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Fall Migration 2018


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My yard has been very unremarkable for the last 3 weeks.  Nothing interesting at all. We have had rain a lot so I'm wondering if that has affected how much the birds are out and about?  I had a Ruby Crowned Kinglet visit me about this time of the year a few years ago.  It is cool when he fluffs the tuft feathers up on his head and you can see that little red dot on the top of his head.  Cool little bird. As small as a chickadee. 

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Mine is not doing so well either. I think it must be the warmer than normal weather in my area, not too sure. First day of winter is tomorrow, so maybe theres hope on the horizon.

I usually have a lot of Northern Cardinals, House Finches, Goldfinches, Carolina Wrens, Cedar Waxwings, Northern Mockingbirds, Red Winged Blackbirds, and Texas has so many woodpeckers, but right now I dont have any at all. I keep thinking maybe they will all show up soon.

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I've just been having house sparrow after house sparrow. I rarely see a goldfinch up front (normally we have dozens this time of year!), in fact the Downy Woodpeckers seem to be enjoying the thistle more than the finches! However, I really can't complain since we've been having lots of hawks hanging out in our yard for the past few days, so I don't really blame the birds for being reluctant to feed here. 

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A few from the yard today, not all migrants, but still a pretty active afternoon. 

Yellow rumped warbler 

2018-12-24_04-36-58

Cedar waxwings 

2018-12-24_04-37-27

Orange crowned warbler 

2018-12-24_04-36-35

Blue headed vireo 

2018-12-24_04-36-03

 

White throated sparrow

2018-12-24_04-43-01

Pine warbler 

2018-12-24_04-42-50

Red bellied woodpecker 

2018-12-24_04-38-36

 

 

 

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Red-bellied woodpecker, juncos, goldfinches, white-throated sparrows, chipping sparrows, chickadee, titmouse, bluebirds, brown-headed nuthatch, red-breasted nuthatch, white-breasted nuthatch, downy, carolina wren, cardinal, house finch, purple finch (female only), pine warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, blue jay and crow on the propery this past week.  I went down to the Florida gulf coast for Christmas and was amazed at the number of warblers that have flooded the Panama City area that is still devestated in many areas from Hurricane Michael.  Happpy New Year!  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Around here, they're feeding.  I haven't figured out exactly which species of trees but many have food at the top.  Depending on the types and size of the stand of trees, it may take them a few days to exhaust the food.  Then they'll move on.

If it looks like something else, would you post more details?  Are they in the same trees all winter?

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One of the guys at work said they were feeding but I'm not sure what they are eating?  There is a ton of missle toe in the tree shown in the photo but they don't see to be eating when I see them.  What I notice is that they come to the same trees every year around the same time of year (right now).  The part that is hard for me to figure out is that they seem to be resting and just whistling to each other.  All day. Whistling.  I'll let you know when they leave.  I don't think they are feeding personally.  I don't see them eating anything.  Maybe when I look up and watch them is when they are taking a break from eating?  The trees are Bradford Pears and some type of Oak that doesn't get very large.  They are supposed to be large ornamental trees of some type.  I just don't know much about this bird and they are intriguing to me because I've never seen one by itself.  They are always in a group. 

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I dunno about there, but here Bradford Pears have small fruits about the size of garbanzo bean and the waxwings love 'em.  Mistletoe berries are also a popular food with grazing migrants.  There's a reason they returning to these same trees every year.  Since they don't provide shelter and it isn't breeding season, food is about the only motivating factor left.

Waxwings are one of those species that flock together in the winter.  You'll see them individually and in pairs during the breeding season but, as you noticed, they are always in a group in the winter.

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2 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

You are correck-et!  But that business about robins being a sign of spring depends heavily on what part of the country you're in.  I have some winters here in SC when they hang around consistently.

Very true. When I lived in N Alabama as a kid, Robins were a sign of Spring. After we moved to Fla they were a Winter bird, being there in large flocks till Spring. I think now they tend to winter farther north, as many species are doing.

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On 1/23/2019 at 10:22 AM, tclarkwood said:

One of the guys at work said they were feeding but I'm not sure what they are eating?  There is a ton of missle toe in the tree shown in the photo but they don't see to be eating when I see them.  What I notice is that they come to the same trees every year around the same time of year (right now).  The part that is hard for me to figure out is that they seem to be resting and just whistling to each other.  All day. Whistling.  I'll let you know when they leave.  I don't think they are feeding personally.  I don't see them eating anything.  Maybe when I look up and watch them is when they are taking a break from eating?  The trees are Bradford Pears and some type of Oak that doesn't get very large.  They are supposed to be large ornamental trees of some type.  I just don't know much about this bird and they are intriguing to me because I've never seen one by itself.  They are always in a group. 

Follow Up... the Cedar waxwings were eating mulberries.  I did not realize there were mulberry trees in that same group of trees.  They are chowing down for a few weeks and they will leave at some point.  Thanks for the follow up.   My bluebirds are getting active fighting over suet.  I have 6-8 bluebirds with only one breeding box so there is going to be plenty of bluebird fights over the next 3 months!   Ha Ha! 

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