Wildlife Wednesday: September 2015

Lately it seems that before I can turn around, another month has gone by. Does it appear that way to everyone else? I’ve always heard that the older you get, the faster time flies. I hate to see what it might be like in another ten years! Anyway, it’s the first Wednesday of the month once again and time for Wildlife Wednesday, hosted by Tina and her blog My Gardener Says. I’ve been a bit neglectful of my blog over the past month. There really hasn’t been that much out of the ordinary wildlife in my garden and the hot temperatures have kept me mostly inside except for early mornings. The one example of wildlife really worth celebrating this month has to be the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) that have been making their presence known. I hope you’ll excuse me if I go overboard!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Though I’ve had feeders out all summer, the Hummers have been busy ignoring them and keeping themselves busy feeding on the flowering plants, most notably Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) and Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus). The blooms on both of these have about gone to the wayside, finally inducing these little garden denizens to take a chance on the magic liquid contained in the feeders.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Have you ever just settled down in a chair in front of a window or on the porch and watched Hummingbirds go about their business? If you haven’t then you’re really missing out on a spellbinding experience. These little (immature) guys or gals have been zipping around our garden, chasing each other and visibly staking out their territories.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Once they find a prime feeding area they stick close by, usually within just a few feet or so of a feeder.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

They invariably perch on the same little twig in order to keep an eye on their food source.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

If another of their kind happens by, a wonderful-to-watch chase scene ensues. If only I could have captured one such flight with my camera! I envy those who’ve been able to do so.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department conducts an annual survey of Hummingbirds called the Texas Hummingbird Roundup.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

For those of you living in Texas here’s a link to information about the Texas Hummingbird Roundup as well as a link to the Texas Hummingbird Roundup Backyard Survey.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

While I see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds throughout the day, they seem to be most active in the early morning  and late evening.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Look at the length of that bill!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

They’re such tiny birds, measuring from about 2.8 inches to to 3.5 inches in length and weighing just fractions of an ounce!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

For information on the Ruby-throated Hummingbird be sure to visit this page at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.

So what other wildlife did I see in my garden this month? Here are a few other birds…

…a Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) hopping around on some deck furniture. For being so small, these birds have a very loud voice. Carolina Wren pairs stay together for life!

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

…a White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) sunbathing. The colors of this bird’s feathers form quite a contrast. Many birds exhibit colors in flight, or in a posture such as this, that you don’t normally see when they’re just perching on a utility wire or hopping around on the ground. White-winged Doves are now seen as far north as Alaska!

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

…a European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) in the transitional juvenile form. Starlings can learn the calls of up to twenty other species of birds!

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - Transitional Juvenile
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) – Transitional Juvenile

…a couple of juvenile Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos). We didn’t seem to have many Mockingbirds this summer, yet young ones are beginning to prance around the yard in numbers. These two have been keeping fast company — perhaps they’re siblings? — and still exhibit some speckling on their upper breast and throat areas. Mockingbirds feed on insects and fruit!

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

And here are a few bugs…

…an Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) Dragonfly. I haven’t seen as many Dragonflies lately, but this one hung around long enough for me to take a few pictures.

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

…and a Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) Butterfly. These seem to come and go in small bunches. They visit for a while, disappear, then return.

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

That’s my Wildlife Wednesday post for September 2015. Please check out Tina and her blog My Gardener Says for more Wildlife Wednesday posts!

 

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Wildlife Wednesday: August 2015

Wildlife Wednesday, hosted by Tina and her blog My Gardener Says on the first Wednesday of each month, really sneaked up on me this time around! The day was half over before I finally remembered what it was that I’d been trying to remember all morning to remember to do… Wildlife Wednesday offers us gardeners — and everyone else, too — a chance to celebrate the wildlife in our gardens through pictures and prose. A multitude of thanks goes out to Tina for hosting this wonderful meme each month!

