Staying in Place in the Yard

One nice thing about being stuck at home has been being able to see what’s going on in my yard. Although I have to get up and go into the kitchen and look out the windows in order to do this, it’s something I can do often. I get to see the birds that visit my feeders instead of wondering whether some of them ever show up. I have even been able to sit outside for a little while when the weather permits.

So it was with great delight that I witnessed the arrival of Baltimore Orioles during this pandemic spring. I put the feeder out weeks ago, along with the hummingbird feeders, if for no other reason than to bring some color into the yard. Last year I had an oriole come to the yard and try to drink out of a hummer feeder. He let me know under no uncertain terms that this was unacceptable. I invested in a couple feeders, oranges and grape jelly and even a sugar-water feeder for orioles.

White-throated Sparrows have been in the yard for weeks but I haven’t really seen them clearly until this past week.

I have heard Chipping Sparrows for weeks too so it was lovely to see one the day I got to sit out in the yard around noon. He was a bit far away.

The Mourning Doves are regular visitors. There seem to be three of them most of the time.

Ah, sunshine at the feeder.

This is the time of year I begin discovering new plants in the yard. I’m not sure these were in the front yard last year and I’m too overwhelmed at the moment (sounds better than lazy, right?) to try and identify them, so if you know what they are please let me know! They have made themselves conspicuous being about the only things blooming right now.

It’s been hard to get a really good picture of a House Finch, but I probably don’t try very hard either because I know I’ll keep seeing them.

The day I was sitting down in the backyard I spotted this Field Mouse. Not the first one I’ve seen this spring. They are kind of cute and they don’t bother me.

Which reminds me, I wonder if it is premature to celebrate the fact that I haven’t seen the same black cat with white socks and white on her throat that has been in my yard for at least the last 15 years. There was a big orange cat a couple weeks ago that gave me pause, however, I haven’t seen it either. Not sure if maybe they are just staying away more during the lockdown.

There are still quite a few American Goldfinches although not as many as about a month ago. I think half of them have relocated to the Portage.

So I had three male Baltimore Orioles in the yard on Friday and haven’t seen any since. I don’t know if I will see any more, but I’ll leave the feeders out – and maybe attract a Gray Catbird or two. I had an Ovenbird in the yard Sunday when i came back from the Portage but inadvertently flushed it. It would really be nice to see a hummingbird or two soon… Yard Dreams.

12 thoughts on “Staying in Place in the Yard

    • Aw thanks, Donna. It is little. I like to think of it as an oasis for wildlife in the concrete-and-lawn sprawl. It’s rewarding to reap the benefits of the first things I did shortly after I moved in. Every year it seems to get just a little better – and more unmanageable! ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Hi Lisa,
    At the risk of sending this twice (new computer issues), thank you for the beautiful pictures, again. We had our first hummingbird on 4/27 (Frankfort, IL) and they’ve been coming regularly since. We’ve had limited oriole visitors this year compared to last spring when they were around for weeks. Also, a barred owl has taken up residence in the woods behind us. So good to hear its call.

    • Wonderful to hear you have hummers and a Barred Owl! I am hoping I will see some hummers before I have to go back to the office. The orioles were only around for a few days and then disappeared. I think my location is more of a stopover than a permanent destination. I definitely envy you your owl – absolutely fantastic. Maybe you’ll get to see owlets!

  2. How nice that you have such pretty birds in your backyard. and you don’t have to go far looking for them. Our weather is allowing us to have more sunny days, but only if we behave well.
    Take care, my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The birds have us figured out, I think, better than we do them. Actually I had a very rudimentary oriole feeder years ago but it was pretty flimsy and I have so many trees and squirrels now I needed something more substantial. I’m glad to be home to see the birds altogether.

  3. The orioles are so bright, I love seeing them but I think there aren’t enough trees around here to keep them happy. Too much lawn.
    I do remember seeing two males and a female some years back, sipping nectar from the tulips. That was an amazing sight which I won’t forget!
    The birds have been entertaining here as well. I don’t have any feeders but the first hummingbird was spotted, robins are thick as well as grackles this year, house finches, a flicker stops by every now and then, doves, crows, turkey vultures… and the sparrows and goldfinches worked the lawn all afternoon, picking through the dandelion seedheads one by one and making me glad I left them ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes it’s amazing, I think the Orioles might have been initially attracted to my flowering crab because I could see one having a flower in the tree, as it were. I have some scattered red tulips here and there but I’ve never seen a bird on them. I’ll have to pay more attention! I’m not surprised you get hummers with all your flowers. I haven’t seen or heard a crow in the neighborhood since I’ve been home and that worries me. On the other hand I had just about given up on the chickadees and then saw one at the sunflower seed feeder with a cardinal, so I still have hope. Cool about the dandelions. And you can always eat the greens. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. The yellow flower is Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum). The blue looks like Jacobs Ladder (Polemonium reptans). Great bird shots – I’m jealous of your Oriole feeder.

    • Celandine Poppy? Really? It doesn’t resemble the so-called Celandine Poppy that’s an invasive in my backyard. Well, I’ll let this one stay, it’s cute. I have to dig up a Curly Dock that decided it liked my front yard, though. …I think maybe your Oriole feeder is better for photographing the whole bird, though!

      • It’s that time of year again – and I just want to correct myself. What is invading my yard is Lesser Celandine – an invasive species – not Celandine Poppy. So I am faced with the task of trying to pull it all out again. Which would be easier today if I didn’t have to stay inside and work. I think I will get down and work on it somewhat though. Maybe next year…

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