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It’s Definitely Insect Season Again

Eastern Carpenter Bee
Evidently a Two-spotted Bumblebee. Carpenter’s don’t side-saddle pollen like Bombus.
Cabbage White on Phlox.
Some kind of meadow bug, I think.
A click beetle, Sylvanelater cylindriformis
Not a great picture, but the first Primrose Cochylid Moth on Inaturalist for Brooklyn.
Osmia mason bee (perhaps).
One of the many, many Andrena genus mining bees.

The weather has been fluctuating. Days in the 50s aren’t very bug friendly, but once we start hitting the sunny 60s, they emerge.

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Pollinators

Oblique Streaktail
European Paperwasp
An unknown-to-me bee.
Another unknown bee.
Colletes or Andrena?
Carpenter Bee cutting into the flower to suck out the nectar, and missing the pollen.
You can see the scars of the cuts.
An unknown flower fly. Note the Forsythia pollen on eye.
Problematic, but those pollen baskets!

Rusty

Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus). This is, or better say was, a common species, but the birds have “undergone one of the sharpest and most mystifying recent declines of any North American songbird.” Here’s more information from the Rusty Blackbird Working Group. I reported this sighting on eBird.

This male, forging on the edge of Green-Wood’s Sylvan Water, was taking advantage of the wind-blown pile-up of leaves and muck amid the rocky shore here. The closest thing to their “bottomland wooded-wetlands” habitat of choice. Most of the Water is ringed in a wall, as you can see to the left of the bird.

Raptor Wednesday

Three of five Blue Jays steamed up about the female American Kestrel.
The next day she back here, eating something, probably House Sparrow.
The male. They like this drainpipe housing because it is in the morning sun and out of the prevailing westerlies.
Red-tailed Hawk breaking off twig for nest construction. Interesting that they chose fresh twigs rather than ones on the ground.

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More Mammal

Not one dirty-nosed Groundhog,…

Yes, two. Grazing on the grass. Wrestling. Running at the sound of approaching cars, but fairly blasé about bipeds nearby.

Donations.

Mammal Monday

Empty calories…
A couple people saw the Groundhog who lives here being hassled by a Red-tailed Hawk.
Expecting to see some youngsters soon.

Uh-oh. Trouble. This Red-tailed Hawk cached the remains (Gray Squirrel, I think) in this Atlas cedar. I saw the bird fly in empty-taloned, clamber up a limb, and only then start in on the retrieved leftovers.

Rodent remains in owl pellet. With a bonus bird bill down there to the right.

Backyard and Beyond is now accepting donations! If costs several hundred dollars a year to maintain this site, so I’ve put up a donations and tip “jar” feature for anyone who would like to help defray the tab. Thank you for your consideration and attention!

More Birds

Lots of little Golden-crowned Kinglets.

A single Palm Warbler. The first warbler I’ve seen this spring.

And here’s my second. Pine Warbler.

Pair or Ring-necked Ducks.

Competitive nesting.

Not exactly camouflage.

If you’re like me, you probably didn’t feel you got enough Tree Swallow yesterday.

Back To The Birds

This Eastern Phoebe had just eaten a cellophane bee.

This male Red-bellied Woodpecker would not stop chortling about the nesting hole he’d made.

Ah, well, when you’re a Carolina Wren, you just chortle, don’t you?

A trio of Tree Swallows and a Barn Swallow. Temperatures were below freezing yesterday.

And the swallows seemed very chill.

Currently

American Elm
Tuliptree
Red Maple
Trembling Aspen
Black Cherry
Bonus Black Cherry, showing the difference between young and mature bark.

Bone Work

Grey Squirrel gnawing on a bone. You know, one of those bones you find downslope from the road where the garbage piles up…. I suspect this is like the recycling of deer antlers by mice and other mammals in the forest. Going for the calcium? This may well be the nesting female seen earlier this month.

Some raccoon remains incited this Margined Carrion Beetle (Oiceoptoma noveboracense). The females lay their eggs in rotting meat…

Same carcass: Waltzing Fly (Prochyliza xanthostoma). So named because when the males fight they supposedly look they’re dancing. The larvae will eat old meat, and stinking cheese. A name for the larvae is “cheese skipper” because they jump out of the cheese when startled. Pop! Reminds me of the tars knocking the weevils out of the hardtack in the Hornblower novels.


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