Summer has finally arrived in North Texas. Prior to today we had hit 100°F only three times this year — a mark that is way, way, way below average. This week, unfortunately, things will be back to “normal”, with the forecast for the next seven days calling for high temperatures ranging from 102°F to 106°F (approximately 39°C to 41°C) and heat indexes of 105°F to 112°F (approximately 40°C to 44°C). Blech! Not only will I not be venturing outdoors much over the next week or so, especially in the afternoons, neither will any wildlife that has any sense at all! So I guess it’s a good thing I’ve got a few critters to share this month — before we all start hibernating.

My garden visitors during the past month have been mainly birds and bugs. During the early part of July we were fortunate to receive a few inches of rain. Birds take cover where they can during downpours — these three found a perch atop a downspout coming off the roof.

Birds On Downspout
Birds On Downspout

The bird below appears to be a Juvenile White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica).

Juvenile White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
Juvenile White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

Here’s another White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica). He looks so pretty against the bright blue background of the sky.

White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing
Ooh baby, ooh said, ooh

“Edge of Seventeen” — Stevie Nicks

Bet you didn’t know the White-Winged Dove made it into a Stevie Nicks song! My Hubbie’s a fan. What else can I say? 🙂

Here’s a Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) in our neighbor’s Live Oak Tree (Quercus virginiana). As one of the tallest trees in the neighborhood it affords these Kites a “birds-eye view” of their surroundings.

Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensi)
Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensi)

Western Kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis) are an extremely common sight around my yard — especially since I finally noticed them and found out what they are! Quite a few broods have been hatched and raised in the Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) in our front yard. Below is a parent and a juvenile. The belly area of the adult is a deeper yellow than that of the juvenile.

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)

Western Kingbirds are flycatchers, which makes them insectivores. In the photo below one of the parents (at bottom) is feeding the young ones. You might be able to make out a yellow grasshopper leg hanging from its mouth.

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)

My favorite birds of the past month were by far the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris). Even though I have several feeders available for them, I’ve only seen them feeding on flowers.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

This is either a female or an immature bird.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

She — or he — spent the large part of a recent afternoon zipping around a Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus).

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird beats its wings about 53 times per second. No wonder my camera setting couldn’t keep up!

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

These small birds prefer to feed on red or orange flowers. I guess that’s why they’ve been so fond of the Turk’s Cap and the neighbor’s Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans).

Now for the bugs…

Common Whitetail Skimmers (Plathemis lydia) have been very…well…common this summer! Here we have an adult male, an immature male and a female. The wing pattern of the female dragonfly is just the opposite of that of the male.

This appears to be a female or juvenile male Eastern Pondhawk. The male of this species of dragonfly gradually turns blue.

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

I’m not sure what species of Dragonfly this one is…

Dragonfly
Dragonfly

Here are a couple Damselflies. Maybe one day I’ll have the time and make an effort to identify them.

I think this is an Halictid Bee (Augochloropsis metallica). These are also called Sweat Bees.

Halictid Bee) Augochloropsis metallica)
Halictid Bee (Augochloropsis metallica)

How about a Red Footed Cannibalfly (Promachus rufipes)? Ewwwww!

Red Footed Cannibalfly (Promachus rufipes)
Red Footed Cannibalfly (Promachus rufipes)

And last but not least, I have an update on a recent post — Picture Perfect Monday: Nameless Beauty. This pretty little fly now has an identification. Its called a Feather-legged Fly (Trichopoda pennipes). Very apt, I would say!

Feather-legged Fly (Trichopoda pennipes)
Feather-legged Fly (Trichopoda pennipes)

That ends this month’s Wildlife Wednesday. I hope you enjoyed your visit and I’m glad you stopped by! For more wildlife head over to My Gardener Says. Thanks again to Tina for hosting this wonderful meme!

Wildlife Wednesday: July 2015

Today is the first Wednesday of the month — time for Wildlife Wednesday, a meme hosted by Tina and her blog My Gardener Says… as a way to celebrate the wildlife in our gardens. Following the wonderful yet prolonged rains of the previous month, June popped with every kind of wildlife imaginable! Here’s what was happening in my garden.

