Bird abundance

american tree sparrow

Cutie-pie bird. I think it’s an American Tree Sparrow.

American Tree Sparrows are small, round-headed birds that often fluff out their feathers, making their plump bodies look even chubbier. Among sparrows, they have fairly small bills and long, thin tails.

A rusty cap and rusty (not black) eyeline on a gray head, a streaked brown back, and a smooth gray to buff breast in both male and female American Tree Sparrows give an overall impression of reddish-brown and gray. A dark smudge in the center of the unstreaked breast is common.

three-tree-sparrows-in-a-rain-shower.jpg!Blog

Three tree sparrows in a rain shower, by Ohara Koson.

Winter visitors, last recorded on my eBird checklist in February.

Look for small flocks of American Tree Sparrows in winter in weedy fields with hedgerows or shrubs, along forest edges, or near marshes. They readily visit backyards, especially if there’s a seed feeder. American Tree Sparrows breed in the far north and are rarely seen south of northern Canada in summer.

titmouse

Titmouse with seed.

Leisurely Sunday morning, cuppa coffee, observing birds, picking up the cranky old Canon with telephoto to try a few pics through the window. (A little birdy told me that Santa may be bringing me a better birding camera.)

downy nut

Downy Woodpecker looks wary of this White-breasted Nuthatch. Both were after peanuts I sprinkled on the platform feeder.

Also put out homemade suet dough this morning, plus the usual Dodge’s Agway Supreme Blend. (The chickens got some leftover rice mixed with old yogurt.)

From 7:20 to 8 a.m. I observed and recorded on eBird: 10 mourning doves, 1 red-bellied woodpecker, 3 downy woodpeckers, 6 blue jays, 5 black-capped chickadees, 4 tufted titmice, 1 white-breasted nuthatch, 2 american tree sparrows, 2 dark-eyed juncos, 1 northern cardinal, 3 american goldfinches and a posse of 6 male eastern bluebirds.

bluebird

Here is a photo of a male bluebird, taken yesterday.

They like the suet dough and peanuts… and the heated birdbath! I bet they will hang around this winter. There is also a fantastic red maple swamp beyond our backyard, full of tasty winterberries.

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