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A Gallery of Grape Feasting


Regardless of how they are billed (deliberate word play) just about every feathered roommate is hanging out at the two grape arbors these days.

Grape Festival King and Queen are undoubtedly what I have identified as a Phainopepla nitens (Silky flycatcher) pair. (Correct me if I am wrong - I’m still learning the Chihuahuan desert birds).

Both are crested. She is grey with white edged wing feathers, and defers to his glossy blackness. So do the other birds, it seems.

There’s a robin and another thrush (?) of some sort with a beautiful speckled breast, who hang out under the vine, feasting off the grapes which drop onto the ground, and shooing away the doves who, I think, are actually after the sunflowers seeds which fall as the seedeaters work through the sunflower heads above.

I know these particular ground feeders are there for the grapes, not scattered sunflowers seeds, because I’ve watched as they run for the rolling grapes scattered by those feasting higher in the vine.

Various seedeaters are busy in the drying sunflower heads, though it seems, sometimes, as if they visit the bunches of grapes as well.

Little black and yellow ones are quite numerous.

Some seedeaters have red heads and throats.

Somebody anonymous is definitely on a bunch of grapes.

I had thought it was only the green grapes causing such a stir, but this morning discovered that feasting has also begun on the black grapes, which are not so sweet and with a seed.

A lot of empty stalks in the black grape arbor today.

Standing in the garden, birds shouting at me from the cottonwood, I breakfasted on several ripe figs (shhh…don’t tell the birds I got there before them) and green grapes as the sun rose this morning.

Delicious.

There is enough fruit for all of us this week in the Garden of Earthly Delights.

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