Feathered Friends: ‘Scavenging’ for birds |

Timothy Hill

It’s a cozy morning right here in the property as I awake to a very frosty and icy late February morning – more convincing me that February and March received combined up on our weather conditions calendar.

I took a rapid walk exterior to get the chicken feeders filled and working after that major layer of ice coated them. The birds will be incredibly happy for the bird feed currently with most of their normal meals source encrusted by ice and little likelihood that we will see over freezing temps for a even though. When I appreciate becoming dwelling and retired, I enjoy the quite a few who are out and about carrying out their get the job done to continue to keep the roads risk-free, these in general public basic safety and health care, and so many other people today who are providing for us in different other methods. Thank you!

I have been having fun with a good winter of birding with a lot more cost-free time – frequently with my birding close friend, Rick. It seems like we are on a perpetual scavenger hunt for birds. It is really enjoyable and gets us out and about. We proceed to use eBird a large amount to document our sightings and to see what reviews are coming as a result of regarding unusual chicken sightings about the state – in particular listed here in Western New York. Although the major spring migration is nevertheless two months absent spring is by now creating by itself acknowledged in a number of respects.

If you feed the birds, chances are that you have had a couple red-winged blackbirds quit by. Now a major flock is currently listed here gobbling up some feed with an occasional cowbird and grackle combined in. Much more will be coming.

A different significantly less common blackbird to observe for is the rusty blackbird. Glimpse it up so you are ready in case one particular – or various – clearly show up. And, certainly, a couple of robins are displaying up here and there, likely the ones that will be nesting here alongside with cardinals and mourning doves in April. Great-horned owls and bald eagles are now nesting.

But appropriate now it is nonetheless winter and we will possible nevertheless get a good dose of it in March. Many northern website visitors to New York will continue being in this article properly into April and these could include northern shrike, rough-legged hawk, American tree sparrows, and snow buntings. You may well see huge flocks of these snow buntings – compact whitish-silvery birds – fly up from the highway sides or throughout open fields as you travel by the countryside.

Speaking of region roadways, horned larks are spreading out into scaled-down teams as effectively and starting off to pair off into their nesting territories. In icy/snowy climate like this, they are easy to obtain along a roadside. If you pull over and get a nearer glimpse at them you will be impressed with their neat facial design and style which involves two “horns!”

Northern guests that can continue to be very well into Could consist of evening grosbeaks, pine siskins, limited-eared owls, and the white-throated and white-topped sparrows. This has been the winter for evening grosbeaks returning to Western New York in considerable numbers. They have formed flocks and have located particular bird feeding stations that they like for the full wintertime. Sad to say for me, and quite a few of you, we have none while other folks do! Back again in November one lone male stopped by our feeders for about a 50 percent hour. They are attractive birds.

Talking of grosbeaks, it will be extremely late in April and early May when the rather rose-breasted grosbeaks will return – two months from now! There is another grosbeak, called the pine grosbeak, which seldom will come this much south from Canada. Nevertheless, if they come, the best opportunity of seeing them is along the south shore of Lake Ontario – usually to feed on tree fruits and berries. Nicely, this winter there have been two of them quite persistently hanging out in Webster Park just east of Irondequoit Bay. We produced a vacation up there to see them and were profitable. Webster Park is seriously nice – a wonderful location to see numerous birds due to its quite a few plantings. Another definitely neat birding hotspot (excellent for climbing, as well) up that way is Durand-Eastman Park a tiny to the west together the lake. If you use eBird it allows you to locate out what’s remaining observed out there and aids you track down some new and attention-grabbing birds.

If you are a bluebird fanatic it is having to be time to thoroughly clean, deal with, re-track down, or make some new boxes. I’ve been producing a several to promote, but mainly to replace some previous ones and to include to some new areas. I have also been creating some kestrel bins. If you have a bunch of winter bluebirds hanging all-around, you may well come across that they are all roosting in just one of your nest boxes. In that circumstance, I would nonetheless go away a minor comfortable grass or nesting substance in there for them till about mid-March – normally it is time to clear them out. Some nest boxes may well have white-footed deer mice in them. If you go away the box open, they will shift out. When you scrape out the mouse nest, it could be very pungent (if you know what I necessarily mean) so it is fantastic to leave the box open for a week or so, so it can dry out and will keep the deer mice from relocating back in.

I mention it often, but holding your handwritten record of 2023 fowl sightings and the initial day you see them, is great fun. Consider employing eBird as it is a incredibly useful tool.

In the meantime, have entertaining “scavenging” for birds – like a scavenger hunt. It retains you active and you can do it while you are accomplishing other factors!

Hans Kunze is an avid birder and mother nature fanatic who has been writing about birds and nature for a lot more than 30 decades. He writes for The Every day News twice just about every month. Write him at 6340 LaGrange Rd Wyoming, NY 14591 or call (585) 813-2676.

You might see big flocks of snow buntings – little whitish-silvery birds – fly up from the highway sides or across open up fields as you drive by means of the countryside.

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