Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Springtime in NC

On 2/24/09, I had 500 robins in my yard. We have about an acre. That's a lot of birds. They spent that day and several before and after eating every holly berry they could find. It was very cool to watch them. There were a few cedar waxwings mixed in with them. The birds also frolicked in the 3 ornamental ponds in my yard.

Most nights we have 1-3 opossums eating around and under our bird feeders. The kids and I shine the flashlight through my office window to see if they are out there, happy, and eating. If we go out, they just go up one of the trees and hope that we'll go away. Did you know that opossums are the only North American marsupial. Yep, they have a pouch for their babies.

Daffodils are always a sure sign of spring. I think they call this one sunny side up:-) or some egg name.

We are lucky to have a pair of white breasted nuthatches in the birdhouse on this pine tree in our front yard. I learned that nuthatches like pine trees. I guess this location is a natural spot for them then. I see lots of activity in and out of the box for 3+ weeks now, so hopefully we'll have babies soon and maybe more than 1 brood.

Prior to 1 month ago, I don't know that I'd ever seen a cedar waxwing. Well, I have now! At the Wal-Mart in Fuquay, at Danny and Christine's yard, and at the Cary Crossroads mall, I've seen hundreds at a time. They also like berries. They are such a cool bird with their bandit mask.

Cedar waxwings eating a holly berry off the ground

Cedar waxwings eating juniper berries.

Christine and Danny have bluebirds in their usual bluebird box. Last I knew, the count was 4. We see the bluebird sitting on these pinkish white eggs. Usually the eggs are blue, but we read up, and about 4% of bluebird eggs are this color. There are several theories why, but they aren't entirely sure why this variation occurs. The article went on to say that the 'babies' would be fine and not albino or anything.

The shot below is a hemaris diffinus moth that looks like a combination of a bee/hummingbird. He was sharing the yoshino cherry with various bees and butterflies.

Every year in march the swallowtail butterflies find their way to the new yoshino cherry blossoms. It is a delight to watch them and take pictures of them.