Wildlife Wednesday: April 2015

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means that today is also Wildlife Wednesday, a meme hosted by Tina and her blog My Gardener Says… as a way to celebrate the wonderful and ever-changing wildlife in our gardens. Before I expound on the critters I found in my garden this past month I have just one question. Where in tarnation did the month of March go?! Wasn’t it Christmas only yesterday? I’ve always heard that the older you get the faster time goes by. I’m quickly learning to believe that’s true! Okay. Well. On to the wildlife!

I don’t really have a wide range of critters to share this month, but one I found to be of interest is this Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto). These birds abound throughout Texas so the sight of one isn’t surprising. What caught my attention when I first noticed him was that he was moving around a little oddly. Then I saw his right foot. You’ll notice in the photos below that the toes of that foot are curled backward.

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

The first time I saw this bird limping about was directly after we received some ice and snow a couple of months back. He actually had to use his right wing to support himself at times.

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

I wondered at the time if the foot might have become stuck in some ice or perhaps was frostbitten. Apparently birds can get frostbite.

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Whatever the cause, Mr. Limpy didn’t appear to be bothered by the misshapen appendage for long! He quickly adapted to his misfortune and continues to visit our backyard regularly with his kinfolk.

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

He has no problem scouring the area for food and doesn’t seem to be on the low end of the pecking order. He’s been known to pick a fight or two when other doves invade his space! I suppose as long as he has two good wings to carry him out of harm’s way he’ll be okay!

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Butterflies have reappeared in the garden! For several weeks they had no reason to actually land as there was no food for them. The wind was also so bad on some days that it just blew them in other directions. Just a few days ago, however, I managed to get a few photos of a Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) as it visited a Lilac (Syringa).

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Butterfly
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Butterfly

I had to run from side to side and around and around to snap these pictures because the butterfly kept flitting around!

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Butterfly
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Butterfly

Red Admirals apparently have an eclectic taste in food. According to Butterflies and Moths of North America:

“Red Admirals prefer sap flows on trees, fermenting fruit, and bird droppings; visiting flowers only when these are not available. Then they will nectar at common milkweed, red clover, aster, and alfalfa, among others.”

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Butterfly
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Butterfly

Here are a Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) and a female House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) sharing a thistle feeder. Only one or two American Goldfinches (Spinus tristis) have been seen since about the middle of March, with none coming to the feeders in the last week, so they’re apparently gone until next winter.

Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) and Female House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) and Female House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

Here’s a Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) hiding in some shrubs. I think he was waiting for me to disappear so he could get a drink of water.

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

And here’s an American Robin (Turdus migratorius). He just plopped himself down in the bird bath while I was standing about five feet away. Not shy at all!

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Here’s another American Robin (Turdus migratorius). Or maybe the same one. Who knows?

Geese are migrating. Their loud voices drew me outside.

Migrating Geese
Migrating Geese

These two photos were taken on March 21. The second day of spring! I guess these birds know their seasons.

Migrating Geese
Migrating Geese

That does it for the wildlife in my garden. It was really quite a month as winter changed over to spring. Seasonal residents moved on, others returned. Who knows what the coming month will bring!

Thanks for visiting. While you’re here, how about also visiting My Gardener Says… to add your own link for Wildlife Wednesday!

 

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20 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday: April 2015

  1. Those are breathtaking photos of the butterfly. Well worth all your ducking and dodging I’d say.

    I’m glad to hear Mr. Limpy seems to be managing his damaged foot pretty well. The last time we visited San Francisco we noted a good third of the pigeon population downtown were survivors of some sort of injury or another. They too seemed to be fine under the circumstances. It’s a knock down world out there for birds, no question.

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  2. Great shots! I’m glad your dove has adapted well to his injury, but I’m sure you have a welcoming place for him as well. I hadn’t read about the Red Admirals eating preferences–bird droppings, ugh–that’s a surprise.

    I love to watch birds bathe, they always look to be having such a grand time and your Robin is no exception to that. I really want to see a Pine Siskin–I believe they’re in Central Texas, but I’m not sure I’ve even seen one before–I’ll need to keep a close eye for that one.

    Thanks as always for participating!!!

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    • Some birds really get into bathing, that’s for sure! Others seem to be a little more dainty about it. The siskins are certainly cute little birds. I read that they normally begin heading north or west in April, but sometimes wait until May or later. We had several at the thistle feeder this morning, so they’re still around. When looking at them from the front they sort of look like a female house finch, but their beaks are straight instead of curved like the finches.

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  3. At first, I was sad when I saw the injured dove. After reading on, I’m glad to hear that he is doing well and not phased by his injury. You say the Eurasia collard doves are common in Texas, but I have never seen one in my yard. We mainly have the white-winged doves, sprinkled in with a few incas and an occasional mourning dove. The Eurasia must steer clear of our area with all the competition…or something. I love your robin bath pics – so funny! You said you don’t have much wildlife to share this month – I’d beg to differ – there is lots going on in your garden!

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    • We have mostly collared doves and white-winged doves, with a few mourning doves and incas thrown in. If I were to hazard a guess I’d say we have more of the collared doves than the others. It probably just depends on food, shelter, etc. Thanks for your kind words!

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  4. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. I especially like the ones of the robin bathing.
    I rarely get good pictures of butterflies, especially when they’re flitting around. xx

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  5. It is amazing how animals can adapt to physical issues like the dove’s. I adore when butterflies appear…it won’t be for at least another month at least…fabulous shots of the bathing robin too. The robins have returned and are finding food and water as the snow melts….love spring critters.

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  6. Lovely images! My backyard is full of winged visitors, too. I even ‘host’ a parrot in my tree for the last couple of days. I can’t get that booger down. I guess, he enjoys the freedom. 😀

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