The Ecoworld outside my window

Red Paper Wasp

I know, I am not a fan of wasps either, and Rand is allergic to them, so he steers clear of them. This one caught my eye this morning as it was just outside the window, flexing its wings out and waiting, like it was drying the dew from them, or sunning. I looked it up, not knowing much about them, and discovered that they eat caterpillars and feed them to their larvae, making them important to the ecosystem balance. We are currently overrun with caterpillars–hanging off the windows, steps, on the sidewalks, and every other conceivable outdoor space. I am feeling a lot better about the red wasps that hang out on the hill now.

While busy with my paparazzi lens, I noticed a bird I did not recognize at the closest feeder. At first, I thought it might be a juvenile mourning dove as it from the distance resembled the pair who hang out here. On examining later, I decided it was not a dove, which sent me to the Merlin bird app, and deduced it was a female brown headed cowbird. I see many of the males, but according to Merlin, this is the first time I have recorded a female.

While trying to focus, I noted a flurry of red, white, and black from the corner of my eye, and looked over to see not one, but two red-bellied woodpeckers hanging off the side of the tree. One flew off before I could re-focus, but the other obliged for a brief minute or two.

Woody having breakfast with Señora Cardenal
This entry was posted in Acts of Restorative Kindness, Bird Watch, Ecosystem, Mississippi, Wildlife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to The Ecoworld outside my window

  1. peggy says:

    You are becoming quite the bird lady. I do not care for the red wasp. I kmow they ear caterpillars, but boy does their sting hurt. I know!


  2. Mags says:

    Nice photos of the birds. Woodpeckers are one of my favorite birds. I have seen more brown-headed cowbirds this spring than ever before. Red wasps are on my front porch. I just hope they avoid me and my dog as much as we try to avoid them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. nces13 says:

    Nice shots of the woodpecker. At my last house we would leave out oranges and they would go through them lickety split.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every creature has its place in the web!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Suzassippi says:

    Not that one “likes” the level of incompetence and arrogance you find sometimes, but I can definitely empathize with you.


  6. Betty says:

    Quite the entertainment this morning in your neck of the woods! I saw the first gold finch of the Spring yesterday. Great photo captures of the birds in your back yard!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You sure did get some good pictures of that guy. As life goes, I fear the wasp sting, but I learned to (almost) love them in Florida. Are you familiar with the tomato hornworm? My nemesis in the garden. Turns out the wasp is the good guy here: “A female wasp has laid her eggs under the skin of that hornworm. As the eggs hatch the larvae actually feed on the hornworm insides. The larvae eat their way out of the caterpillar and spin the cocoons you see. Eventually, adult wasps will emerge from the cocoons and the weakened hornworm will die.” Credit:

    I love your posts. Your subjects make me think and many times travel down a rabbit hole, researching something you talked about. Happy Days are right ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Thank you, Cathy; I appreciate that very much. I personally go down a lot of rabbit holes.

      I had tomato hornworms the first year I attempted to grow tomatoes here. They decimated my plants literally overnight. Last year, I successfully grew them by surrounding the pot with marigolds–it worked–did not lose a single tomato! However, in full transparency, neither have I ever seen another tomato hornworm on the hill.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. We get tons of wasps during the summer. Even with the caterpillar thing, I still prefer bees for pollinating my plants.

    Liked by 1 person

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