Winchester, Virginia

 

Goldfinch thistledown thistle

 

July Nature Happenings

  • First brood of immature hummingbirds appear at nectar feeders early in the month.

  • Look for hummingbirds feeding on Trumpet Creeper, Jewelweed flowers and most tubular flowers.

  • Except for goldfinches and late bluebirds, bird breeding and nesting season ends this month.

  • Yellow Warblers begin to migrate south towards the end of the month, flying at night in mixed warbler flocks, resting and feeding during the day. Most will be gone by August.

  • Shorebirds begin Fall Migration.

  • Blackbirds begin to flock together.

  • Listen for the feeding screeches of young Barred and Great Horned Owls.

  • Young Great Blue Herons are found in local ponds and lakes.

  • NABA National Butterfly count, http://www.naba.org/

  • Katydids and Cicadas are in full chorus by mid-month.

  • Fawns begin traveling with adult females.

  • Raccoons, skunks and opossums are digging up and eating turtle eggs.

  • Juvenile Opossums, “Joeys” can be seen of hitching a ride on Mom’s back.

  • Blueberries ripen in early July.

  • Thistle plants begin to seed; goldfinches gather thistledown for nesting material.

  • Butterfly milkweed in bloom. Look for Monarch Butterfly adults, eggs and larva.

 

SPECIAL DATES

 

  • July 4, Independence Day – Wild Birds Unlimited will be closed

  • July 9, Full Moon, also known as the “Buck Moon” because male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of the year. The early settlers also call this the Full Hay Moon as it was easy gather hay late into the evening.

  • July 23, New Moon

  • July 29 and 30, Delta Aquarids Meteor shower peaks on evening of 28th through early morning on the 30th. The crescent moon will set around midnight leaving the dark skies ready for a morning show.

  • July 30, look for the planet Mercury at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. It will be visible in the western sky just after sunset.

 

INTERESTING HISTORICAL DATES

 

  • July 4, 1882, the “Last Great Buffalo Hunt” near Hettinger, North Dakota as 2,000 Sioux Indians in full hunting regalia killed about 5,000 buffalo. The last free range buffalo has been exterminated in the following year, 1883.

  • July 6, 1766, Birthdate of Alexander Wilson, “Father of American Ornithology”,

  • July 12, 1817, Birthdate of Henry David Thoreau, Author of Walden (1854),

  • July 12, 1995, American Bald Eagle was removed from the Endangered Species List,

  • July 13, 1918, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, between USA and Canada (then Great Britain), giving all birds full federal protection.

  • July 27, 1940, the Silver Screen introduces America’s Favorite Rabbit - Bugs Bunny in A Wild Hare.