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Feeder Watch

Author: Tom Driscoll

With this article, “Feeder Watch” begins its twelfth year of discussing feeder birds. Although I continue to discuss the birds I am seeing or you can see at your feeders, I am hoping to receive reports and questions about the birds you are seeing. This will make the articles more interesting if you have ideas about topics to discuss, want to report on the birds you are seeing, or have questions about the birds you are seeing, please send me an email at [email protected].

The leaves are starting to fall which will make the birds easier to spot! The days are much shorter and the temperatures are colder; all these factors have made the birds feed more actively at my feeders. Our winter visitors, Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and other migrants from the north are already here. Have you seen any winter migrants yet? I have seen Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-throated Sparrows, and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers already.

Carolina Chickadee Carolina Chickadee -Photo by Barbara Driscoll

Our year-round residents that frequent feeders include Eastern Towhee, Brown Thrasher, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Blue Jay, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Brown-headed Nuthatch. Can you recognize these birds? Of course, the Northern Cardinal, our state bird, is always quick to come to the feeders and easy to identify with the bright red color. Can you identify the female cardinals? This might be an “invasion” year where some northern birds that periodically show up might come this year. You might remember the hordes of Pine Siskins coming to your feeders a few years ago.

You may not be the only one watching the birds at your feeders. Hawks, such as Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks, feed on small birds and may also be “feeding” at your feeders. Have you seen any smallish, thin, and long-tailed hawks in your yard?

Most of our Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have departed for warmer climes. However, we sometimes have “western” hummingbirds, such as Rufous or Calliope Hummingbirds, that spend the winter here. If you are still seeing a hummingbird, please let me know!

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