midwinter visitors

14 01 2009

somethingdifferentLook carefully at this group of mallards and you’ll see that, in fact, they’re not all mallards. It’s like that old Sesame Street skit, “One of these things is not like the other things, one of these things just doesn’t belong…

The last couple of days have been good for our less common Sapsucker Woods birds: the day before this wildfowl visitor showed up (any guesses as to its identity?) we had several great looks at a northern shrike terrorizing the north side of the pond.  I even overheard someone this morning saying that they had watched a shrike impale and dismantle a mouse just a hundred feet off of Sapsucker Woods Rd. Looking at the Sapsucker Woods eBird data from the last 100 years, it shows that shrikes are fairly common during the fall and winter, but the odd duck out is a fairly rare occurrence.  

noshpondNow, you might be thinking that a duck and a hook-billed songbird aren’t all that exciting; but add in a sprinkling of dozens of pine siskins, a healthy dose of american tree sparrows, and a light dash of white-throated sparrows, and you’ve got quite a diversity of birds to watch.  Not to mention the red-tailed hawk that skimmed by right outside the windows of the lunchroom.  And the furtive brown beady-eyed mink that I saw in the gloaming last night.  Plus a group of rosy-breasted robins in the late dusk sunlight, high in the trees.

So keep an eye on those windows! Despite the single-digit highs of the next few days, there’s no telling what else the woods will reveal…

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6 responses

14 01 2009
Nick

How has the shrike not made it onto the listserve yet? Hmm… I guess I’ll just have to go find it tomorrow and post it! 🙂

14 01 2009
noflickster

I can also add a sapsucker in the bird garden, frequenting the suet feeder! Nick, I think the shrike was on the internal Lab listserve but never made it on to Cayugabirds.

Nice capture of SSW in winter, Charles!
-Mike

15 01 2009
sitta

Thanks Mike! I’m still looking, even from my windowless cubie…

15 01 2009
Nick

There’s a Pileated at the north side feeders today 🙂

25 02 2009
Caleb Putnam

Hey Sitta!

Just saw your comment on my January blog post. No, I didn’t have a chance to go to see the Ivory Gulls, though the thought crossed my mind! Some people were even hand feeding the Plymouth bird!

Hope you and Erin are well- you guys are married now, right?

Caleb

13 08 2011
Pedro

Here is another blog you may also enjoy:

http://planetbirds.blogspot.com/

it presents a different bird species everyday!

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