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A New Season Begins

Feederwatch has begun for this year. The birdseed finally came it, a little late is better than never. The feeders have only had nyjer seed in them, so of course it will take the birds a little time to realize that the good stuff is back. The weather has been a bit warmer than typical for this time of year, so many birds are still foraging naturally, but that doesn't stop the hoard of house sparrows from descending on the feeders. The unusual thing is that I haven't seen any squirrels at the feeders yet this year. They're either getting better about sneaking up to the feeders, or they are finding plenty of nuts and seeds elsewhere. In some ways its a bit of a shame, as this is the first year that feederwatch is actually having us count the mammals that are visiting the feeders, but I'm sure they'll come around eventually. Our only mammals so far has been the bunny, who visits us each evening for the grass and the peanuts that the birds miss and the little chipmunk who runs in, fills his cheeks as big as he possibly can and then runs off again (I'll have to try for a picture of that - those cheeks are huuuuge). Of course I'm sure the trail cam will prove that the feeders are very busy at night with mice, raccoons, skunks and the like, but the camera hasn't been checked yet. Next time I go out to fill the feeders I'll have to remember to get the footage from the camera. As the weather got colder towards the end of November more bird species definitely began to visit the feeder. All the little brown birds that are sometimes so difficult to count among the house sparrows, the woodpeckers, cardinals, the juncos. The surprise visitor were the cedar waxwings, they were a first for our feederwatch count this year. Guess I'll have to add some fruits and berries to the feeders.

Three house sparrows on feeders, one chickadee in flight

Male house sparrow

November count:

11/8-9: bird species: 7; individuals: 43; mammals 1

house finch 1

house sparrow 30

chickadee 2

tufted titmouse 1

blue jay 7

cardinal 1

white throated sparrow 1

rabbit 1

11/15-16: bird species: 4; individuals: 25; mammals 1

house sparrow 20

chickadee 2

tufted titmouse 2

cardinal 1

rabbit 1

11/28-11/29: bird species: 12; individuals: 47; mammals 1

chickadee 1

house finch 3

house sparrow 30

tufted titmouse 2

cardinal 2

blue jay 1

song sparrow 1

dark-eyed junco 1

european starling 2

cedar waxwing 2

downy woodpecker 2

white-breasted nuthatch 1

chipmunk 1

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