Arrival of the Blue Grosbeak is not heralded by a sighting in the field, but by a view of the bird visiting the feeder for some sunflower seeds.
They are now regular breeding
It didn’t take long
before it was flying straight in regardless of the company.
They are on their way north and
will not stay to nest here.
Their song can be heard around every field
They’ll soon be bringing their young in to
learn about sunflower seed and cracked corn.
They rarely perch for more than a quarter minute before dropping to the
ground to pick up an insect or worm.
It is from this position that they drop seeds
destined to become shrubby invaders of the utility right-of-way.
I imagine that
many of these adults were first brought to the feeders by their parents. I’ve seen many a parent bird sit on the
feeder and pass cracked sunflower seeds over to its offspring.
I’ve watched many still
munching seed in twilight so dark that you couldn’t tell the color of the
birds. I think it’s this habit of late
feeding that makes the Cardinal an opportune target for early hunting Screech
White-throated Sparrows are the two on the left and the White-crowned is the
one on the right that is not a Mourning Dove.
White-throated Sparrows occasionally spend the winter here, but I’ve
seen very few this year. I always get a
lot at the feeders during spring migration.
I guess they are attracted by the crowd of resident birds.
This year they have been especially abundant.
Perhaps the frequent ice and snow storms we
had drove most of them farther south.
The forest in this area has been chopped into
neat blocks and strips that are ideal for the Cowbirds. A scan of the woodland edges reveals Cowbirds
sitting high near the treetops watching for other birds to betray the position
of their nests, so the Cowbird can slip in and deposit one of its own eggs.
I would be concerned about the health of that
guy in the back if I hadn’t seen him come to the feeder straight from the bird
They are now a common year round
resident. Towhees generally forage on
the ground, but if necessary, they’ll come straight to the source.
During spring and
summer they are represented by only a few individuals. Blue Jay Barrens just doesn’t have the wetland
habitat preferred by these birds as a nesting area.
I don’t know if I would
get close up views of any birds if not for the feeders.
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