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.
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.
I wondered at the time if the foot might have become stuck in some ice or perhaps was frostbitten. Apparently birds can get frostbite.
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.
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!
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).
I had to run from side to side and around and around to snap these pictures because the butterfly kept flitting around!
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.”
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.
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.
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!
Here’s another American Robin (Turdus migratorius). Or maybe the same one. Who knows?
Geese are migrating. Their loud voices drew me outside.
These two photos were taken on March 21. The second day of spring! I guess these birds know their seasons.
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!