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My goldfinches are starting to get some yellow, and my Butter Butts are getting some darker markings.  A vacant lot under development nearby had a flock of over 250 Chipping Sparrows on Sunday.  The local birds are starting to sing more and longer, are showing up at the feeder in pairs more often, and are getting more territorial.

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I had 2 Red Wing Blackbirds this morning eating peanuts and sunflower hearts, and the American Robin is showing up everyday for a bath and a drink. Several Orange Crowned Warblers make the daily stop for some mealworm suet. Still lots of Dark Eyed Juncos every morning. I'm starting to see the House Finches show back up again too. Lots of baby Grackles come out of no where all the time, and ravage everything. Blue Jays are starting to figure out there are peanuts for them, I see more and more everyday.

 

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Spring is starting early for us too.  My Okame Cherry trees are already blooming!  Still have winter species hanging around. It will not be long until the rose-breasted grosbeaks and hummingbirds come back!  Can't wait. 

2019-02-07 17.31.05.jpg

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Something came thru yesterday and sat on the feeder pole for awhile. Not quite sure what this bird is, but all the other ones ran away, so I assume is some sort of hawk. Was a rather large bird.

traveler.jpg

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Looks like a Coopers Hawk. Pale nape and rounded tail.

Edited by RustyE
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Lots of activity this weekend, and lots of chirping, calling, singing, and other bird-type noises.  Red-Wings, Brown-Heads, and grackles moving through in mixed flocks of several dozen or more.  Also pure flocks of robins.  American Goldfinches are still hogging my feeders in flocks of 15 to 25.  During the GBBC I tripped over a small group of Palm Warblers in breeding plumage.

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I only had a few at a time for most of the season.  I had some in the fall, the numbers dropped off in the winter, and they've boomed for the spring.  I've had more in the last three weeks than I've had in the previous 14 years combined.

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I was out of town and we had like 7 days of rainfall a week ago so I was unable to fill my thistle feeder.  With the thistle feeder and all my BOSS feeders being empty for a week , all of my goldfinches left and have not come back. Isn’t it amazing that my medium sized thistle feeder being empty for that long could have influenced that whole group of goldfinches? I had about 20-30 of them prior to running out of seed.  One might say it was time for them to leave but they usually don’t leave until April in previous years.  Seems very interesting to me on how a group of these little birds can become expectant on one food source.  On another interesting observation, my pair of red-shouldered hawks (mating pair) have started feeding on the squirrels that try to invade my bird feeders. They caught one of the squirrels this morning and had him for breakfast! Ha ha!

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Spotted the first swallows of the season over a farm pond Monday evening, but it was too dark to make out what species.  Also had the first Osprey, perched on a snag where two had tried to start a nest last year unsuccessfully.

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At this point in time I have overlap between the winter resident rufous hummingbirds and the arriving black-chinned hummingbirds.  

Black-chinned HummingbirdWinter Hummingbird

 

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I have been getting flocks of cedar waxwings.  I frequently have thirty of forty of the birds at a time.

Cedar Waxwings

 

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Sometimes they are in the trees, Charlie.  Sometimes they are in the wind.  I kind of object to the way they eat up the juniper berries and leave purple deposits on my flagstone pool deck!

Cedar Waxwings

 

Flock on the Wing

 

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Spotted a new bird, at least for me, to my area yesterday. A rad-naped sapsucker. I was surprised to see him since the maps show that they are barely east of El Paso and I am near Brownwood, TX.

 509785127_reducedRednapedsapsucker.thumb.jpg.72a5cda9eea0949841db54c201bd5cc2.jpg

 

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