Birds of the Field and Forest

A Surprise and Welcome Visitor!

  I always enjoy watching wild birds come to my backyard feeders. Regal cardinals, petite black-capped chickadees and tiny chipping sparrows are just some of the many birds that come to eat sunflower seeds, millet and safflower. Today, Anne shouts to me, excitedly, “What kind of bird is that? It’s beautiful!” I dart across the […]

Parasitic Birds

Brown-headed cowbirds came to my bird feeder yesterday. I am not a fan of this bird because it is responsible for the decline of many species of warblers. Cow birds were once restricted to the prairies of the mid-west. Although cowbirds eat seeds, insects are a significant part of their diet. These bird followed the […]

Wintering Chipping Sparrows

For me, seeing chipping sparrows in Florida in the middle of the winter is strange. That’s because when I lived in New York, the chipping sparrow was an indication of spring, not a sign of winter. Chipping sparrows  returned from their southern wintering grounds in March.  The sparrows  built flimsy stick nests in the white […]

Who Cooks for You?

“Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” –  is a bird call I never heard living on Long Island in New York. Barred owls are considered accidental species for the Island. Perhaps it is the water barrier; the island is separated from New England by the Long Island Sound since this owl does not […]

Straggler Hummingbird Welcomed

Just after my last blog on how the absence of Hummingbirds signals the start of autumn, I spied a ruby-throated hummingbird by our firecracker bush. A light rain was falling, but it did not stop the hummingbird from engorging itself on the sweet nectar. This world’s smallest bird needs to eat half its weight in […]

Goodbye Hummingbirds, Hello Autumn!

On September 23rd,  at 4:21 a.m., the autumnal equinox marks the onset of fall, a transition time of summer to winter. As a child growing up in New York, it was easy to recognize the arrival of autumn. By mid-September, green leaves slowly faded to shades of yellow, orange, red and crimson. By mid-October the […]

The True Snowbirds

z The Urban Dictionary defines a snowbird as “an elderly Yankee that migrates down to the South to winter when their natural habitat of New York, Ohio, or Michigan is too cold for them.”1 But the real snowbirds are from Canada. They are truly birds called dark eyed juncos. A junco is a medium-sized sparrow. […]