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The Big Yard: Notes from a Pajama Birdwatcher
April 26, 2023
Dawn slips in with a loud, screech-like kweeerp, keeerp, keeerping of the yard’s first-of-the-season brown-crested flycatchers, newly arrived from central Mexico to check out my nest boxes. Species number 84 for April and number 92 for the year, placing the Big Yard in the top 100 yards in the US on eBird. Something to screech about, I guess, the flycatcher fronting a wave of flycatchers that may—I hope!—number a dozen species.
Yesterday’s warbling vireo makes five vireos, which currently join nine kinds of warblers and ten different hummingbirds. And right now, it’s all about the hummingbirds, those tiny bundles of antisocial energy everyone loves.
Over the past two weeks, my friend John Schaefer has visited the yard half a dozen times, drawn here with every new hummingbird I report. Like the male Lucifer with its blazing gorget. Or the tireless rufous zipping through the yard on its way to breeding grounds in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Or the blue-throated mountain gem, a one-day wonder that still remains on his wish list. Along with the violet-crowned hummingbird yet to appear.
Here are a few of his stunning photos John graciously shared with me for this post:
Thanks for subscribing! If you like John Schaefer’s hummingbirds, you’ll love his cactus flowers. Check out Desert Jewels just released from The University of Arizona Press.