Over the years it's become a lovely specimen of its type and has produced fruit faithfully every year, some years more than others. This year the tree is so loaded with fruit it is bent over with the weight of it. The fruit has ripened to the delight of our local American Robin population and the yearly feeding frenzy has begun. I often wonder how the birds know the fruit is now ready to eat. A couple weeks ago there wasn't a bird to be seen in the tree except to perch and preen but last week the Robins and other birds descended. So far I've had the Robins as well as Catbirds, Mockingbirds, Finches, Cedar Waxwings and Northern Flickers feeding in the tree but the most numerous are the Robins. I have a great time watching them enjoy the bounty of this terrific small, ornamental tree.
The Robins are in many stages of moulting their feathers. We have juveniles from several nestings that display various degrees of the spotted plumage the youngsters sport. Some are still begging dinner from mom but they seem to go between feeding themselves and getting a handout from a parent. In some years the birds can completely strip the tree of fruit in a matter of a couple weeks. It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to work their way through the masses of berries this year.
|You can see the tree is bent over from the weight of the fruit|
|This bird is partway though growing new breast feathers|
|I guess it's deciding which berry to go for next|
|A pretty raggedy looking bird halfway though moulting|
|Love the babies spotted breasts|
|This bird went for two and tried for three at a time but kept dropping the third one.|
|There are apparently small insects in the bunches of berries. The Hummingbird was foraging in the tree the other day|
|This cute youngster is still begging for food from it's parents. A late fledgeling from this year's nesting|