Being the middle of winter and natural food sources running low, the birds have really been flocking to the yard and feeders to supplement their diet. And with more birds in the yard, there are also more predators hanging around.
I believe this is a Cooper's Hawk (please correct me if I'm wrong). He has been seen in the yard frequently over the last month, usually making his daily visits at sunrise.
I love watching this magnificent creature. I'm still waiting for my "National Geographic moment" where I get to actually witness him make a kill.
The most distinctive bird sound that can be heard out in the garden right now is the pecking of the ladderback woodpecker.
This female ladderback is the more frequent woodpecker visitor right now. Every once in awhile I'll catch a glimpse of her red-headed mate.
She especially loves grabbing a delicious snack of suet on the chillier winter days.
The visitors that warm my heart the most right now are the yellow-rumped warblers.
The warblers can be seen daily flitting through the trees and nibbling on the suet cakes that I've put out for them. There have probably been at least 12 of these warblers hanging out in the yard.
And then there are the frequent patrons...
...like the cardinals and sparrows...
...the wrens (not sure what kind - looks kind of like a Carolina wren, but different from what I at least thought was a Carolina wren)...
...the lesser goldfinches...
...the house finches...
...the pesky white-winged doves and brown-headed cowbirds...
...and then there is this mystery bird. At first glace, it looks like it may be a finch or sparrow. However, if you knew the relative size of the tree that it is sitting in, it is closer to the size of a crow. Anyone have any idea what it may be?
While the winged creatures have been the highlight of the garden this month, I cannot skip out on showcasing some of the other critters that have visited the garden.
This Easter fox squirrel is munching on his winter stash of pecans. The squirrels are generally pretty good about leaving the bird feeders alone, thanks to the several pecan trees in the area, plus the acorns that were finally present this year after the oaks received enough water this summer.
The scariest critter was this hairy guy. I saw him creeping along the back deck at night (after almost stepping on him)! After some help with identification, I believe he is a giant leopard moth caterpillar. If so, I certainly hope I get to see him when he is transformed into his adult stage. What interesting looking creatures!
While I'm disappointed some of my broccoli bolted before ever producing decent harvestable heads, I'm glad these bees are enjoying their blooms! There are probably at least 20-25 bees constantly buzzing around the broccoli flowers at all times on warm, sunny days.
That's all the wildlife for this month. Be sure to stop by My Gardener Says... where this meme is hosted by Tina every month and where many other gardeners showcase the wildlife in their gardens!