White eyed vireos were all around Fort Desoto.
My very first red-eyed vireo. His beak was stained red from the berries.
Prothonotary warbler all covered in berry juice.
Another one getting ready to chow on the berries.
He’s going to need a bath after this feast.
Orchard oriole getting a bite.
Another oriole high up in the tree.
Even the squirrels were eating the berries.
The mulberry bush area at Fort Desoto was a fly-in fast food place in mid April for birds migrating north. I had never even heard of a mulberry until last year when I kept hearing about the bird traffic at the mulberry bushes at Fort Desoto. I’ve never eaten one but they look like they would taste like a raspberry or blackberry. One interesting thing I read about them on Wikipedia is that some North American cities have banned the planting of mulberries because of the large amounts of pollen they produce, posing a potential health hazard for some pollen allergy sufferers. No wonder I kept coming home with nose bleeds after spending hours walking around the bushes.
This was the 2nd weekend I had spent at the park looking for little birds. This day I was able to see my first red-eyed vireo. I was getting bird nerd neck pain from staring up in the trees for hours at time. That’s okay, small price to pay for seeing these beautiful fun birds. I can spend the rest of the summer resting on a float in the gulf recouping as the dolphins and manatees swim by (all while keeping an eye out for stingrays and sharks).
Check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for