Ok, so, during the spring and summer, I see a few chimney swifts up above the Jordan Lake Dam, at sunrise. They would be leaving their night time roost and heading out to hunt high flying insects during the day. This video wasn’t made at Jordan Lake, but at sunset this evening near my home between Fuquay Varina and Holly Springs. The flock is growing in size as more and more migrants join the birds that were here for the summer. In about another 10 days all the chimney swifts will head for South America. Note: I made an error in my first posting of these birds which I have corrrected in this edit. Sorry.


I was sitting at my computer yesterday, editing photos.
My cat Grayced was lying just inside the picture window.
Suddenly Grayced levitated off his cushion and I stopped breathing when this red-tailed hawk appeared within 2 feet of the window.
This is actually the second pass of the hawk as he tried for a songbird at my feeder – I didn’t have camera in hand for the first pass.
The red-tailed hawk missed the songbird.  About stopped my heart.  Scared my cat silly.

My friend who is providing the winter garden home for the rufous hummingbird
here in Wake County has sent me an update with 2 photos.
You can see the light bulb behind the little female
that my friend put up to provide some warmth under the house eave.
You can read more about the hummer in the winter weather at http://artfuldogger.blogspot.com


The yellowish tint here is due to the yellow of the heat lamp.  Spa time for the little bird.
I really appreciate that my friend is sharing her photos with us
and her garden with the winter visitor.
you can see my posting of banding this bird in my Winter Surprise!!! entry 

Yes, that is a hummingbird and oh, my, I took the photos today in Garner, NC. No, it is not a ruby-throated hummingbird nor is it where it shouldn’t be this time of the year.
Come to find out, the RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD sometimes over winters here in NC. Even most astonishing: this bird may have migrated here from Alaska and will go back to Alaska in the spring.  Oh, wow!
The little female hummer was safely caught today, measured, weighed in at 3.3 grams, checked for its fitness and banded. Then off it went to go back to feeding.
Keep an eye out for these migrants: if you have a stream or lake or pond nearby and have red or pink flowers blooming close by they may be attracted to your yard for a visit and feeding.
If you see one, please, put your hummingbird feeder back out: use a mix of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar and NOTHING else. Bring the feeder in at night to keep it from freezing and put it back out at first light. If you will let me know of any of these visiting your yard I will pass the information along to the bird bander so she can gather more data. More photos can be seen at my friend’s blog http://artfuldogger.blogspot.com and see the winter home where this hummer was seen and banded
her band is on her right leg – tiny, tiny id bracelet; see 4th photo!
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The peregrine falcon was up early chasing breakfast.

He made several extremely fast dashes but I didn’t see him catch anything.

Here he is coming back to a snappy landing at the end of a dash.

His air brakes worked wonderfully well.
At one point the crows tried to take over his roost tree,
but the peregrine abruptly returned and scattered them.
Unlike humans, peregrines like to eat crow…
see video of some of his take offs and landings at https://flic.kr/p/MWmjb9

I was visiting Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC, looking to photograph the fall flowers.
A butterfly bush (yes that is its name) caught my attention
as the skippers, cabbage and sulfur butterflies flitted about…
and a single, glowing, male monarch butterfly.
Oh, wow, I thought that all of them had already left for Mexico, their winter home.