Western Kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis) were quite abundant this June. To be quite honest, I’d never heard of this bird prior to taking a couple photos of it and researching it at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site.

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)

The Western Kingbird is in the Tyrant Flycatcher (Tyrannidae) family. They prey on insects. The one below swooped down and caught what looks to be a grasshopper in mid-air.

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)

Western Kingbirds can be found throughout the western United States during the summer. Their winter migration takes them to Central America. In size they’re a bit smaller than an American Robin (Turdus migratorius).

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)
Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)

It appears this Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) might still be a juvenile. His plumage doesn’t seem to have completely filled in and his crest certainly seems more black than blue!

Below is a Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). His warm chestnut color isn’t obvious due to the cover of deep shade.

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

Here’s a White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) on her nest…

White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
White-Winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

…and a nest full of American Robin (Turdus migratorius) youngsters!

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

From birds we’ll jump to bugs! Damselflies have been prolific this spring and early summer, more so than usual, due mostly to the damp and unseasonably cool weather. Below is a slideshow of the ones I was able to get photos of. I didn’t even attempt to identify any of them! If there’s a Damselfly expert out there — go for it!

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June 15-21 was National Pollinator Week. Though I’ve been unable to identify most of them, there’ve been lots of pollinators in my garden! I believe the one pictured below is a Leaf Cutting Bee (Megachilidae).

As for the rest of them, your guess is as good as mine. Here’s one on a Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)…

Pollinator
Pollinator

…on a Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)…

Pollinator
Pollinator

…on a Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)…

Pollinator
Pollinator

…and on a weedy wildflower.

Pollinator
Pollinator

I noticed the other day that we have toads in the garden. Toads are amphibians and are members of the Bufonidae family. As I was doing some weeding I kept hearing a shuffling underneath some flowers. Taking my life into my own hands…I stuck my hand through the foliage and pushed it aside. Actually, I figured it might be a baby bird. But it was a toad! He waddled off and hunkered down in a hollow in the cement frame beneath the fence. I continued weeding and he eventually reappeared, not looking quite as anxious. Perhaps he was gobbling up all those mosquitoes that were trying to gobble me up. I hope so!

Toad
Toad

Another visitor has been this gecko.

Gecko
Gecko

He’s most probably a Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus).

Gecko
Gecko

And lastly…we have a turtle. This tough guy looks likes he’s been through a ringer!

Turtle
Turtle

We had a turtle in our back yard on-and-off for about 6 years, until just before the beginning of the drought five years ago. Could this be the same turtle? The fact that he wasn’t seen for a number of years doesn’t mean he wasn’t actually around. This one has been hiding in the leaves and mulch beneath the shrubs along our back fence — a nice, comparatively cool place. So, who knows? I wish turtles could talk.

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek at my Wildlife Wednesday post for this month. Be sure to stop by Tina’s blog at  My Gardener Says… to check out the wildlife that other folks have hosted in their gardens during June.

Wildlife Wednesday: June 2015

Today is the first Wednesday in June. JUNE. Can you believe that? I can’t. This year is going by so fast it’s almost scary. Memorial Day is already a memory and Independence Day is fast approaching. That means the meat — and heat — of summer is closing in. It also means that today is Wildlife Wednesday, a monthly meme hosted by Tina and her blog My Gardener Says… as a way to celebrate the wildlife in our gardens.

We’ve been really lucky here in North Texas so far this year when it comes to the heat part of the equation. Normally by this time we’ve broken the 100°F (approximately 38°C) mark at least once. As it is, we’ve cracked 90°F only a couple times to this point. Much of that has to do with the rainy month of May.

The little American Robin (Turdus migratorius) below spent most of a very rainy day in a Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) outside our back window. He continually looked for Mama, who was toiling away trying to keep the little guy fed.

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

She returned on a regular basis to check on her offspring. Both of them looked pretty pitiful due to their exposure to the constant rainfall.

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

More often than not Baby Bird was rewarded with a morsel of food. He had quite a time trying to get this earthworm down!

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

Then Mama Bird would be off again in her eternal search for food. Baby Bird just continued to sit, waiting and sulking and probably wishing he’d found a dryer place to roost!

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

We ended the month of May with exactly 17 inches of rain, the most rainfall we’ve recorded for any month. Ever. That was the official total. Unofficial reports had some areas in the region receiving upwards of 20 inches for the month. Our monthly average for May is 3.79 inches. To put it in perspective, already this year we’ve had 25.11 inches of rain, just 3.81 inches below our average annual total! Our May rainfall alone eclipsed the 12.97 inches we received in all of 2011, the official first year of our drought. We’ve already received more rain this year than in any of the previous four years. And June is historically our wettest month…

Here’s another Robin with one of her offspring. She had two almost fully grown youngsters following her around. No wonder she looks frazzled!

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

I’m pretty sure the bird in this photo is a Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). When I saw him I had to run into the house to grab my camera. I just knew he’d be gone when I got back outside, but thankfully he stuck around.

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

He spent a short while crawling around the trunk of a small tree looking for insects.

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

Isn’t this Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) cute? He’s sitting in a 6 inch flower pot, so that should tell you how small he is.

Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger)
Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger)

I managed to snap quite a few pictures of insects before the rains started falling and in the few nice sunny days since they stopped. Here’s a Hoverfly (Syrphidae).

Hoverfly (Syrphidae)
Hoverfly (Syrphidae)

Another Hoverfly (Syrphidae).

Hoverfly (Syrphidae)
Hoverfly (Syrphidae)

And a Bee. Don’t ask me what species!

Bee On Flower
Bee On Flower

Dragonflies have been abundant due to the wet weather. Did you know that the Dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation and adaptability? The life history of these creatures is astonishing. If you’re interested in reading about Dragonflies visit this page at Wikipedia. You’ll learn more than you ever thought possible!

Dragonfly (Anisoptera)
Dragonfly (Anisoptera)

Here’s a Mosquito (Culicidae) on the bloom of a Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria). Mosquitoes actually pollinate flowers! They pollinate goldenrod, orchids and various types of grasses. Nectar is actually the natural food of adult mosquitoes. And I was convinced they were only after my blood!

Mosquito (Culicidae)
Mosquito (Culicidae)

Here’s a Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) perching on a Hummingbird feeder.

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

And speaking of Hummingbirds, here is my last photo for this month’s Wildlife Wednesday — a Hummingbird! The bird was flitting about so the picture isn’t the greatest. I would hazard a guess that it’s a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), but I can’t be sure.

Hummingbird
Hummingbird

That’s it for this month’s Wildlife Wednesday post. I’m already searching out critters for next month! If you want to join in by posting a link to your garden wildlife on Tina’s meme, or just stop by to check out what others are posting, visit My Gardener Says… and be amazed! Many thanks to Tina for hosting this meme!

 

Wildlife Wednesday: May 2015

It’s once again the first Wednesday of the month — this year has been flying by! — and time for Wildlife Wednesday, a meme hosted by Tina and her blog My Gardener Says… as a way to celebrate the wildlife in our gardens. My garden has seen a mixed bag over the past month as far as wildlife goes. Where do I begin? I guess I’ll start with the Red Admiral Butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) that have arrived in droves over the past week.

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

These butterflies have been visiting the flowers in my garden, as well as this large flowering shrub that extends over the fence from our neighbor’s yard. I think the shrub may be some type of privet. Perhaps Ligustrum vulgare? If anyone has a clue please let me know! The neighbors allowed it to grow from the wild and are unsure of what it might be.

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

According to Butterflies and Moths of North America the Red Admiral Butterfly can’t survive extremely cold winters so most of North America must be recolonized each spring by southern migrants. Since there is a brood that winters from October through March in South Texas I guess these guys must be the “recolonizers”. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie!

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

As I went through the photos of the Red Admirals I discovered these pictures of several American Lady Butterflies (Vanessa virginiensis).

