Late summer is always a bit of a down time for birders living in the more northern reaches. A time when the forest goes eerily silent and a feeling of loss seems to enter your heart. Thus it was a wonderful surprise to see this Warbling Vireo hop into plain sight a few days ago. While they look a bit low keyed they are prolific singers who had graced our forests with their songs most of June and early July. Then silence.
Just a week or so ago we noticed a flurry of activity in the serviceberry and chokecherry bushes nearby as family of Western Tanagers moved back and forth between the two. It appeared that on this day the fledglings were being taught an invaluable lesson and getting a good meal as the result. While the male seemed to fly in and out of the bushes quickly picking a berry and flying up into a Douglas Fir tree to consume his meal mom gathered the two young ones and showed them how it was done.
A fledgling taking stock of the work ahead.
While the fruit was abundant the picking was not always easy and at times a bit of aerial acrobatics was required as mom show the kids how it was done.
Alas, while most of the summers wildflowers have come and gone there is still a bit of color to be found. The Dotted Gayfeather have done well this year and are in full bloom in the fields and along the roadside near our home and it looks like other besides ourselves are enjoying them as a little Skipper Butterfly enjoys a late summers sip of nectar.