Monday, February 8, 2010

Feeder Birds, Primarily

[If only Common Grackles were 6 feet tall and carried snow shovels. Del Haven yesterday, click to enlarge photos.]

If Mike Crewe hadn't been so busy of late shoveling and dealing with lack of power, he would have posted his photos of the two Eastern Meadowlarks at his feeder, undoubtedly driven out of the Cape Island fields of Higbee/Hidden Valley. They are my pick for the "best" feeder birds on Cape Island born of the recent storm - sad though it is to see birds challenged so.

Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis have had a couple nice feeder/yard birds on Cape Island similary storm-forced, with Eastern Phoebe and Chipping Sparrows included yesterday.

CMBO-CRE in Goshen is finally plowed and shovelled out, and hosted Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird and Eastern Towhee at the feeders today.

Truth is, other than Mike Fritz's report of a nice mixed bag of alcids off NJ (but north of Cape May) while mackeral fishing pre-storm, the only non-feeder reports coming in have just a few roadside birds - including poor American Woodcock, all around the Cape, how they will survive I don't know, especially in light of another snowfall forecast for tomorrow.

In other news, the Cape May "team" - birders collected at one of the few houses Sunday that had both functioning electricity and cable - garnered a meager 10 bird species during the Superbowl, including Peregrine, Red-tailed, and some sort of vocalization flashed in the background of a commercial (yes, these are TV birds we're talking about) that was part Indigo Bunting, Yellow Warbler, or maybe something completely different. . .can't say our senses were at full faculty at the time. . .

[Fox Sparrows dig vigorously, and may manage better than other sparrows in snow -especially if bird feeders are augmented with handfuls of seed cast out regularly during snow events. This one paused at length near the feeders on Sunday.]

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