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Posted by: atowhee | October 1, 2018

TWO FIRSTS: OCTOBER AND JUNCOS

Today was the FIRST of October and today the FIRST juncos of the season appeared beneath our hanging feeders.  Now I can expect to see one or more of them every day for months to come. Juncos were consistently present, sometimes more than three dozen at once, from January through the third week of April.  Then off they went to breed in coniferous forests, some far to the north, others perhaps nearby in the Coast Range and Cascades.  Juncos don’t require northern latitudes nor high elevation…they breed in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park at less than 100-foot elevation.  They do require dense canopy and deep shade to help conceal their nests on the ground.

All summer I had only two brief juncos visits, one day in July, another day in August. No juveniles.  I expect those juncos were visiting adults, on vacation after nesting and rearing young in nearby Rotary Park.

Also the MDS must have dropped off a shipment of flickers overnight.  A short walk in our neighborhood today exposed at least a half dozen of them.  These strangers were hanging out in places I rarely see them.  Oh, MDS stands for “Migration Delivery Service.”  MDS will be bringing along Fox Sparrows, Golden-crowned Sparrows, probably Varied and Hermit Thrush and thousands of ducks and geese for wet season marshes.  Can’t wait.atoppAbove, flicker so disoriented he is sharing a  cedar top with two starlings.  Like any tourist on a strange subway line.

Below, flicker up a pole.  Thinking to himself, “Geez, we don’t have strange trees like this in the Yukon?!”atopp2

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