Category Archives: Listserv Posts

An Old Friend!

36 yrs ago, when we first moved into our place along the Snake River, our predominant hummingbird was the Broad-tailed. Over the past decade, they were gradually replaced by Black-chinneds, which now nest on our property. 

Have been watching this weekend & doing some estimates based on individuals I can identify & amt of nectar going through & came up with about 15 individual Black-chinned Hummingbirds consistently hitting the feeder. I refilled the feeder just a bit ago & as I was getting ready to place on its hangar, a Hummer arrived, literally 2 ft away. Even perching on the little stand in front of the port, while I’m holding it. And, it was a female Broad-tailed! They will nest in riparian areas & we have flowing water with willows edging the backyard. So, maybe a return? Have seen several more times since, now that I’m alerted. 

Brian Carrigan 
Blackfoot 

Never Too Late To Learn

Had to look up an observation today. Earlier in the month, I found several cleanly halved Robin’s eggs in the yard, indicating a hatched egg. As opposed to one broken all up, revealing predator damage. We were still having snow, but a few Robins must have started nesting quickly, upon returning. Today, saw a juvenile, spotted Robin in the yard that could fly well. 

Looked it up, and Robins can have 2 & even 3 successful broods per season. I had never really considered this. But, as they’re one of the first to arrive on Spring grounds (& have wintered over, at times), apparently waste no time getting started with nesting. 

Another, I’m not nearly so fond of, but which nest on the place (taking tree cavities from natives!) are European Starlings. Which…can also raise 2 broods in a season. Not, nearly as excited about that! 

Brian Carrigan 
Blackfoot 

Western Tanager

My last harbinger of Spring arrived today. A female Western Tanager appeared in a Russian Olive tree & stayed for a couple of hours, fly-catching. It’ll head to higher elevation, but nice to know the gang’s all here! 

A male Black-chinned Hummingbird is wasting no time with his display flights, either. Have been outside most of the day & have seen & heard no fewer than 4 display flights…large sweeping U-shaped flights, repeated 8-10 times. Shorter “U” flights when a female appears at the feeder, with his feathers “whirring” to attract attention.

Brian Carrigan 
Blackfoot

Past Few Days

This past week, have seen all my usual Spring arrivals, except W Tanager. This AM saw a Swainson’s Thrush. Other Spring birds the past week have been: Lazuli Bunting, YR Warbler, Bullock’s Orioles vying for hummingbird feeder ports with the Black-chinned Hummers. In fact, watching a battle between 2 male Black-chinneds at the feeder as I write this! 

Chipping Sparrows have moved on. BH Grosbeaks get more numerous at the platform feeder daily. House Wrens are everywhere, Yellow Warblers have decent numbers. Others: Spotted Towhees, Song Sparrows, nesting Am Robins & BC Chickadees. 

Brian Carrigan 
Blackfoot