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Posted by: atowhee | February 21, 2010

Garden Birds of February

The Flicker comes daily to our suet feeder.  The Bushtits are less predictable but are suet-lovers in their tiny fashion.  The Juncos will be here until the snow melts in the higher elevations of the Cascades and Siskiyous.  The Lesser Goldfinches are regulars again and the American Goldfinches won’t migrate through here for weeks yet.  No Siskins in evidence.  So the little bright Lessers have the nyger seeds to themselves except for an occasional Junco varying its diet from the other bird grains.

The jays have shown no inclination for early nesting but the Turkeys are now paired.  I’ve heard no Robin song yet. Despite mild sunny days, it still freezes overnight.  It’s still winter for another month.

There have been moths at night for the past three weeks.  In the past couple days I’ve noticed our first butterflies.  I found a slug sluggishly sliming across our sidewalk this past week, as well.  Crocus are in bloom and johnny-jump-ups.  At night we cover our leafed-out crabapple trees to protect them from the frost.

The Juncos are getting more rambunctious, more aggressive among themselves, more talkative whenever I enter the garden.  Their soft little whispery clicks sound from every available perch.  Fortunately many of them stick around until the vocal Black-headed Grosbeaks return to dominate the garden chorus for much of the spring and early summer. The Chickadees are daily, year-round and usually good for a couple  “dee-dee-dee” whistles.

Everyone with a feeder in the mixed forest habitat hereabouts has the same story to tell: a Black-capped Chickadee or White-breasted Nuthatch swooping down to pluck a single sunflower seed from the feeder, then flying off to a perch where they can hack away on the huge seed with slender pointed beacks.  Taking several flakes before they can devour the whole thing.  Repeat process as required for satiety.

Location:     243 Granite Street, Ashland
Observation date:     2/20/10
Number of species:     14

Wild Turkey     2
Mourning Dove     15
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     1
Steller’s Jay     10
Western Scrub-Jay     2
Common Raven     1
Black-capped Chickadee     2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     2
Spotted Towhee     2
Song Sparrow     1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     30

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