Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bird Feeding This Winter, Part II - Migratory Anomalies

Another interesting thing I noticed this winter was that I had several individuals who spent the winter here from species that I would have expected to winter further south. Global warming? Or just an anomaly? Or simply the fact that I'm a little further south here than I was in Mayetta?

Here, for example, is a female red winged blackbird that I saw, off and on, with a flock of males all winter long. This photo was taken on January 12th:

Then there were the cowbirds. I had several of those visiting fairly regularly all through the winter too. This photo, of a brown-headed cowbird male feeding with 2 red winged blackbirds, an immature white crowned sparrow and a female cardinal, was taken on January 13th.

I didn't get a photo of the last major migratory anomaly that I noted: a single common grackle that also flocked with the red winged blackbirds at my feeders for much of the winter.
About a week ago, the grackles started coming through in large numbers, still mixed in with flocks of red-winged blackbirds. I'm hearing killdeer call, so I know that their migration has started too. I'm going to have to research a little further and see what, if anything, my oddball winter residents can teach me.

No comments: