Out My Backdoor: Bluebird Nesting – A True-life Drama

To me, having a pair of bluebirds nest in my backyard is a really big deal. It means that I provided the birds with a much-needed place for them to lay their eggs. It also guarantees that I will be regularly seeing one of our most colorful birds for weeks to come.

Let’s take a quick glimpse at the compelling story of bluebird nesting. I am convinced that once you get a feel for what goes on in and around a nesting structure, you will better appreciate why bluebirds nesting in your yard is such a special event.

Out My Backdoor: Harbingers of Spring

By Terry W. Johnson

The first signs of spring have been seen and heard in the Peach State. They were not borne on the wings of robins or bluebirds. They were not emblazoned in the fresh vibrant colors of a crocus. They didn’t fill the still night air like the chorus of the chorus frog. Instead, the pending arrival of spring was announced from on high by birds whose ancestors winged their way over the continent some 2.5 million years ago.

The messengers were northward-bound sandhill cranes.

Out My Backdoor: Make Your Yard a Pit Stop for Southbound Migrants

By Terry W. Johnson

The plight of neotropical migratory birds is well documented. These are the birds that nest throughout North America and winter in Latin America, a kaleidoscope of birds including orioles, warblers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers and other colorful songsters. The fact that many of them are suffering frightening population declines is a major concern for conservationists.

Out My Backdoor: Hummingbirds Also Provide July Fireworks

By Terry W. Johnson

If you are like most hummingbird enthusiasts during the past few weeks, you have probably asked yourself, where are the hummingbirds?

I wish I had a good answer. However, I can tell you this: Just as the nighttime skies were illuminated with fireworks on the Fourth of July, I am equally certain that hummingbird numbers will soon explode in your backyard.

Out My Backdoor: Spring Beauties -- on the Wing

By Terry W. Johnson

The spring bird migration is dwindling down to a trickle. Over the past several weeks, literally millions of migrating birds streaming from their winter homes in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America have passed through Georgia.

Some of them have flown over my middle Georgia home. Although I didn't see them, I am sure a smattering of migrants briefly stopped in my yard to rest and refuel before resuming their long journey.