You don’t see this every day

Photo by Chris Bosak  A luna moth clings to a screen in Danbury, Conn., during spring 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A luna moth clings to a screen in Danbury, Conn., during spring 2018.

I went to fill the feeders the other morning when something caught my eye on the outside of the bathroom window screen. It was a luna moth, a first for my house in Danbury and only about the second sighting overall for me. The first came at a gas station, of all places. I may have found a dead one at some point, too, but I can’t remember for sure.

There was no denying this handsome moth, though. There it was in all its awesomeness, just clinging to the screen. It hung around all day and evening, but was gone by the next morning.

Two interesting facts I learned about luna moths since this sighting: The adult form, which this is, of course, lives for only a week. Secondly, the adult form doesn’t have mouthparts and doesn’t eat. Its sole purpose is to mate.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A luna moth clings to a screen in Danbury, Conn., during spring 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A luna moth clings to a screen in Danbury, Conn., during spring 2018.

 

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Another scarlet tanager shot

Photo by Chris Bosak A scarlet tanager sings from an oak tree in Danbury, Conn., spring 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A scarlet tanager sings from an oak tree in Danbury, Conn., spring 2018.

Another scarlet tanager shot .. just because.

Scarlet tanager joins the group

Photo by Chris Bosak  A scarlet tanager perches in an oak tree in Danbury, Conn., spring 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A scarlet tanager perches in an oak tree in Danbury, Conn., spring 2018.

First the rose-breasted grosbeak and the indigo bunting, now this … a brilliant male scarlet tanager visits the yard this spring. Sure, it didn’t visit the feeder, but it was in the oak trees above the house. Good enough for me. Happy birding everyone.

The next day this came …

Photo by Chris Bosak  A male indigo bunting eats seeds from a platform feeder in Danbury, Conn., in May 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A male indigo bunting eats seeds from a platform feeder in Danbury, Conn., in May 2018.

I posted my latest For the Birds column yesterday. The day after writing that column — in which I write about seeing my first indigo bunting at a feeder — this guy showed up. Yes, another indigo bunting, but this one a mature male in his awesome breeding plumage. If you recall, the first indigo bunting was a first-year male and sported blotchy plumage (not that I was complaining.) But this new guy really stood out at my feeding station.

Latest For the Birds column: Another backyard first

Here is the latest For the Birds column, which runs in several New England newspapers.

Photo by Chris Bosak An indigo bunting visits a feeder in New England, spring 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An indigo bunting visits a feeder in New England, spring 2018.

No matter how long you’ve been at it, birdwatching always presents firsts.

Wait, I used that sentence to start my column a few weeks ago. Oh well, another birding first happened this week, so I’m going with it again.

This time, it was a new bird to my feeding station. I’ve been feeding birds for a long time, and I’ve seen some great birds eating seeds or suet in my backyard.

Every year I’m thrilled when the rose-breasted grosbeaks show up. This year, a male and female have paid periodic visits for the last couple days.

It took years for me to attract hummingbirds, but now — knock on wood — it seems they are annual visitors.

A few Octobers ago, a small group of pine warblers discovered my suet feeder and stuck around the yard for about three days.

The other day, a new arrival. Settling into my lounge chair on the deck, I noticed a bright blue blotch among the leaves on the branch used by “my” Continue reading

Good backyard visitors so far this spring

Photo by Chris Bosak A male rose-breasted grosbeak visits a feeder in Danbury, Conn., during the spring of 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak A male rose-breasted grosbeak visits a feeder in Danbury, Conn., during the spring of 2018.

We still have a few weeks left of peak spring migration, so this list is not inclusive (I hope not anyway), but the feeder has been active recently with the following birds: rose-breasted grosbeak (male and female); chipping sparrow; goldfinch; gray catbird; blue jay; cardinal (male and female); indigo bunting (first spring male); red-bellied woodpecker; white-breasted nuthatch; tufted titmouse; black-capped chickadee; downy woodpecker; hairy woodpecker; mourning dove; house finch; ruby-throated hummingbird (male and female); wild turkey; and probably one or two more that aren’t coming to mind at the moment. I bought a new oriole feeder, but no luck yet with that one. What’s been visiting your feeders? Feel free to comment with your list.

Photo by Chris Bosak  A female rose-breasted grosbeak visits a feeder in Danbury, Conn., during the spring of 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A female rose-breasted grosbeak visits a feeder in Danbury, Conn., during the spring of 2018.