Backyard Birds – May 2022

Backyard Birds - May 2022

Three backyarders sent notes about rarities in early May, plus other assorted bird and animal reportings.

From Centennial, Kevin Corwin emailed on May 3: “male Western Tanager decided the suet cake and peanut bowl in my little townhouse backyard looked pretty inviting, he’s been here all afternoon. The next day the tanager remained and a Lesser Goldfinch is here, and the over-wintering group of 4 Pine Siskins has multiplied to 10-plus.”

In Denver, Dave Cameron said, “Not the busiest migration in the back yard here in Harvey Park so far this year, but it’s been getting interesting. Over the past week, I’ve had:

  • Green-tailed Towhee
  • Lazuli Bunting (1m, hoping for more, as I’ve had as many as 9m, 3f, in the past)
  • 1 Broad-tailed hummer
  • House Wren
  • Chipping Sparrows
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow”

And in southwest Denver, Doug Ward had rewarding birds on May 3. “A first year male Summer Tanager, a continuing White-throated Sparrow as well as a couple of Green-tailed Towhees joining the regular crowd.”

Jill Holden (Roxborough) listed her early May birds: “A Say’s Phoebe has claimed the top of the security camera on our porch for spending his nights. A beautiful male Western Tanager warily comes in for suet and water. A couple of Chipping and a couple of White-crowned Sparrows eat millet off of the deck, replacing the Dark-eyed Juncos. A pair of Mourning Doves keep coming, in spite of all of the Eurasian Collared Doves.

“Still have a continuing male Downy Woodpecker, entertaining as he makes his way across the deck railing stopping to look around as he hops from one of the vertical slats to the next towards the suet. Bushtits have dwindled down to just a pair that I assume are going to attempt to nest nearby.

“I hope that the pair of Mountain Bluebirds that hung around the nest box across the street will be back, but haven’t noticed them over there since all of the late snow.”

On May 13, Jill then emailed, “This morning I saw a beautiful male Black-headed Grosbeak and a female Lazuli Bunting, but the grackles were hanging around along with what appeared to be a couple of siblings from a brood of squirrels, so I did not see a big variety of birds.

“Mark came in from the garage and said “come here” and motioned.  I ran out to find that a fox was trying to get at something in the thick evergreen bush in front of the neighbor’s house. The bush was thick and the fox could walk on top of it but couldn’t get in underneath. The fox poked its head down from the top, kept climbing down, looking for a way under to get to its prey. After a good bit, a car came by and the fox ran across the street as I held my breath that it wouldn’t be hit. It was fine and came back across the road and went into the next yard farther down. Soon it came back towards the bush and then we saw that it had caught something.”

Fox in evergreen
Fox | Photo credit Jill Holden
Fox with pray
Fox with pray | photo by Jill Holden

Dick Vogel photographed a magpie flying at a Red-tailed Hawk. He also took a stunning picture of White Pelicans in flight, and sent this well-known poem, which he credited to Tennessee poet Dixon Lanier Merritt

“A wonderful bird is the pelicanHis bill can hold more than his belican
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.”

Magpie harassing a Red-tailed Hawk
Magpie harassing a Red-tailed Hawk | photo by Dick Vogel
Group of pelicans in flights
Pelicans in flight | photo by Dick Vogel

Bill Kunz sent a list of April and May bird and animal sightings from Arvada’s Majestic View Nature Center. “The first week of May the Broad tailed hummers started arriving. There are several pairs which nest at the Center and can be seen non-stop May-September. Right now the males are busy fighting over territory and putting on quite a show.  A female Mallard with ducklings was already spotted on the pond.”

The list includes 6 more duck species, Red-tailed and Cooper’s Hawks, Great Horned Owl. And mule deer plus a Red Fox.

Your contributions write this column. Thanks to all who send in these intriguing reports. Send a note or post card to P.O. Box 584, Franktown 80116, or Email Hugh Kingery at