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100 species, 3 songbirds, #13, 14, 15


Species #13, Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) looks for morsels on the freshly disturbed ground near one of our perennial beds. Juncos are ground-feeding sparrows that migrate south to our area in winter. Apologies for a less than stellar set of photos, but I figured I'd better post while they are still here. However, it's still pretty cold here, and the juncos don't show any signs of leaving for good. Alexis curses at the juncos, whether she sees the flash of their white tail feather margins or hears their distinct high chitter, because they are living symbols of winter's lingering.

Dark-eyed juncos appeared in this blog previously at 365 urban species #12.

Near the same patch of yard, in front of the snowdrops, an American robin (species #14, Turdus migratorius) looks for worms and insects moved by our shovel. At our old place, we saw robins year-round. The famously migrating thrush doesn't bother to go anywhere in parts of the city that have amble fruiting shrubs to feed on through the winter. We would laugh to ourselves when people would cry in amazement that they saw their first robin of spring, whether it was in April, March, or December. But we were in our new house for a month before we saw our first robin in the yard--I guess they really do go south for the winter and come back in the spring!

The robin and the junco were photographed on the same day, which shows the ambivalence of New England seasons. The American robin was 365 urban species #30. (I think the article I wrote for that entry is one of my better ones--I probably didn't write it with a head full of cold symptoms like I am doing now.)

The song sparrows (species #15 Melospiza melodia) have probably been around all year, but I've just started hearing their songs lately. The song has distinctive tones but variable melodies, here's a nice example of one. I often find what I think is a new-to-me sparrow species, photograph it, then examine the photograph at home to find that it's a song sparrow.

The song sparrow was also 365 urban species #357


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Last year there were a bunch of partially albino robins in Prospect Park. Very weird looking.
Mar. 28th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
I probably say the same things as Alexis about the Juncos. They don't peace out of here until like May.

We get the Migratory Turds year round here too.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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