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Sunday Birdblogging

This blog isn’t becoming just a critterwatch, but I believe it’s very important that you know what’s in my backyard. Inevitably we have squirrels, chipmunks, and bunnies. More importantly, in addition to the usual suspects (minus the titmice, which haven’t returned since the trees leafed, and the woodpeckers are uncommon), but there have been some surprising new visitors to our seed dispensers, and this time, I’ve got (bad: I had to shoot them through the window screen) pictures!

Indigo Bunting Early this week while I was at work K discovered an Indigo Bunting (image, right) at the feeder—he’s been back several times since. A number of new visitors, however, showed up yesterday. First (though not at the feeder), I saw a Black-and-White Warbler, which has a song that our bird guide says “sounds like a slowly turning, squeaky wheel,” an apt description, I think. Later at the feeder we saw a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (image, right). As of this morning I’ve counted three males and one female. That swatch of red makes them quite striking. White-Crowned Sparrow New just this morning was a White-Crowned Sparrow (image, left), which doesn’t nest here and so must be on his way north to Minnesota or Canada. (It’s the first sparrow I’ve seen that’s not a House Sparrow.) Visiting too this morning was what I’m pretty sure was a Brown-Headed Cowbird, the commonest brood parasite (it lays its eggs in other birds’ nests) in North America. I’m a bit uncertain on the ID, however, because it didn’t really get browner toward the head like most; instead, it looked a dark chocolate all over. In spite of another, unfortunate addition of European Starlings, (which I’d just as soon stayed away—they’re obnoxious, like Blue Jays but with less personality), our feeders have been rather fun to watch this week.

More, grainier photos at Flickr.



I filled one bird feeder yesterday evening; by now it’s nearly empty. I love the birds, but the starlings get almost all of it, and if I filled the feeder as fast as they empty it, bird feeding would become an economically inviable activity. I just set up a perch by the bird feeder window for the cat. She has not yet discovered it.

Wow! Just this evening 2 more: a female Eastern Towhee and an American Goldfinch. Plus, a Tufted Titmouse returned!