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Hello... Since we have not had a post in a while I thought it was about time to mention the fall migration season that is about to start.  They say Ruby-throats start moving south as early as the end of August so you may see some different hummers this month on their way back to Central America.  My first  "winter" species that show up around my house each year is the dark-eyed juncos.  I"ve seen them as early as late October before with big numbers coming in November and December.  I get a lot more American Goldfinches and white-throated sparrows in November to December.  The last to arrive every year is the Pine Siskins.  Since they are irruptive, I don't get them every year.  We got a few last year but I saw none in 2016.   I have seen a few Rose-breasted Grosbeaks on their way back south a couple of times in the last 5 years. What is your favorite fall/winter species that you see on your property?  oh yeah... Roll Tide!   Ha ha! 

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Things are starting to move in my area (Costa Mesa/SoCal.) This last week I have seen some of the travelers that just stop for a bath or drink and keep going.  I had a Black-throated Gray Warbler yesterday and a Wilson's juvenile today. 

I'm a fan of the Spotted Towhee. This one still has to grow some head feathers. 

 

 

SPTOfron180826.jpg

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I've got 5 hummingbird feeders up now, placed all over the front and back yard. Those Ruby Throated are very territorial I have learned in the past few weeks! I've got to get this video up that I have of one. The red in the throat is golden, and I read somewhere that it's an older male? I'm not sure if thats right or not.

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I've got a large Elderberry shrub out back and when those berries ripen in mid/late August it's like the last hurrah for summer here.  Lots of Robins, Mockingbirds, Catbirds, and Orioles until they strip the shrub bare; then they're gone.  Right now I have a big patch of ripening sunflowers and other perennials that attracts the goldfinches non-stop.   Today there was a pretty orange-ish cardinal that I haven't noticed before.  Some grosbeaks would be awesome but very unlikely - have seen them only once, a pair of Rose-breasted, in the spring, years ago....

cardinal

She's got a cool hairdo too..

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Seems like lot of birds in my area (western NC mountains at about 3,000 ft) are just finishing up their molt - cardinals, mockingbirds, bluebirds,...  Unless they are bald and shabby looking for other reasons.   I don't think my other common feeder birds - nuthatch, brown thrasher, house finch, goldfinch, sparrow, chickadee, starling, dove, ...  ever did it (or they hid when doing so). 

Edited by Dan
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The cold air moved in a few days ago and I am starting to see some flocks of birds flying around. My hummingbirds left last week and it is still early to see any winter species migrate in yet. I'll be keeping an eye out for the juncos.  I've had them make an appearance in early November before so I'm not sure what this year will be like. By the way, the red pepper suet works well to deter squirrels. I've been using it now for about 4 months and I have not lost any suet to the squirrels. The woodpeckers and nuthatches are very happy with the red pepper suet. Last thing, Tractor Supply sells an expensive squirrel proof feeder (Red barn house)if any of you are interested. It only cost about 25 - 30 bucks compared to the much more expensive brands.  It has spring loaded covers that cover the feed ports when the squirrels get on it.   :classic_biggrin:

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I saw 2 Dark Eyed Juncos yesterday on the ground feeder. Been so long since I've seen any I had forgot about them! 🐦

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This has been one of the better fall migrations, in my LI backyard at least.  Lots of birds this year that normally don't show up, like Chipping Sparrows, Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Redstart, and Common Yellowthroat.

Major highlights have been:

1. Brown Thrasher

2. Flock of Cedar Waxwings

3. And biggest thrill of all - this adorable little group of Purple Finches has been hanging around for the past week.  Seeing (and observing) them for the first time ever, I can see just how distinctive they are from House Finches.  They are beautiful birds!  When I think of how much time I've spent scanning drab flocks of House Finches hoping for a Purple, not realizing what to even be looking for...

1

thrasher

2

waxwing

3

DSCN6751

 

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I had purple finches all the time when I lived in PA but I do not think I have seen one since I have moved back to Alabama. They are quite a bit more colorful than my resident House Finches.  Perhaps I will see one again sometime.  I think they do come to Alabama but in fewer numbers than other states.  I should start seeing some white-throated sparrows within the next month. Not many Juncos... just a handful.  My bluebirds have shown back up.  I do not know where they went from August to October? 

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I had my first backyard Purple Finches ever last weekend, one male and two females.  The same day I had a Eastern Towhee for the first time this season.  Mid-week the first juncos arrived.  Today the American Goldfinches showed up in force.

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I havent seen Finches in months, in fact I havent seen anything but some house sparrows, and a handfull of Mourning Doves now and then for a very long time. These cold fronts coming thru are starting to knock them down this way. Been having a lot of Blujays, Carolina Chickadees, and my favorite the Titmouse. All hands on deck, ready and waiting their arrivals!

Edited by MeInDallas
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I pressure washed my older feeders and put everything out so I have a lot of seed and suet out now.  I would love to put corn out on the ground but that causes an explosion in my chipmunk population so I learned not do it.  I'm still looking for the winter species to show up.  The juncos that I saw were an hour north of here so I still have not seen one on my property. Like Mel said these cold fronts will push them down into the deep South soon.   

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I'm in Southern NY. I just noticed a few weeks back some little bird that a site identifed as a ruby headed kinglet.  I haven't seen it since. We also had a nutch hatch hanging around. The Catbird left a few weeks back and it looks like the mockingbird has returned with a friend. I saw a tiny bird that was black (back) and white front, small,  but haven't figured it out yet. The robins seemed to have disappeared as well.

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This morning was the first with temperatures near freezing.  The cold front apparently brought the Hooded Mergansers; the first dozen of the season were on a farm pond this afternoon.

1 hour ago, DDByrd22 said:

I saw a tiny bird that was black (back) and white front, small,  but haven't figured it out yet.

Welcome!  Dark-Eyed Junco, maybe?

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Dark-eyed_Junco

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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I had half a dozen Pine Siskins at the nyger feeder this morning, competing with the Goldies.  I've only had them here once before, two or three years ago, and that was much later in the season.  Between their early appearance and the first Purple Finches I've ever had here, I'm optimistic about getting more uncommon visitors this winter!

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