Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

My birding blog site


  Farewell, Winter!

Published: March 19, 2013
Tags: My Feeders, American Tree Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Common Redpoll, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker

On this last official day of winter, cold temps and blowing snow brought lots of birds to the feeders. As I was enjoying the hustle and bustle, conflicting thoughts ran through my head. There's been an eager anticipation building for spring migrants and a great yearning for sun and warmth - but then a small part of me felt a little pang of sadness as I'll soon miss the winter birds that have been frequenting the feeders. So, being a sentimentalist at heart, I grabbed the camera and took a few photos of some of the little buddies that will soon be moving on.

Already, we've gotten a few migrants to the area, European Starlings, for one! Is anyone else contending with these feeder bullies?  Red-winged Blackbirds are back too. I've already seen them a couple of times and it's so enjoyable hearing their songs again. My daughter saw a Killdeer in her Angola yard yesterday and bluebirds have been checking out her bird house already.

I will miss the Common Redpolls. We've had one guy who appears to have taken up residence at our yard this winter. I think he was injured; there's a rough looking area on his head and he's been here alone, hanging with the American Goldfinches. I wonder if he'll make it back to the arctic. This has been a particularly good year for redpolls at our place - and Pine Siskins too.

Another bird I'll miss is the American Tree Sparrow. Several times I saw rather large flocks of them. Until this year, I had no idea they flocked the way they do. The nice thing about this species is that it will be replaced with the Chipping Sparrow - it'll be a trade-off! We may even get a week or two where we'll get to see both at the same time.

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Common Redpoll (male)

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The top of his head appears injured. At first, I thought it was just wet but it's been this way for weeks now.

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I sure hope he makes it back to his home soon.

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American Tree Sparrow

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American Tree Sparrow

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Safe journey soon...

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Tufted Titmouse

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House Finch (male) - so pretty!

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Downy Woodpecker (male)

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Red-bellied Woodpecker (female)

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American Goldfinch - this male is already starting to shed his winter drab for spring bright!

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Black-capped Chickadee

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Dark-eyed Junco

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Dark-eyed Junco

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European Starling - newly arrived pests!

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He may be a "Feeder Bully" but he still has a lot of beauty.

Reply from: Sue on 3/20/2013 7:34 AM
 A friend wrote me that "One of the sure signs of spring is when the starlings beak change to yellow." I didn't know that - cool fact!


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