13th, 2014. Some birds – Purple Finches and American Goldfinches –
will sit at the feeders to eat. By contrast, Tufted Titmice and Carolina Chickadees
will swoop in, alight, grab a sunflower seed, and fly up to a branch nearby to
crack the seed open. They repeat this over and over again. Rarely does one sit
at the feeder to eat.
13th, 2014. The Blue Jays in our area are quite shy. They live in
the woods near the road and we rarely see them near the house. Last Winter, house,
several came furtively to the feeder area.
would land in branches above and scope out the area.
first, they scavenged kernels that fell from a corn ear feeder we keep for the
squirrels and stayed at a distance.
became a little bolder with time and we were treated to some close views as
they ate the loose corn kernels closer to the house.
didn’t come in until January so I was a little surprised to see one furtively
scavenging kernels within a day of putting out the first ear of corn last week.
Maybe we’ll see more of them this Winter.
1st, 2014.Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia)
– also known as Silverling,
Groundsel Tree, Consumption Weed, Sea Myrtle - is one of the few
shrubs that blooms in the Fall. Plants are dioecious; the male and female
flowers are on different plants so it is the female plants that we notice.
shrub was growing by a fence. Most of the plants I see are at the edge of woods
where it’s not possible to see their shape clearly.
flowers. In their prime, the blooms look like tassels. They spread as they go
to seed. In individual seed is visible in the left side of the second
White-throated Sparrows were regular visitors to the
bird-feeder area last Winter. I didn’t notice them until towards the end of
January and they stayed around until the middle of April. They are difficult to
photograph because they are constantly on the move.
They are named for the white throat patch. Sometimes it is
difficult to see the patch on the neck and they can be identified by the black
and white stripes on the head, with an often-prominent yellow patch at the
front end of the white patch. They are also larger than most sparrows that
winter in our area.
Often three or four birds would come hopping across the
ground out of the woods and feed in the area near the bird feeders where they poke
around in the leaf litter for seed, insects, and berries. They don’t eat from
the feeders themselves but may east seed that has fallen from a feeder. One of
the photos below shows a bird with what appears to be a sorghum seed in its
beak. They spent most of the time on the ground. I saw one perched in a tree on
only one occasion.
This year, I spotted my first White-throated Sparrow in mid-November.
So they already here for the Winter but able to get most of their food in the
woods except when it’s been very cold.