Posted by: atowhee | January 29, 2022

GATHERING

Finches gather at the feeders. Now that siskins have abandoned our garden we get goldfinches and sometimes house:

I never expect to see thos Fox Sparrow on a feeder:

The sparrow family holds its meeting and conflabs and dinners mostly at ground level–whevrever sunflower chips are being served. Full-fledged members of the clan our juncos and towhees are groundlings.

Bushtits, I believe, don’t gather often. They gather once in late summer after breeding is done. Then that gathering stays together, barring death and destruction. It is exceptional to see a lone or handful of Bushtits outside of breeding season. Once flocked together the local Bushtit tribe is cohesive, moving about nervously all day, as a group, tittering and whispering to one another. Eye color’s gender specific–pale eyes are on adult females while juvies and males have all dark eyes.

Click here for blog about what the deadly heat dome did to Bushtits hereabouts last summer. Biologist Sarah Sloane has done considerable Bushtit research here in Oregon though she lives in exile back in some placed called “Maine.”

Northward migration begins out here next month for some species. Click here for recent summary if what we know about birds using the magnetic field to navigate.


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