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May in Kansas during Street Prophets Coffee Hour

Welcome to Street Prophets Coffee Hour, where politics meets religion, art, science and life.

We have had a lot of rain in the last two weeks, after a very dry winter. I hope the garden does well this year.

May transitions from spring in the early days to summer at the end. Here are some May events on the Kansas farm.

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Tree swallow

Tree swallows appear. They nest a little late, so sometimes they bring along a bluebird nest box after the first pair of bluebirds have fledged. They only have one litter per year. They readily share a field with bluebirds, even though they both eat insects, but tree swallows catch their food as it flies.

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Barn Swallow

Barn swallows build their nests under cover, sometimes under the eaves, but if they have access to a building, such as a shed, they will nest there. They scoop up mud (from all that rain) and then take a blade of dry grass or straw to build the nest. They usually make a half-cup shape that sticks to a wall, and those do the best. If they make a full cup on a surface such as a rafter beam, the nest is more vulnerable to predators such as prairie kingsnakes. Like tree swallows, they catch flying insects.

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Baltimore oriole

Orioles appear in early May. After their long migratory flight, they load up on sugar from grape jelly and oranges for the first month before switching to an insect diet. I used to have orioles in the orchard too, but that seems to be another species that I have lost due to climate change.

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Green heron

Green herons nest near my pond. The area is undisturbed, so they are safe.

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Great blue heron

Great blue herons do not nest in my pond. They nest by the river, very high in the trees, but they appear on my farm for the frogs.

What are the signs of the season you are in? This is an open thread. All topics are welcome.