Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Two New Discoveries

Yesterday morning when I opened the blinds a spot of red color grabbed my eye. My first thought was that Mrs. Cardinal was visiting the feeder, but after a closer look I realized it wasn't a cardinal after all.

I'm always on the look-out for new birds in my garden and here one is on a hot August morning . . . A Summer Tanager - This particular tanager is molting according to a photo in my Florida's Fabulous Birds book. I like this book for identifying birds because it's so much easier for me to identify birds based on photos instead of drawings.

These photos were taken through a window so they are a bit blurry unfortunately as she's so pretty. My bird book says they are not that commonly seen in Florida even though they breed here and in other southern states in the summertime...they spend their winters in Central and South America. She is a small bird...somewhat along the size of a sparrow.

Predominantly they eat large numbers of insects which they catch in flight, but here she was nibbling away on a few sunflower seeds. Lucky for me she was perched on the feeder again this morning. Hopefully, she'll be a regular visitor until she heads further south for the winter.

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This Great Crested Flycatcher below was spotted on the same morning, in the same tree as the Summer Tanager above, but he was not nibbling on the seed. His bright yellow stomach caught my eye and at first I thought it was a goldfinch who arrived super early, but he was much larger than the tiny finches. Isn't it amazing how well he blends in with the foliage.

He was busy snatching insects crawling along the branches of this Tabbebuia tree. It looks like he caught me taking his picture in this photo. I could hardly contain my excitement as I photographed him . . . eager to run and get my book to make an I.D. Wow, two new birds both on the same day!

Here's a look at his backside which is mostly gray in color. 

Here's another look at him from the rear and the side. He's a medium-sized bird. A Mockingbird chased him away but he soon returned and I could see him flying back and forth between the Tabbebuia and the Crape myrtle.

Here's a nice photo of him. He looks like he's watching an insect in anticipation of scooping it up. He also returned again this morning to the same tree. We watched as he snatched a Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar off the Christmas Senna and landed in the tree with his big fat catch of the day. When he finished eating it he took off after an insect in mid-air swooping and curving around until he landed another morsel for breakfast.

It's always exciting to see a new bird in the garden. Along with these two new birds we also saw two Pileated woodpeckers, Mockingbird, Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal, Titmice, Sparrows and a cute little hummer busily in search of breakfast.


FlowerLady said...

Dear Susan ~ It is always exciting having new visitors to our gardens and being able to capture them in photos for all to enjoy. Those are two sweet birds.

Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

Sandy said...

You must have a great camera to be able to get those shots.. I've been thinking of getting myself a Cannon but then I saw the price..lol
Thanks so much for your visit today and the tall flowers you mentioned are Cannas..they start as tubers and flower all summer..
Love your bird shots

daisy said...

What a blessing to have such a variety of birds in your yard. Thanks for sharing your excitement!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that just make your day?! I spotted a tanager at our feeder earlier this week but rarely can I ever get a good photo of a bird.

I've never seen the yellow-bellied guy - what a treat for you (and now us).

Thanks for sharing!


Susan said...

Hi Flowerlady...It definitely is exciting to find new birds or any kind of nature in the garden.

Hi Sandy...Yes, canna lilies. They look like the dwarf variety...very pretty. I just have a point & click camera but it does zoom in pretty well.

Hi Daisy...Indeed it is!

Hi Eli...You bet it does! I'm glad to hear you have the tanagers in your garden, too. I don't think I've ever seen one before. Spending more time outside observing definitely makes a difference in seeing a broader range of wildlife species.

Dave@gardeningonadime said...

Aren't you the lucky one to have seen these birds visiting you yard?
Fortunate for you to be at the right time and the right place, with a camera no less!
And fortunate for us that you captured and shared these images.
Thanks much!

Floridagirl said...

Great bird captures, Susan! I've never seen a tanager here where I live. : ( Beautiful bird!

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