Guin -- here's proof that Goldfinches do, indeed, still reside in Rochester, in the Winter. This is the most I have seen for a few weeks, but, there is snow on the ground now, so field pickings may be harder to get at. http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL72.../405115686.jpg
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
I do see many winter Goldfinches--I really need to put up the finch feeder again--I took it down for cleaning. My flock of cowbirds, starlings, et al have returned this morning to forage my pasture and backyard.
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
We have dogs and horses. NO cats. Both of us have big time allergies to cats, so no cats even in the barn.
We put out some bird food but not many like it. It has a mix of stuff. I think the ones here prefer the sunflower seeds. Think I will go to TSC tomorrow and get some of the sunflower seeds. We usually do but got something different. Got a finch sock, and have had birds on it, also have a suet too. They just seem to hate the bird seed I got. Humph!
We see lots of hawks hanging out on the wires. They are grocery shopping. ha ha. Sharp shins, and red.
We have our regular carolina wrens, our beloved phoebe's, not many cardinals this year for some reason. Titmouses are here too. We have lots of bluebirds. My husband built some 5-7 bird boxes for them. Have had some squirrels (one less as of yesterday - ka-pow!) chewing on the boxes, so we have some metal to put so they can't chew bigger holes. Last year we had a horrible sparrow problem. They were murdering the blue birds. I had to remove many nests of the eurasian tree sparrow. They finally got the message to leave. I hope.
Somebody (bird) has been living in the hay. I think it is the wren's. Ha ha I told my husband that he had to come look at the "hay ho" somebody made. I was turning off the radio, near the hay and a bird flew out! Good those are not "rat ho's" but bird hay ho's. Those wrens notice everything and keep all the bugs off the house. They are also good watch dogs too.
We have a pair or few of great horned owls. They have caught and removed many skunks. YEAH! It is neat to hear them at night calling.
I love my feeders. The spring migration is the best for us here.
When I lived in coniferous forest a little north of here I had a bountiful winter feeder. Siskins, gold, & purple finches, Pine & Evening Grosbeaks, red-polls, juncos. Would see the cross-beaks in the pines. The usual woody's hairy, red-bellied, downy. White breasted nut hatches not many red-breasted.
This winter is pretty blah, white breasted nuthatch, chickadees as usual, downy and hairy woody's, once in awhile a red-bellied. No red-polls yet. English sparrows always. Have seen the snowbirds I put corn in the driveway for them. I did see some cedar waxwings earlier.
Well, finally the redpolls arrived just in time for Christmas. One was even singing!
The local bird banding station is about 5 km from here as the crow (or redpoll ) flies. I do census there once a week in spring and fall (a fun job entailing walking a predetermined route and recording all the birds heard or seen). They also do some winter banding and they have had a couple of the Greenland subspecies of Common Redpoll. Don't know if the different subspecies can be identified not in the hand but looking forward to giving it a try at my feeders.
Do you get them every year, Vesper Sparrow, or is this an irruption? I'm just wondering if they're moving further South this year. I can't decide whether or not I'm hoping they come visit me this year.
Louise, that is a beautiful photo of the goldfinches. Today I saw a pair of Eider ducks. They are clever at diving, and the seagulls have figured out that if they wait nearby, they can sometimes steal a meal. Mr. chai went into the grocery store today, leaving a trash bag in the back of our pickup and when he came out, there was a huge Black Back Gull shredding it for a meal. They are so smart...I've seen them open beach bags to get at someone's lunch.
I usually have several feeders around the house, but haven't been able to tend to them as much this year. We commonly have hummingbirds (rubythroated), cardinals, goldfinches, martins, etc, but this year the english house sparrows were SO Bad! We are going to have to do some traps for them this spring and hope we can discourage them as I want to put up some houses for purple martins.
Louise, we don't get Redpoll every year, this is definitely an irruption year. Seems to be a good year for most of the winter finches. I'll see if I can pull up the Winter Finch forecast for Canada for you.
And on another note, I had a White-throated Sparrow at my feeder this morning, which is fairly big for me. There are usually a few hanging around the Montreal area in the winter and a few are found during our two Christmas counts. I get them every couple of winters.
Thanks, Vesper Sparrow! It looks like I might stand a good chance of seeing a number of finches that I don't usually see. Now, I'm glad that I have feeding stations all over my yard. Yesterday, when I had to shovel them out and shovel paths to all of them, through foot deep snow, I wasn't so glad.
I just read the local bird count.....30 miles away. Seems the most common bird in the city is the pigeon, didn't know they even counted flying rats as birds!!!LOL
Interesting find for me - we have lapland longspurs here and it certainly explains the extra 'sparrows' around here in the winter and also explains a bird call I hear sometimes but can't find where it comes from despite it seeming to eminate from the sparrows. The longspurs migrate only this far south and feed on the lost grain in the stubble fields. I did note that the prairie horned larks left this winter, a rare occurance as they only leave when we are going to get am extremely brutal winter.
Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!
I love my bird feeders but the birds are boycotting me this year. I think my feral cat colony has a bit to do with that. There are only about seven or eight of them, but two of them are die hard killers.
Yup, feral cats will do that. I only have one, thank goodness, and all I can say is that it's a good thing that I feed it because a die hard killer it is not. The birds laugh at it.
On the other hand, something got one of the mourning doves yesterday. There was a little pile of fluffy grey feathers under one of the feeders this morning. I'm betting it's the juvenile Cooper's Hawk that's been hanging around lately.
Unless you live in my general area, this doesn't affect you. Prairie horned larks are found only in the northern plains, and oddly, they only migrate as far south as southern Montana and South Dakota, only venturing farther south in search of food, not warmth; these birds are strictly ground dwellers,even avoiding shelter belts and treed farm yards.
Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!