OK, not quite the same as ♫A Partridge In A Pear Tree♫, but close enough. I’ve been seeing a pair of grouse (grice?) foraging under the thorn tree but this morning they were up in one of the crab apples. The second picture shows one clearly eating the apples.
They’re a fairly heavy bird for those thin branches so a lot of wobbling going on. Not as bad as last year when the turkeys were in the high-bush cranberry (which unfortunately won’t happen this year because sawfly larvae ate all the flowers and, since they came back again when the bush had leafed out again, may have killed the bush).
Cold weather finally lures the ruffed grouse to the bird seed.
This ruffed grouse has been getting closer to the house while the weather has been bad. Yesterday it would not come out of cover behind the bushes where it was foraging for fallen berries:
Today the temperature fell from 4ºC yesterday afternoon to -20ºC this morning, which prompted the grouse to get a little courage and come close enough to get bird seed from the ground, out in the open.
This is as close as I could get:
The bush it was hiding behind yesterday is a high-bush cranberry. It still has most of its berries. Last year they lasted until almost March when the deer got hungry enough to venture into the garden. It would be nicer if they’d come in daylight. Meanwhile, the juncos fly into it when they are disturbed as it is a relatively safe refuge from hawks.
Later in the spring – bluebirds, woodpeckers, ruffed grouse and swallowtail butterflies – nature is getting rambunctious.
After working dawn til dusk for a while and not being home the week before that, I had some catching up to do. We have several pairs of bluebirds nesting in our boxes. Here is one on top of the pole which holds his box:
And here is a back view – through a window with the light hitting obliquely, which fogged the picture a little.
Here is a female ruby-throated hummingbird perched on top of our blue spruce – about 7m high, so she gets a good view.
He has a lot of work to do before this pole is finished.
We are also fortunate enough to have grouse nesting in the hardwood forest on the south side of the house. I took this picture of the eggs but haven’t been back as she flew off the nest when I got close and I don’t want to frighten her away. It must be very difficult to stay safe with all the predators there are around.
There are lots of butterflies around, too. Here is a Swallowtail, showing the top side of its wings:
And here is the underside of the wing:
Finally, a couple of wildflowers. First another picture of the ladyslippers I showed in my last post:
and the wild scarlet columbines are out again, but not so many this year. They’re still recovering from the power company clearing the lines as that is where most of them grow where it is open, dry and sunny.