouldn't be surprised to learn your grosbeak might nest nearby. I wish they would nest down here but they don't seem to.

Carolyn H.