Pileated Woodpecker june92020 1800ab BINNS 1D2A6498 copy copy

IN THE BACKYARD: Philadelphia early-June

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Jun 15, 2020 | by Adrian Binns

June is the month for breeding bird activity, and my backyard hosts a number of expected species. However, the first day of the month I recorded a singing male Blackburnian Warbler, one of the last migrants to move through the region. A lone Red-eyed Vireo sang a few days, but perhaps failed to attract a mate and hasn’t been heard since.

As the breeding season progresses, I enjoy watching multiple Gray Catbirds dart through the yard picking up insects. We just discovered an active catbird nest in the shrub next to the house! I occasionally see and hear Great Crested Flycatchers and Eastern Kingbirds; these likely are nesting in the neighborhood. I saw a pair of Cooper’s Hawks displaying early in the month, and a pair of Chimney Swifts displays frequently overhead.

American Crow

American Crows start quite early, and their offspring have already fledged from their nest high in our pine tree. Family bonds are strong, and the young crows make a lot of noise, sounding very similar to Fish Crows.

Eastern Bluebird

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, it’s been years since I was home to enjoy spring and summer in my own backyard. It’s been fun to watch and photograph my garden birds this season. A big surprise was the addition of two new species to my yard list, which now totals 119:  Eastern Bluebird and Pileated Woodpecker! Both were heard and seen in the adjacent cemetery, before they briefly appeared in my yard, at the edge of two contrasting habitats.

Pileated Woodpecker

The rest of the month may unfold quietly, providing good opportunity to photograph common yard birds, and watch butterflies nectaring on flowers.

update June 1-14

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