Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another Highlight

I forgot to mention another highlight of the last seven days.  While sewing one afternoon, a flash of bright color through the window caught my eye.  It took me a few seconds to find the source of that flash, but it was worth abandoning my quilting for a bit.  I saw a brilliantly colored bird dive into the filbert (hazelnut) tree about 20 feet away.  The bright yellow body, black and white wings and red-orange head made me think some tropical pet had escaped a birdcage, but as I watched several more appeared, all flying at breakneck speed between the filbert tree and a tall viburnum (snowball bush) only 10 feet apart.  The sun happened to be shining just then, making their colors even more brilliant.  It was impossible to count how many there were as they moved so fast, but I'm guessing 8-10 - enough to know that they weren't escaped pets.

All too soon, the birds flew northwest out of my field of vision and the show was over.  The rain was pouring again within 5 minutes, so I hope the little creatures had reached a safe place by then.  Later, I checked out my now favorite bird identification web site ( and soon learned that my little visitors were western tanagers.  This resource said they spend the winter in Mexico and Central America then migrate north for summer breeding.  These guys must have been making a pit stop before traveling farther north.  I hope I'm lucky enough to see them again next fall when the fly south.

No comments: