There are lots of kinds of birds around here. All winter into early spring I go looking for them. Summer bird watching is not the same.
From late fall all the way into early spring the trees are bare. Birds hop along and sit on the branches. With a little patience a birdwatcher can spot and watch them.
The problem with this is migration. Many kinds of birds fly south for the winter. That leaves the winter birds: cardinals; red bellied, pileated and Downy woodpeckers; various hawks and owls; and morning doves. Some winter visitors arrive: the juncos, fox sparrows, chickadees and nuthatches.
Starting in February the migrants return. Turkey vultures soar across the sky. Blue jays hog the bird feeder. Several finches show up.
So many kinds of birds move back bird watching becomes interesting. Bird songs come from every direction.
Then the trees leaf out.
Bird songs still sound from all around. Birds flit from tree to tree. They disappear into the leaves.
Summer bird watching is frustrating.
A bird calls from a tree. I stand scanning every branch or where I assume a branch is. And the bird remains invisible or flicks a tail into view only to vanish again.
Seeing a bird in summer takes luck. Getting a picture of a bird in summer is even harder.
There are a few exceptions. Flycatchers and king birds sit on the pasture fence wires diving off after insects flying by. Barn swallows swoop over the pastures.
The best place to do summer bird watching is the bird feeder. First come the morning doves. Blue jays, titmice, cardinals and goldfinches follow. Brown headed cowbirds take the place over for a time.
Woodpeckers work on the suet cake. Red bellied ones swoop in and plop onto the cake cage. Downey woodpeckers land on the posts and climb up until they see the cake is available.
If it weren’t for the bird feeder, summer bird watching would not happen.
More about feeding wild birds is in “Exploring the Ozark Hills“.