We had a small weather front a few days ago and some interesting birds are trickling through our Florida yard on their way north. Today we had a male orchard oriole (see photo nectaring on Cape honeysuckle from S Africa- they pierce the base of the flowers and “steal” the nectar), several RT hummingbirds, a male prothonotary warbler bathing in our water drip, some N. parulas, flocks of cedar waxwings (many nectaring on an Indian silk cotton tree down the street along with Baltimore and orchard orioles), and a RE vireo. Note the use that migrants make of these exotic trees that offer nectar during their time of greatest need during migration. In a similar vein we have exotic black mulberry trees that are very attractive to these same birds. This is the reason that I do not favor all-native yard plantings- in about 120 species of plants in our yard we have about half natives and half exotics- whatever serves the needs of the critters best.
An unusual sight today was a green anole aka chameleon that is quite rare nowadays that the Cuban or brown anole has supplanted it in most locations down here.
We will be heading North ourselves on Wednesday, stopping in Athens,GA, for the Spring meeting of the GA Ornithol. Soc. We hope to see some of you at our Galax farm on April 22 for the field trip of Ruth Turnmire’s students on Earth Day. For the 30 or so kids we could use some help so please come if you can!
Bill Dunson, Englewood, FL & Galax, VA