Saturday, April 13, 2013

Late Visitors

This is turning out to be very odd year for birds in our area! The CyFair campus has seen many fewer winter birds (except Cedar Waxwings) than usual but our yards have never had so many winter residents. A couple of weeks ago I thought that our winter birds had largely departed but they keep popping up again and again.

In previous years, the only winter birds left in our yards in April were Chipping Sparrows, and they usually stayed only for the first week of the month. However, here we are halfway through the second week of April and several winter species are still at our feeders.

An Orange-crowned Warbler appeared today and yesterday. It could be one of the Orange-crowned Warblers that spent the winter in our yards or it could be a spring migrant just passing through.

Chipping Sparrows continue to graze on our lawn while both Red-breasted Nuthatches and Brown-headed Nuthatches (below) continue to visit for sunflower seeds or peanuts.

Pine Siskins seem to have moved on but our American Goldfinches certainly haven’t. They're quite a sight, too: As it’s so late in the year, the males are now almost in their full breeding plumage. 

It will be interesting to see how long these lingering birds decide to stay with us.

Spring migrants may be few at present but I have started seeing Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. These magnificent birds normally arrive here in March and stay until November.


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