Visitors at the Bird Bath

During the drought this year, to assist the various animals that make our yard their home, I placed a bird bath at the bottom of our hill, in the wooded part of the yard. To learn what animals were using the bird bath, I placed a trail cam on a nearby tree to record the activity at the bird bath. Below are some of images recorded by the trail cam.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Robins were frequent visitors to the bird bath. Sometimes, families of 3-4 robins would take turns bathing in the bird bath.

A picture of an American Robin (Turdus migratorius) perched on a bird bath
An American Robin (Turdus migratorius) perched on the bird bath.

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

A picture of a Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) on the edge of a bird bath.
A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) on the edge of a bird bath.

Prior to seeing the following image, I had not seen a Blue Jay bathe in a bird bath despite having multiple bird baths for years.

A picture of a wet Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) wet after taking a bath.

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

A picture of a Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
A Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
A picture of a pair of Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) at the bird bath.
A pair of Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) at the bird bath.

American goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

A picture of an American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) on a bird bath
An American goldfinch (Spinus tristis).

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

After I saw the following picture, I knew why I occasionally found partially consumed animal carcasses in the bird bath. Crows were using it to clean their food.

A picture of an American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) cleaning its food in a bird bath
An American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) cleaning its food in a bird bath.
A picture of a muster of American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
A muster of American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) with three on the bird bath and two in the trees.

Hairy Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus villosus)

A Hairy Woodpecker would frequently visit nearby trees but never visited the bird bath.

A picture of a Hairy Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus villosus) on a tree
A Hairy Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus villosus) on a nearby tree.

Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

A picture of an Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) visiting the bird bath.
An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) visiting the bird bath.

One apparently tired Gray Squirrel rested on the bird bath.

A picture of an Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) lounging on the bird bath.
An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) lounging on the bird bath.

American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

A picture of an American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) visiting the bird bath
An American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
A picture of an American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) drinking from the bird bath
An American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) drinking from the bird bath.

Mouse

The bird bath even had visitors at night. The camera recorded several images of mice visiting the bird bath at night.

A picture of a mouse drinking from the bird bath
A mouse drinking from the bird bath.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

A pair of raccoons were recorded walking past the bird bath but they apparently had no interest in it.

A picture of a Raccoon (Procyon lotor) walking past the bird bath.
A Raccoon (Procyon lotor) walking past the bird bath.

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are a common sight in our urban neighborhood. Capturing a good image of them is, however, not an easy task. The following images are from several cameras we have in our yard.

Whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)

On Thursday, I was working from home when I heard a low growl. Checking on Lizzie, I saw she was growling at a gobble of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) ambling through our front yard. She has seen turkeys previously but always at a distance, never this close.

Wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)
A gobble of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) ambling through our front yard.

The turkeys appeared to be eating acorns that had dropped from the oak trees. We have had single turkeys visit our yard but never this many at once.

Monarch Butterflies and a Hummingbird

While photographing Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) on Easter Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) came by to feed.

A picture of two monarch butterflies on purple coneflowers
Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) on Eastern Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea)
A picture of a monarch butterfly and hummingbird flying
A Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Bumblebee (Bombus spp.)

We have a pollinator-friendly yard. Actually, you could say it is pollinator-welcoming. We haven’t ever used pesticides in our yard and, over the 10+ years we have lived here, planted a lot of native flowering plants. We also don’t use weed killers so our lawn is full of dandelions and creeping charlie along with other flowering “weeds”. We keep our lawn mower blade at a height that allows most of those flowering plants an opportunity to bloom. And we have a lot of flowering trees. All in all, our yard is welcoming and supportive of pollinating insects.

Despite all the bees visiting our yard, I have found it is difficult to get good pictures of them. So I was excited when a bumblebee was willing to let me photograph it while it gathered pollen from a flowering tree. Below are some of the photographs.

Bumblebee (Bombus spp.)
A bumblebee (Bombus spp.) gathering pollen from a flowering crab.
Bumblebee (Bombus spp.)
A bumblebee (Bombus spp.) gathering pollen from a flowering crab.
Bumblebee (Bombus spp.)
A bumblebee (Bombus spp.) gathering pollen from a flowering crab.
Bumblebee (Bombus spp.)
A bumblebee (Bombus spp.) gathering pollen from a flowering crab.

Gray Treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor)

Yesterday morning we found a gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) resting on a foot stool on our patio.

Gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor)
A gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) resting on patio furniture

Another view of a gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor)
Another view of a gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) resting on some patio furniture

It started out the day looking green with dark gray but by late afternoon it had changed color to mottled tan.

Gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor)
A gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) resting on patio furniture

Lizzie Chasing Squirrels

As I wrote previously, Lizzie likes chasing squirrels. I recently placed our game camera so it would capture some of the action.

The buffet line is a table we have placed next to our fence. It is frequently visited by American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).

Red squirrel eating seeds
An American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
A gray squirrel eating seed
An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) eating seed.

Lizzie often watches for squirrels from a futon we have next to a window. Sometimes, she sits under trees watching the squirrels run around.

Lizzie watching a squirrel in a tree
Lizzie watching a squirrel in a tree

If they don’t come down after awhile, she barks at them, almost as if to say, “Come down here and play!”

Lizzie barking at a squirrel
Lizzie barking at a squirrel

If she is lucky, they come down to play and run along the fence for her to chase them.

Lizzie chasing a squirrel
Lizzie chasing a squirrel