April Visitors In My Backyard
April usually brings the return of the first migratory birds, and bears. to my backyard here in Hazle Township Luzerne County. This past year about 20 acres of land adjoining my property were clear cut. It broke my heart to see this woodlands disappear. And I think it may have affected the bears that have visited my back yard every Spring since I built my house 27 years ago. It is now mid-May and still no bears. However, the birds and other critters still showed up at my feeders everyday in April.
Some of the first new birds that show up in the Spring are the finches. Both the American goldfinches and
house finch are frequent visitors to my feeders. A few even remain in the Winter, but in the Spring the males of both species become much more colorful and are a welcome sight at my feeders.
The American robins also return early. However I don’t see many of these birds in my backyard.
The brown-headed cowbirds are another new arrival at my feeders in April. This is the male,
and this the female. I haven’t seen them in a couple of weeks and I am glad. These birds find an active bird nest and evict the eggs The female cowbird then lays her eggs in the nest. The parents of the evicted eggs raise the cowbirds offspring. It seems cruel but this is Nature.
The only other new arrival this past April was this beautiful red-headed woodpecker. I have never seen one in my yard before.
It joined the many downy woodpeckers, and this red bellied woodpecker that visit my feeders every day.
The new arrivals were joined by the many Winter residents that stay here in the Spring including the chipping sparrows,
and the invasive house sparrow.
There are many white-breasted nuthatches at my feeders all Winter,
and they stay , feeding at both my seed and suet feeders.
The mourning doves, who also braved the Winter in my backyard, stay and feed on the seed that falls to the ground from the feeders.
Occasionally an American crow will fly into my yard to eat the leftover corn that I put out for the turkey and deer.
The friendly dark-eyed juncos that arrive in the fall have already migrated north to their breeding grounds, and I haven’t seen this fellow who remained all Winter, my favorite, a Carolina wren. I was hoping it would stay and sing it’s beautiful song but I haven’t seen it in weeks.
And my flock of turkeys, that disappeared for a couple of months during the Winter are back and visit my backyard, and deck, everyday.
The four males that first returned were soon joined by some hens.
The males engaged in some heated battles over the hens until finally one old gobbler became the alpha bird and walked around my back yard proudly displaying it’s tail feather in the hopes of attracting a hen.
Like they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am sure some turkey hen would think this is a a handsome profile. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the birds that visited my backyard. Backyard critters birds 4-2021
And there were also some much cuter critters visiting my backyard in April, my small herd of white tail deer.
About 10 deer visit my backyard for the corn I put out for them. I don’t put out a lot. I want to supplement their natural die tand not have rely on me for food.
It has worked for the 25 years since I built my house here. I love watching them walking out of the woods behind my house.
There are a few other critters that continue to visit my backyard, including about a dozen squirrels
and this one groundhog that lives under my storage shed. I also have skunks, red fox, opossums and raccoons visit, but usually at night. I have to replace my game camera that broke so I can also share some photos of this nocturnal visitors. Here is a link to some more photographs of the deer and other critters that visited my yard this past month. Backyard critters 4-2021.
“Feeding birds means feeding yourself! Birds are part of nature and feeding nature is nothing but feeding yourself!”