Feathered Friends: ‘Scavenging’ for birds |
It is a cozy early morning listed here in the dwelling as I awake to a really frosty and icy late February early morning – additional convincing me that February and March got blended up on our climate calendar.
I took a rapid walk outside the house to get the hen feeders loaded and functioning right after that hefty layer of ice coated them. The birds will be quite satisfied for the chicken feed nowadays with most of their pure food provide encrusted by ice and minimal prospect that we will see higher than freezing temps for a while. Though I appreciate currently being dwelling and retired, I enjoy the quite a few who are out and about undertaking their operate to maintain the roadways harmless, those in community basic safety and health care, and so numerous other people today who are giving for us in a variety of other strategies. Thank you!
I have been having fun with a fantastic wintertime of birding with extra no cost time – often with my birding friend, Rick. It seems like we are on a perpetual scavenger hunt for birds. It is genuinely pleasurable and will get us out and about. We carry on to use eBird a good deal to file our sightings and to see what studies are coming by means of regarding strange chicken sightings about the state – specially below in Western New York. Even though the most important spring migration is however two months absent spring is currently earning alone acknowledged in various respects.
If you feed the birds, odds are that you have had a couple of purple-winged blackbirds cease by. Right now a significant flock is already in this article gobbling up some feed with an occasional cowbird and grackle mixed in. Extra will be coming.
Yet another fewer prevalent blackbird to enjoy for is the rusty blackbird. Search it up so you are prepared in situation a single – or many – display up. And, certainly, a several robins are showing up right here and there, possibly the ones that will be nesting right here alongside with cardinals and mourning doves in April. Great-horned owls and bald eagles are now nesting.
But proper now it is nonetheless winter and we will probable nonetheless get a great dose of it in March. Quite a few northern visitors to New York will continue to be right here effectively into April and these could include northern shrike, tough-legged hawk, American tree sparrows, and snow buntings. You may perhaps see massive flocks of these snow buntings – compact whitish-silvery birds – fly up from the road sides or across open up fields as you travel by the countryside.
Talking of place streets, horned larks are spreading out into smaller teams as very well and setting up to pair off into their nesting territories. In icy/snowy weather like this, they are quick to obtain alongside a roadside. If you pull over and take a nearer glimpse at them you will be impressed with their neat facial structure which incorporates two “horns!”
Northern visitors that can stay nicely into Might involve night grosbeaks, pine siskins, shorter-eared owls, and the white-throated and white-topped sparrows. This has been the winter for night grosbeaks returning to Western New York in important quantities. They have formed flocks and have found certain hen feeding stations that they like for the full winter season. Regrettably for me, and a lot of of you, we have none whilst others do! Back again in November a person lone male stopped by our feeders for about a 50 percent hour. They are gorgeous birds.
Speaking of grosbeaks, it will be really late in April and early May perhaps when the rather rose-breasted grosbeaks will return – two months from now! There is yet another grosbeak, known as the pine grosbeak, which hardly ever will come this significantly south from Canada. Even so, if they arrive, the ideal possibility of looking at them is alongside the south shore of Lake Ontario – often to feed on tree fruits and berries. Perfectly, this wintertime there have been two of them fairly persistently hanging out in Webster Park just east of Irondequoit Bay. We produced a trip up there to see them and had been productive. Webster Park is truly good – a great place to see quite a few birds because of to its a lot of plantings. An additional definitely neat birding hotspot (good for hiking, too) up that way is Durand-Eastman Park a very little to the west together the lake. If you use eBird it assists you to locate out what’s being viewed out there and allows you locate some new and intriguing birds.
If you are a bluebird fanatic it is acquiring to be time to thoroughly clean, repair, re-track down, or make some new packing containers. I have been producing a few to provide, but mainly to replace some outdated types and to incorporate to some new destinations. I have also been earning some kestrel containers. If you have a bunch of winter season bluebirds hanging about, you may uncover that they are all roosting in a single of your nest packing containers. In that case, I would nonetheless go away a minimal smooth grass or nesting substance in there for them until about mid-March – or else it is time to clean up them out. Some nest bins may well have white-footed deer mice in them. If you go away the box open, they will go out. When you scrape out the mouse nest, it might be pretty pungent (if you know what I imply) so it’s very good to go away the box open for a 7 days or so, so it can dry out and will preserve the deer mice from transferring back in.
I mention it typically, but holding your handwritten record of 2023 bird sightings and the initially day you see them, is terrific pleasurable. Test using eBird as it is a extremely useful device.
In the meantime, have pleasurable “scavenging” for birds – like a scavenger hunt. It retains you energetic and you can do it though you are performing other issues!
Hans Kunze is an avid birder and mother nature enthusiast who has been producing about birds and mother nature for much more than 30 years. He writes for The Every day News two times each and every thirty day period. Create him at 6340 LaGrange Rd Wyoming, NY 14591 or simply call (585) 813-2676.
You may see substantial flocks of snow buntings – little whitish-silvery birds – fly up from the highway sides or throughout open fields as you drive via the countryside.