Thursday, November 8, 2007

Brrrrr the Sparrows are here!

Jeez it's cold this morning! What happened to fall? Anyway one thing good to come of this cold weather is the large influx of sparrows to the south-eastern USA. We are starting to witness this influx here in Tallahassee. Birds like the Dark-eyed Junco are arriving in our area much earlier than usual and I am hearing reports of them in large numbers in Georgia and Alabama. My Chipping Sparrows are here and two days ago they brought a pair of juncos with them. Dark-eyed Junco is an annual visitor to my yard but I've never had more than a singleton. They arrived earlier than any of my previous juncos as well. Other sparrows to look out for include White-throated and White-crowned. If you live out in the country check your Chipping Sparrows carefully for Field Sparrows.

Sparrows love to eat a mixture of White Millet and Cracked Corn, they prefer to feed on the ground or on a tray feeder close to the ground. Spread the mix over a large area near some vegetation, preferable a log pile or some low lying shrubs. Sparrows like to watch from cover to make sure the coast is clear before venturing out to feed. If you are lucky you may get a large flock by the turn of the year. Two winters ago my Chipping Sparrow flock exceeded 120 birds! Last winter my friend Ross banded almost 50 Chipping Sparrows in my yard, I was excited to see at least two banded birds had returned this winter whilst watching my flock yesterday. This may prove that our Chipping Sparrows return to our yards every winter so it's important to provide them with the food they need.

Dark-eyed Junco

White-crowned Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

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