Feeder Report May 26, 2017

This week has been a very active one at our feeder, with our chipmunk and cardinal couple making multiple visits. We now have three crows who stop by and the more I research them, the more fascinating I find them. Corvids (a family which included blue jays) are among the smartest birds, which is evidenced by their attempts to land on our feeder. They’re too big to stay on it for more than a couple of seconds, but that doesn’t keep them from trying. One hangs off the feeder in much the same way our squirrel does, and the other two think they can hang off the feeder pole like a nuthatch. It doesn’t always work for them, but it’s fun to watch them try to figure it out. I believe they are fish crows because they are iridescent and smaller than the crows I see feeding on roadkill off I-91, but since it’s extremely difficult to tell them from American Crows, I’m not 100% certain I’m right. Another new bird that has shown up in the past few weeks or so is the chipping sparrow. This little creature is smaller than the house sparrows and the white-throated sparrow and has a rusty-red patch on top of its head. One thing that distinguishes the chipping from the tree sparrow is the color of the stripe around its eye. A chipping sparrow like ours has a black line around its eye, while  a tree sparrow has a brown one. So now we have three distinct species of sparrows that dine with us. We also have a new mystery bird that won’t approach the feeder but is active in the grass lawn between the apartment units: a brown thrasher. At least I think it is, it hasn’t gotten close enough to the window for me to be positive, but it’s the largest bird I’ve seen this spring, and it’s a reddish-brown with a speckled chest. Kind of looks like a wren but is way too big for that species.  Hopefully it will stop by and I can make a definitive identification in the coming weeks. My method for identifying birds is to do a quick Google search to see if I can find a picture that reflects what I’m seeing and then I do further research.  For the most part, I think it’s working!

2 thoughts on “Feeder Report May 26, 2017

  1. Thanks for this post, Jen. Around my neck of the woods (San Gabriel Valley in southern California) we’ve got our fair share of crows, mockingbirds, sparrows, hummingbirds, linnets, hawks (usually red-tailed), brush jays, parrots, finches, wild canaries, and others whose names I don’t even know. Always fun to watch. My next door neighbor has a hummingbird feeder, and until now I didn’t know how territorial and feisty this small bird can be. A couple of days ago, I saw a hummingbird harass a sparrow that wasn’t even near the feeder!

  2. Wow! I had no idea hummingbirds could be so aggressive but I suppose all God’s small creatures are if they want a chance against the bigger ones. We have red tailed hawks it here and I have seen them take down squirrels- kind of gruesome but it’s the circle of life I suppose.

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