Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Backyard 1/6--Pine Warbler

Junco tracks at the kitchen door
A light, steady snow fell all day; the temperature never got above 22. It was a Feederwatch day. Every winter I participate in a program run by the Cornell Ornithological Lab and keep track of the birds at our feeders on two designated days of the week (I get to pick the days) and this season I'm doing it Tuesdays/Wednesdays, so all my birding today was through glass. Off and on for 8 hours I kept track of the birds, noting the largest number of each species that I saw at one time--for instance, juncos were in attendance all day and the largest number of them was 31. That's a lot of snowbirds on the lawn.

It took the snow to bring it back. We had our first Pine Warbler of the year taking bits of suet from both of the cages we've hung. Pine Warbler is a supposedly rare in winter but it probably more overlooked than rare--not a lot of birders are wandering through the pine woods in winter. We're lucky that we abut them, and when it snows and gets very cold, covering whatever vegetable matter they're eating in the woods, the Pine Warblers are attracted to the protein and fat at our feeders. I'm curious to see if this one continues at the feeders. Last year we had 2 or 3 at a time and I have to say that I got a little tired of reporting them almost every day in the interest of science.

Nothing else of note came to the feeders though 5 White-throated Sparrows is a good number too.

White-breasted Nuthatch with sunflower seed
12 species counted today.
Mourning Dove  5
Downy Woodpecker  2     
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  3
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Carolina Wren  1
Pine Warbler  1   
White-throated Sparrow  5
Dark-eyed Junco  31
Northern Cardinal  3     
House Finch  3
American Goldfinch  4

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