Another hummer

Here’s more hummingbird news, complete with pictures. Diane Spicer reports the hummers are back on Caribou Lake. She took these pictures a couple of days ago:

I saw my first hummingbird last Thursday, at one of my feeders. A single hummingbird has returned several times. The interesting thing to me is that, although I have two hummingbird feeders close to each other, it always chooses the same one and ignores the other. Does anyone know why this might be?

Your bird stories and pictures welcome at I’ll be out of the office for a few days, but I’ll look forward to catching up when I get back.

A hummer on Park Point

I still haven’t seen my first hummingbird of the year, but they’re around. As Kurt Kuehn reported, he has been seeing hummingbirds for a couple of weeks in Lester Park and this past weekend in Alden Township.
And Lyle Anderson sent these lovely pictures of a hummingbird on Park Point:

He also sent a picture of a Sphinx moth, which Lyle tells me is sometimes, at first glance, mistaken for a hummingbird:

Beautiful lilac, eh?
Two more from Lyle, who reports a pair of catbirds have made their annual visit:

Lyle tells me the catbirds are fond of grape jelly and peanuts.
Finally, an update from Jeannette Lang, who recently shared a picture of a mystery nest. After further observation, Jeannette reports that the nest is the home of a pair of fox sparrows.
Although I can’t see the nest, I’ve been enjoying watching a pair of chickadees go in and out of a hollow in my crabapple tree. They appear to be bringing food back and forth, leading me to think baby chickadees might be inside. The chickadees don’t scold when I come near; they just quietly watch me.

Your bird stories and pictures are welcome at Please include the approximate date and place you took your pictures, and any other information you’d like to share.

What have we here?

Jeannette Lang said she was weeding her blueberries on Wednesday evening when she came across a small nest:

“When I returned to the bush with my camera, a very small, gray-backed bird ran from the nest, but I did not have enough light to identify it,” Jeannette writes. “Can anyone help identify?”
Jeannette also shared a picture of a female yellow-bellied sapsucker snacking on a sliced orange she put out. Although the image she sent was beautiful on my computer screen, it didn’t show up very well when squished down for this website. I have a half orange out with Baltimore orioles in mind, but no takers so far.

Some other photos have come in as well. Laura Siverling reports a bonanza of birds at the Siverling feeders in the Hayward, Wis., area. “At the moment, our feeders are busy with rose-breasted grosbeaks, yellow and purple finches, indigo buntings and more,” she wrote on Thursday. Here are a few of her photos:

Wow. I wrote Laura and told her I was excited just to have a single female rose-breasted grosbeak at my safflower feeder on Thursday morning. (This morning, I’m pretty sure I had a male purple finch. I see house finches all the time, but purple finches only occasionally.)
And finally, this from Park Point:

Lyle Anderson said he took this picture of four white pelicans at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on the south end of Hearding Island. This was interesting to me, because a friend who also lives on Park Point said he has seen pelicans out there this spring for the first time ever. Lyle said this is also the first time he has seen them in the bay; they are more often seen on the St. Louis River.
Thanks, everyone!

Your bird stories and pictures welcome at Please include your name, approximately where and when you took your pictures, the kind of birds (if you know) and any other details you’d like to add.

A plethora of pictures

Where to begin?
A bunch of pictures have come in during the past few days. They include, curiously enough, pictures from different photographers of red admiral butterflies.
But let’s start big:

Kurt Kuehn took this picture Sunday in Alden Township. He said he thinks it’s a merlin. Having looked in the bird book, I have to agree. Probably a juvenile, I’m thinking.
Lyle Anderson, who lives on Park Point, said he was glad to have a rose-breasted grosbeak hanging around for a couple of days. He offers pictures of the grosbeak, a grosbeak with a goldfinch and a couple of goldfinches:

Oh, and a bluejay …

And a red admiral butterfly, making like a hummingbird:

Here’s the other red admiral butterfly, offered by Bernie St. George:

Last but least, this photo of a Baltimore oriole along Duluth’s Western Waterfront Trail, taken on Sunday by me:

During that Mother’s Day stroll, I also saw a trumpeter swan (or maybe a tundra swan), several yellow warblers, a white-throated sparrow and many birds I couldn’t identify.
During a bike ride on Monday, I think I saw a kingfisher at Grassy Point. I went back to look for it today, but mostly saw Canada geese and red-winged blackbirds. One American redstart showed itself, though, which made the short trip across West Duluth worthwhile.

Your bird stories and photos welcome at

Photos from afar

Kind readers recently have submitted bird pictures taken from other states.
Bernie St. George offered this from Florida:

Bernie writes that this bluebird was just outside of his kitchen window in Summerfield, Fla. The bluebirds are working on their second batch of little ones — in a swallow house.
My reference to seeing my first northern mockingbird (in Atlanta), prompted a response from Tom Thompson.
“In the past few years I seem to run into them on occasion, especially if I head very far south,” Tom writes. “I have been very impressed not only with their repertoire of songs but by their tenacity. I have taken a few pictures of them attack birds of prey many times their size … and winning.”
He offers the following samples of a mockingbird taking on a red-tailed hawk in the Kansas City area and another going after a Harris’ hawk at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas:

Thanks for the wonderful pictures.
Your stories and pictures always welcome at