Words On Birds 05-10-24

Words On Birds by Steve Grinley

Birds Inspire Gifts for Mom
May 10, 2024
By Steve Grinley
     The orioles are arriving throughout our area, both Baltimore and orchard orioles. No orchard orioles for us, but we have three very brightly colored males that are causing “oriole wars” at the jelly feeders plus a female and at least two immature males. A catbird has also tried to partake of the jelly. Scarlet tanagers also enjoy grape jelly
     Ruby-throated hummingbirds are also finding their way back to area feeders. We have a male and female pair that make regular visits the feeder we have hanging off our slider, offering close-up views. They also visit the feeder hanging off our shed. 
     The stunning rose-breasted grosbeaks are back. Our male and female birds are enjoying the sunflower on our tray feeder and in the large tube feeder.
     We are in the prime weeks of warbler migration and small waves of warblers were moving through Plum Island this week. Other “migrant traps” saw numbers of colorful warblers dropping in as well – places like Ipswich River and Marblehead Neck Sanctuaries, Halibut and Eastern Point on Cape Ann. The majority of migrants so far have been yellow-rumped, black & white, parula, magnolia, chestnut-sided and Wilson’s warblers, northern waterthrush and ovenbirds. Many of these birds have passed through the woods in our backyard in Essex.
     A few rare birds have also been seen this past week. The white-faced ibis was relocated in the Rt 1A pannes just over the Rowley line. A female ruff (reeve) from Europe was enjoyed upclose by many in the main Salt Pannes on Plum Island and found another day in Newburyport Harbor. An elegant black-necked stilt was discovered in the marshes on Newman Road in Newbury and also seen in the Rowley Rt 1A pannes on a subsequent day.
     May brings us some beautiful birds and also brings us Mother’s Day. With all these wonderful birds for Mom to enjoy this May, it should inspire you to choose an appropriate gift for Mom on Mother’s Day that will help her enjoy them even more:
     Hummingbird feeders make great gifts and there are many styles and shapes to choose from. The flat “saucer” ones are easy to clean and have a lot of red to attract the birds. The bottle type work very well too. The hummingbird feeders that adhere directly onto a window will bring the small hummers closer for better viewing. Even if Mom already has a feeder, a second is always a good idea. Hummingbirds are very territorial when they feed and each will want their own feeder well away from others, and will fend off any other hummers who try to encroach!
     Orioles enjoy feeders that offer them nectar as well, but they really enjoy oranges and grape jelly. Many oriole feeders accommodate more than one of these offerings at a time. Both Baltimore and orchard orioles come to feeders and their colors are just stunning. Catbirds and mockingbirds will also visit a feeder with grape jelly.
     Warblers, bluebirds, tanagers, orioles, and so many other birds are attracted to water. A bird bath makes a wonderful gift for Mom and could bring birds to her yard that might otherwise not visit. For the Mom that already has a bird bath, a waterfall rock or a “Water Wiggler” would be a great addition. Moving water will help attract more birds for Mom to watch.
     Other feeders will attract colorful birds as well. Mom will enjoy watching more male goldfinches in their brilliant yellow plumage at a thistle feeder and she can watch for the stunning blue of an indigo bunting that might enjoy thistle as well. Giving Mom another sunflower feeder that attracts cardinals might also lure the striking rose-breasted grosbeaks to her yard.
     A nesting box, or bird house, is always a gift that never goes out of style. House wrens, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, swallows, bluebirds and so many other birds that are cavity nesters could nest in your yard for Mom to watch and enjoy. Bird houses come in all styles, from simple to elegant, and they will not only dress up the yard, they will provide shelter for the birds.
     If you want to improve Mom’s view of all the birds, consider giving her a new pair of binoculars. Good quality binoculars are available in all price ranges and they will help bring birds closer and will make those brilliant spring plumage colors “pop”. Quality optics will heighten Mom’s enjoyment of birds, and of all that May brings.
     We wish all the Mom’s out there a Happy Mother’s Day full of beautiful birds!

Steve Grinley
Bird Watcher’s Supply & Gift
Port Plaza West Shops
45 Storey Ave, Suite 7B
Newburyport, MA 01950

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