Wildlife in the Backyard

Eastern Chipmunk

This is one of my favourite times of the year, when newly-fledged birds and baby mammals begin to appear in conservation areas and green spaces around the city. In trying to make my backyard wildlife-friendly, it is no surprise that baby birds and animals show up here, too! Starlings have nested in the eaves of the house behind us, and their first brood fledged and dispersed several weeks ago. Not long afterward, I saw an adult carrying strands of dead grass from my backyard up to the eaves to “spruce up” the nest and perhaps begin a second brood!

Young squirrels with disproportionately long tails have been visiting my yard for a while now and have grown big enough that they are no longer distinguishable from the adults. However, I didn’t realize that the local chipmunks had any young until one female arrived in my yard with two fully-grown babies that kept trying to feed on her milk while she gathered seeds from beneath my feeder! I didn’t get any photos of the chipmunk family, but here are a few chipmunk photos from the last month:

Eastern Chipmunk

Chipmunk hiding

My small, ornamental bird bath has been popular this summer. Standing only about a foot tall, it is small enough for the chipmunks to jump on top of it and get a drink. I have also seen robins and Chipping Sparrows drinking and bathing in it.

Chipmunk getting a drink

Another chippy getting a drink

For the first time ever I saw a juvenile robin in my yard with its speckled breast, following its parent around and constantly calling for food. Another day I saw this newly-fledged Mourning Dove sitting on top of the umbrella of our patio set.

Mourning Dove

He then flew to the top of the fence, showing off his crisp, new plumage. Although I sometimes see a pair of adult Mourning Doves sitting on my fence or resting beneath my feeder, this fellow was quite alone.

Mourning Dove

I enjoy it when the adult Chipping Sparrows bring their young to my backyard to feed. Usually I just see one adult with one baby, but at one point I had two adults trying to feed four babies!

Juvenile Chipping Sparrow

Feed me, ma!

Seeing all of these babies around makes me realize how quickly time is passing; it won’t be long until the birds stop singing and defending territories, the babies become independent, and the summer birding doldrums set in.

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