Lilacs, Blossoms, and Neighborhood Birds

May 14, 2014

The weather is cool again this week, going down into the 40s tonight.  The garden is very green, with the trees leafing out and the grass vibrant green.

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Lilac bushes on a sunny day.  The smaller common lilac in the front grew so quickly that the branches have been bent over after the heavy rains recently, since they have such heavy flower heads.  I need to prune off the flowers in a few weeks.

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Crabapple – malus profusion.  The crabapple was late in blooming, then once the blossoms were open the weather was hot, followed by strong storms, so the blossoms only lasted a few days.  I hope we have a good batch of crabapples for the birds later.

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Blossoms of the Duke blueberry bush.

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The two fothergilla bushes are blooming now with their funky flowers.  The green leaves, which are starting to emerge, are beautiful, too.

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I don’t pay much attention to hostas, but they caught my eye this week with their fresh green leaves.  The slugs usually enjoy nibbling on them, so they don’t stay good looking that long in my garden.  They are good ground covers, though, in the shade.

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Male goldfinch sipping water at the birdbath.  I finally left my camera by the kitchen window to try to capture a goldfinch before it flew away.  These birds are so quick.  The little brown bird is typical in that I can’t really tell all the little brown birds apart.  I assume it is some kind of female sparrow, though it looks different from the female house sparrow in the bird book.  It looks sort of like the female indigo bunting in the bird book, but it could be some kind of baby or immature bird, too.  Can anyone identify this brown bird?

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Male house finch at the birdbath.  These birds love to chew on the sedum seen in the background of this picture.

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This female northern cardinal took a nice bath and then flew up to the oak tree to fluff her feathers.  Then she flew back down to the bath and splashed around again!

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Handsome male northern cardinal hunts in the grass.  There are a lot of birds poking around in the grass these days.  Dan let the grass grow long before mowing it the first time and now it is growing quickly again with all the rain.  Such a pretty bird!

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18 Responses to “Lilacs, Blossoms, and Neighborhood Birds”

  1. Nat Cowdell said

    Gorgeous photos!!! Your garden is attracting some beautiful birds :-)

  2. Maia T. said

    I think your brown bird is a female House Finch.

  3. bittster said

    Nice cardinal pictures, the female looks like she’s really thinking something over! You have a nice bunch of lilacs, mine were just planted last year so have a way to go :)

    • Our biggest lilac was planted about 7 years ago and our newest one just 2 years ago. They are a strong plant that has been a good screen and so nice this time of year. The cool weather has kept the flowers nice longer this year.

  4. pbmgarden said

    Your garden is looking beautiful. That first photo os the lilacs is very nice.

  5. solarbeez said

    Nice pictures of the birds, especially that close up of the cardinal. I hope you get lots of bees on your blueberries.

    • It has been mostly quite cool so not as many bees as one would hope, but last weekend when it was hot I had a huge bumble bee wildly flying all over. It cheered me up! I usually have a lot of different pollinators.

  6. I love lilacs. They do not usually grow here in the South, but I found a kind that does. It is a Mandarin Lilac. And because we had a cold winter, the bush was bigger than ever this year!! I remember lilacs from visiting Oslo (a part of my heritage) and also in Pennsylvania, where I grew up. Your garden is lovely.

    • When I visit the Morton Arboretum they have all kinds of lilacs, and many of them are Asian. I enjoy seeing all the variety. Although the common lilac is not native it has naturalized here and is not an invasive plant.

  7. tosgarden said

    I was once told by a dedicated, serious birder that most of them refer to the little brown birds as LBJ’s – for “little brown jobs” :)
    lovely photos – the birdbath is my favorite part of my home garden, too — the birds are *very* enthusiastic in it

    • Thanks for your bird comments! I have a couple of doves hogging the edge of the birdbath right now, preening their feathers. There is always something fun to watch.

  8. The brown bird is likely a female House Finch. You have the male, so I am pretty sure that is the female. I have a few nesting pairs here too.

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