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Monday, April 1, 2013

Still here

I've had the sense recently that our winter birds seem to be staying with us longer this year than in the past. So, to check my memory, I looked back at my previous years' records on eBird to see what they showed. As often happens, I found that my memory was somewhat faulty.

My records show that my latest sighting of American Goldfinches in my yard was on April 9, 2011, so the fact that I still have some in my yard here at the first of April is not that unusual. But there do seem to be more of the birds that are making the transition to their spring feathers in my yard. Usually, we only see them in their gray-green winter clothes, but this year bright yellow and black birds are common in the yard.

This male American Goldfinch, in my yard over the weekend,  has changed about halfway into his spring clothes.

My latest yard sighting of Pine Siskins was on April 27, 2011, so they could potentially still be hanging around for another month.

The siskins are still the most numerous bird species in my yard and at my feeders as they were for most of the winter.

Now, I only have one year's previous experience with Rufous Hummingbirds, but last year, my first year to host the birds during the winter, they were last seen in my yard on March 27. So, already, they have stayed longer than their previous record and they are now outnumbered daily by the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds passing through. And still they linger.

There are plenty of blossoms for the birds to sip from now, but this little guy still likes to visit the feeder throughout the day.

On the other hand, our winter warblers do seem to have fled my yard and my Red-breasted Nuthatches are long gone, though other birders in the area have reported them throughout March. The season is definitely in transition. Who will be next to show up?


  1. I thought our winter birds left last week but yesterday afternoon we had Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warbler, several American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, two Red-breasted Nuthatches, three Brown-headed Nuthatches and three Chipping Sparrows.
    I guess they abandoned our feeders in favor of natural food but then came back for our fatty suet and sunflower seeds when it got cold again!

    1. They do surprise us. I thought the goldfinches were gone a month ago, but then more turned up - I think they were coming in from farther south - and still more continue to come through. I haven't seen any Chipping Sparrows or White-throated Sparrows for several days, but I'll be on the lookout for them. No warblers for a while, but we do have Brown-headed Nuthatches throughout the year, although I'm more likely to see them in winter or spring.