Friday, January 26, 2007

January Cabin Birds

It’s getting near the end of 2007’s first month, so that has prompted me to start looking at my January bird list. Overall, I’m just one species behind last year’s January of 26 species, but close enough that if weather cooperates this weekend, I might tie or with luck surpass the total of January 2006. So for those of you who aren’t up to math while reading a blog, I’m at 25 species at the cabin so far this year, and as usual I have some interesting sightings and omissions.

Here’s my list.
Turkey Vulture – when the weather was warm, these were in the air.
Canada Goose – the local suspects.
Mallard – the local pair.
Red-tailed Hawk – saw a local bird a few times.
Mourning Dove – there aren’t all that common here at the cabin, so they were probably visitors from down around Roundtop’s lodge.
Great-horned Owl – Heard only.
Red-bellied Woodpecker – A regular feeder bird.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – See blog entry of January 24.
Downy Woodpecker – Common at the feeders.
Hairy Woodpecker – Not as common as its smaller cousin but around.
Pileated Woodpecker – Seen flying through the woods.
Blue Jay – Common and they’re hard on the peanuts I put in the feeder.
American Crow – Not a feeder bird but they are everywhere else.
Carolina Chickadee – I have both Carolina and Black-capped chickadees, and hybrids of the two species as well. To be scientifically pure, I should just say I have birds of the chickadee species and let it go at that. But that’s not me.
Black-capped Chickadee – See above.
Tufted Titmouse – Lots
White-breasted Nuthatch – Lots.
Carolina Wren – Heard singing a few times earlier in the month.
Eastern Bluebird – My first bird of the new year, as I heard its song as soon as I stepped out of the door on January 1, but it wasn’t the first bird I saw.
Northern Mockingbird – Seen before the weather turned cold.
European Starling – Everywhere
White-throated Sparrow – Seen a few times this month but not as regularly as usual
Dark-eyed Junco – Here in good numbers and my photo for the day.
Northern Cardinal – Common
House Finch – Uncommon here at the cabin but common down at Roundtop.

The best bird of the month is the sapsucker, and this is one I didn’t have on last year’s January list. So, what am I missing? Last year I had American goldfinch (and I should have them on this year’s list too, so I hope to see them this weekend). I also had a song sparrow last year, and I haven’t had those yet. I’m also surprised that I didn’t have American robin during the warm half of January. I did have them through late December, but missed seeing them after the year turned.

Weather: It was 4F degrees at the cabin this morning, with a 15-20 mph breeze, making it feel well below zero. This is a chilly temperature, but January 23-25 is usually the coldest part of my winter, and I usually have at least a few nights drop below zero. There's no sign of that this year, and with each night that passes, that's less likely.

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