Below are a couple Red Admirals and an American Lady feeding on nectar.

Red Admiral Butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) and American Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis)
Red Admiral Butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) and American Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis)

Here is a Gray Hairstreak Butterfly (Strymon melinus). This is a small butterfly that lives throughout North America. He’s sitting atop the blooms of a winter onion. These blooms appear to be attractive to a wide range of insects.

Gray Hairstreak Butterfly (Strymon melinus)
Gray Hairstreak Butterfly (Strymon melinus)

The Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) sailed through during the middle of April. I was able to snap just two photos of these beautiful creatures because the gusty winds didn’t allow them to really settle anywhere for very long.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

A family of Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) has made its home in our back yard for a number of years. Whether they’re the same birds each year is debatable, of course, but I like to believe they are! In past years its been difficult to get a good look at the young ones, but for the past week the little family has put on quite a show. (Click on any photo to enlarge!)

House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) seem to make their homes everywhere. Here a family is being raised in a birdhouse that our neighbor hung in the branches of a Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) in our side yard. It looks like mom and dad sparrow need to do a little housekeeping before their next brood comes along!

The Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus) are still with us. They continue to hang around the thistle feeders, seemingly not in a very big hurry to leave.

Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus)
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)

According to the Texas Breeding Bird Atlas:

“Migrating Pine Siskins arrive in Texas in late September (occasionally as early as August) and depart by late April with a few lingering to late May or even June. Most of the few breeding records for Texas are from late May and early June (Oberholser 1974, Lockwood and Freeman 2004).”

I suppose it won’t be long until they’re off to their summer homes!

These White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) will also probably be heading north and west soon. In the meantime they’ve been visiting beneath the feeders, usually in the mornings and late afternoons.

We still had American Goldfinches (Spinus tristis) through the middle of April. They all seemed to be males, though, in various stages of molting!

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

The bird on the right in the top photo is much shabbier looking than the one on the left. They appear to be in slightly different stages of molting. I guess they’d be classified as adult breeding males. The bird below is still very light-colored with a patchy head so he is probably in what’s known as a “transitional” state. These birds have all apparently flown the coop as none have been seen for several weeks. Perhaps these were just stragglers!

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

Below is a White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) that discovered a handful of sunflower seeds I put out for the Cardinals. I love the way the sun reflected the dark pink of the feeder onto his plumage! The bright orange of his eye and the blue circling it are also very striking.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

I’ve really never paid much attention to the little bee-like flies that buzz around flowering plants, but they’ve been so common this year I decided to take a closer look. I found out that they’re called Hoverflies (Syrphidae) and that there are about 6,000 species of them. Wow! I’ve taken a number of photos of the ones I’ve seen — which is a task in itself as they never seem to sit still! — and there’s no way I’m going to try to identify them beyond “hoverfly”. Here are a couple photos.

Hoverfly (Syrphidae)
Hoverfly (Syrphidae)

These two Hoverflies have different striping patterns. There are also some other dissimilarities. The fly in the photo above looks like he’s wearing some really nifty aviator glasses while the one below has a lot of yellow coloring around its mouth! Their wings look almost exactly the same, though. Hoverflies are beneficial insects that not only pollinate flowers but also prey on other insect pests.

Hoverfly (Syrphidae)
Hoverfly (Syrphidae)

Here’s another bug I found on a Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera rosea). It’s possibly a Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata) nymph, though that’s only a guess from some quick research. It’s quite pretty for as tiny as it is!

Possible Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata) Nymph
Possible Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata) Nymph

With that I bring this month’s edition of Wildlife Wednesday to a close — our electricity has already popped off once due to lightning (yay! rain and thunderstorms) as I sit here composing this on Tuesday evening — and I don’t want my post to disappear into the ether! As usual I had fun choosing which photos to post — almost as much fun as I had taking them — and will be back next month with more.

Please pay a visit to My Gardener Says… to see what types of wildlife other folks entertained during the past month. And once again — a great big thanks to Tina for hosting!