[Tweeters] predictable Fox Sparrow

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 17 16:04:02 PST 2008

Dear Tweeters,

I've been hoping for a snowstorm. That's because I haven't seen a Fox Sparrow in my yard in 2008, and one virtually always visits my feeders when we get some serious snow accumulation.

Sure enough, I went out to the barn at dawn today to give my hens some corn, and there was a Fox Sparrow in the doorway. This bird was foraging with three hungry Rhode Island Reds, a Spotted Towhee, and a handful of Oregon Juncos. I got within two meters of the flock before they scattered.

The Fox Sparrow came over by the house in the afternoon. In the lee of a disused doghouse, the sparrow dug a baseball-sized hole in the snow, apparently looking for seeds scattered from the feeder direcly above. Meanwhile, the juncos, towhees, sparrows, and finches just foraged on the surface of the snow there.

Later in the day, after I had put out a veritable Berlin Airlift worth of black-oil sunflower, the first Slate-colored Junco of the season stopped by.

All told, the quantity of birds at my feeders today is at least treble what it has been any time in the past eight months or so. We have about six to eight inches of snow, and the mob of Juncos, Red-winged Blackbirds, Golden-crowned Sparrows, and so on has not taken more than a five-minute digestion break all day.

Stay safe in the cold, Tweets!

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch   Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA   garybletsch at yahoo.com    

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