Thursday, March 07, 2013

A Good Year for Yard Birds

The last two months have been the best I’ve ever known for birds in our yards.

All of our normal residents have been showing up regularly: Northern Mockingbird, Carolina Wren, Carolina Chickadee, House Finch, Downy Woodpecker, White-winged Dove and House Sparrow.

Carolina Wren

Male House Sparrow

Female House Sparrow

Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay and Northern Cardinal used to be regulars but then almost completely disappeared last fall. However, all three species have now started visiting our yards again. 

Our normal winter residents have been present again this winter: Pine Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Rufous Hummingbird, American Goldfinch and Cedar Waxwing.

Orange-crowned Warbler

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

The exception has been Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Unfortunately, last spring we had to cut down the elm tree in our front yard and this seems to have persuaded the Sapsuckers to spend the winter months elsewhere.

We added a new yard bird in January - Brown-headed Nuthatch. We've had at least four at one time.

Two irruptive species have appeared this year: Red-breasted Nuthatch and Pine Siskin. Only a few Pine Siskins turned up and they didn't stay very long. However, the Red-breasted Nuthatches (like the Brown-headed) arrived in early January and have been coming to our feeders ever since.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

As happens every winter, we have also had occasional visits by a few other species. In February these occasional visitors were Eastern Phoebe, American Robin, Mourning Dove, Eastern Bluebird, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Tufted Titmouse and Cooper’s Hawk.

Tufted Titmouse

BTW, most days we see a few flyovers also. The most common of these are Black and Turkey Vulture, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorant and Red-shouldered Hawk.


Pam said...

Hey Jeff, catching up on a few blogs, it's been a while, nice to your lovely photos! I love that you get the little House Sparrows that flood our garden daily!

Dorothy Borders said...

That's an impressive list of yard birds and it supports my thesis that you don't have to go far afield to observe beautiful and interesting birds.

So you still have Red-breasted Nuthatches? I think all of mine have gone. It's been many days since I've seen or heard them.

Jeff said...

How nice to hear from you again, Pam! We've missed you on BirdForum.
We still have both Red-breasted and Brown-headed Nuthatches, Birdwoman. It's a while since I've seen a Pine Siskin here, though.

Pam said...

Thanks Jeff, I need to get back on there too!