Hummers are back
For the first time since May, a Ruby-throated hummingbird has returned to our back yard. It's an adult male, so it actually has the ruby throat. Maybe I'll finally get a high-quality closeup photo. Male hummingbirds have nothing to do with raising offspring, and are "fathers" only in the narrow biological sense.
We were surprised to see quite a variety of birds while strolling along Bell's Lane on Saturday evening: E. phoebes, E. kingbirds, Willow flycatchers, goldfinches, hummingbirds, a Green heron, a Red-tailed hawk, Downy woodpeckers, and (I think) a family of Scarlet tanagers. The open countryside is not tanager habitat, but it's fairly close to the woods where I saw a male Scarlet tanager singing in May, so it's not unlikely.
Yesterday's Washington Post (no link) reported that the number of Bald eagle nests along the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers increased from 401 last year to 429 this year, with a corresponding rise in the number of hatched eaglets.
As they did last year, the Wildlife Experiences organization is introducing Osprey fledglings to the shores of the Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota. I was lucky to stumble upon their project at Clay County Park when I was visiting my family last August; CLICK HERE to see a photo of two of them at their shelter on the platform.