The birds in the Arnold Arboretum are now in the thick of spring. On a cool, sunny morning, I watched them build nests, sing to attract mates, and defend their territory.
While one of the females was building a nest, one of the male red-winged blackbirds was chasing away a red-tailed hawk.
Oblivious, a nearby song sparrow busily sang.
Gray catbirds were everywhere, one of the most common birds I saw today. They were either foraging on the ground or staking out bushes.
I only saw one type of warbler. I know more are around. I spoke to a birder who had seen a number of them near the Explorer’s Garden.
Here’ a male Baltimore oriole. Orchard orioles are a darker color, but another way to differentiate between them is their tail feathers. Orchard orioles have dark tail feathers while Baltimore orioles have a bit of orange thrown in.
I found a female Baltimore oriole building her hanging nest in a honey locust tree.
While she went out to gather more material, a red-winged blackbird came by to steal some of the material, probably for her own nest.
And, finally, I managed to photograph a ruby-throated hummingbird. This hummingbird was resting on the branches of a hickory tree near the sign for the Leventritt Shrub Garden.
Where’s the ruby throat, you ask? Well, the plumage is iridescent and so different colors show at different angles. Here’s another photo of the same bird showing the red throat.
Weigela flowers, with their long throats, are perfect for long hummingbird bills.