Walking along the boardwalk, you could hear the lively chirping of birds as they fluttered among the branches high up in the tops of the bald cypress trees.
One of the most visible was the Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler which weaved in and out of the branches, flashing its bright yellow rump and sides as it searched for insects.
An energetic female Red-winged Blackbird clung to branches and did acrobatics as she used her beak to pick treats from among the greenery.
The most flashy of the birds was the Prothonotary Warbler with its bright yellow feathers. Migrating here in early spring, it spends the breeding season nesting and hunting for its favorite diet of insects and snails.
What a delight to be able to hear and observe these busy little birds.
“Spring would not be spring without bird songs.” ~Francis M. Chapman
In the spring, the sound of the male Red-winged blackbird echoes out across grassy fields and marshy areas as he noisily defends his territory, puffing up and proudly displaying his ornate red and yellow shoulder patches.
The song of the streaky-brown female can also be heard as she moves stealthily through tall grass in search of food and weaving material for her nest. Her dull color helps to provide camouflage as she sits in her nest, located close to the ground.
“In spring more mortal singers than belong To any one place cover us with song. Thrush, bluebird, blackbird, sparrow, and robin throng.” ~Robert Frost
In May, the sounds of a variety of birds hidden in the tall, dense grass along the Mississippi levee fill the air. Seemingly out of nowhere, a bird will flutter through the air and alight on top of a tall weed stalk. It is interesting to slowly ride along the levee road, occasionally stopping to watch in silence, to see what different types of birds can be spotted.
male Indigo bunting
immature male Orchard Oriole
male and female Red-winged blackbirds
“In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.” ~Robert Lynd
Flying among the tall grass along the levee were the red-winged blackbirds. Stopping to perch atop tall stems, the male, with his bright shoulder patches, would occasionally puff up his wings and belt out a loud song.
The female, the less showy of the two with her streaked brown feathers, was quieter and more likely to be overlooked.
“Blackbirds are the cellos of the deep farms.” ~Anne Stevenson
A leisurely drive along the Mississippi levee at this time of the year never disappoints. One of my favorite sightings this month was several Ruby-throated hummingbirds darting in and out among the red clover. We sat and watched their playful activity for some time. No photos, but clear, beautiful images in my mind.
“Memory … is the diary that we all carry around with us.” ~Oscar Wilde
A male and female Red-winged blackbird sitting in a marshy area near the Mississippi River.
The marsh, to him who enters it in a receptive mood, holds, besides mosquitoes and stagnation, melody, the mystery of unknown waters, and the sweetness of Nature undisturbed by man. ~ Charles William Beebe