Home for Thanksgiving

Carolina Chickadee

This Thanksgiving, I was able to do some good birding on the home front.  The feeders stayed full and the birds stayed hungry.  Nothing out of the ordinary was seen, but a few first of season (FOS) were seen.

My first FOS came Wednesday morning.  I got up early and stepped outside and one of the first things I heard was a Red-shouldered Hawk-esque call.  I did a double take and heard it again.  It was the unmistakable wail (for lack of a better word) of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  It is unusual for me not to observe one before now but I’m glad I got it.  The sapsucker hasn’t been heard since.  Another FOS I started seeing was the Rusty Blackbird.  The Blackbirds around our neighborhood for large flocks and roam the neighborhood looking for yards to forage in.  Most of the time these flocks are mixed and can contain Grackles, Red-wings, Rusties, Brewer’s, and sometimes Cowbirds.  Most of the flocks I saw this weekend were entirely Rusty Blackbirds.  The Rusties are considered vulnerable but you wouldn’t have known this weekend.

Rusty Blackbird flock

The Woodpeckers were well represented this weekend.  The Red-bellied, Downy, Pileated, Flicker, and Sapsucker were all seen.  I replenished the suet feeders and many woodpeckers visited along with a few other birds.  Among these birds are the White-breasted Nuthatch which was seen with some consistency.  One common winter, feeder bird that showed up this weekend was the Pine Warbler.  This is the only year round warbler that we have.  I haven’t seen one in a while but at least one male visited the feeders this weekend.  They prefer the suet although they like peanuts and shelled sunflower seeds.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

On Wednesday, one of our more elusive yard birds was seen:  the Cooper’s Hawk.  Around noon I thought I glimpsed one deep in the woods and went in after it.  I didn’t see it and concluded that it may have been a Mourning Dove.  Later that day I was watching the feeder birds and saw them panic.  I looked up to see a Cooper’s Hawk flying low over the trees headed east.  I saw a Cooper’s Hawk later in the evening but it was probably the same bird.

It was a good break and a lot of good birds were seen:

  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Mourning Dove
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Fish Crow
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Carolina Wren
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Pine Warbler
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Rusty Blackbird
  • House Finch
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