November 08, 2008

The Little Birds Appear in Time to be Counted

Beverly in La Veta blogged on Thursday that "the juncos are back." Here along the southern Colorado foothills, October is the "month of big birds," in other words, jays and such, in terms of traffic at the bird feeders.

And then suddenly juncos, pine siskins, and other little guys start appearing -- just in time for Project Feederwatch, which starts today.

M. just informed me that two American goldfinches were on the thistle-seed feeder. Ah, something to count!


otowi said...

Yes, I saw the juncos, actually in October when around when we had our first snow here in Security/Widefield/Fountain.

Beverly said...

Chas, like you said…I had plenty of big birds too…Steller and Blue Jays by the half-dozen, grackles in larger groups…even the Magpies showed up in multiples (I think a pair nested near here and brought youngsters to discover how to raid suet feeders)…not to mention the Great Horned Owl who frequently surveys the place from a huge cottonwood. Crows and Ravens are all over the place, too.

But, for the past month or so…I’ve had very, very few small birds. Having only started paying attention last February, I had no idea there was to be such a ‘lull’ this time of year. We had a little October-count going on…I put out a dozen (!!!) feeders and another bird-bath trying to coax ‘em in…to no avail. It was actually kind of spooky…the lack of birds. So…that’s typical, huh? My feeders sat full and unattended for a month!

Anyway, I’m happy to say that as of the day I wrote the post you mention…the little ones are back! I’m so happy. Before I left for work this morning, I’d seen the usual grackles (and I believe I finally ID-ed a couple Brewer’s Blackbirds, too), Eurasian Doves, Crows, Magpies and four Blue Jays…but also about 30 (honest) siskins, a dozen or so AmGoldfinch, nearly as many Lesser Goldfinch and several more Juncos (so far only slate and oregons), plus a few House Finch, as well. I don’t really expect many Juncos until the weather finally gets colder…but seriously; it’s like someone opened the flood-gates here.

I’m looking forward to the Pink-butts (last winter I had all three Rosy Finches).