Attracting White-Throats, Juncos & Other Sparrows

Dark-Eyed Junco Eating Nyjer Seed in the Snow
Dark-Eyed Junco Eating Nyjer Seed in the Snow

When I was a kid, we called Dark-Eyed Juncos “snow birds.” Until I started bird watching later in life, I thought that was their actual name. To us, seeing a snow bird was a sign. It meant that it was going to snow, leading to snowmen, snow forts, saucering down the side hill and a day off of school. I suspect this childhood joy may still be a bit of the reason that I still love these little birds today. Even today, when I know that birds don’t cause the weather, I still feel joy when I see the first of the juncos and their winter pals, the White-Throated Sparrows arrive in mid-fall. Here is what I do in my yard to make sparrows welcome during the winter.

Continue reading Attracting White-Throats, Juncos & Other Sparrows

Chipping Sparrows Arrive

Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow

While this winter’s White-Throated Sparrows and Dark-Eyed Juncos will soon be leaving us to migrate up to Canada where they breed, Chipping Sparrows are now returning to Maryland and other parts of the US and Canada from their winter spent in the south.

The first Chipping Sparrow of the spring showed up in our yard this week. These tiny little guys are definitely welcomed back!

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Continue reading Chipping Sparrows Arrive

Winter Backyard Birds: Birds in A Winter Storm

Fox Sparrow & Northern Cardinal in snow
Fox Sparrow & Northern Cardinal

Winter backyard birds can be intense. Food sources can be limited so winter bird feeders can be very busy.

The most active and interesting days are often not the bright beautiful sunny days but stormy days. This is when birds are eager to eat as much as they can to keep energy levels high. Yesterday’s winter storm brought us just such a day with really interesting feathered visitors and activity, so I have pictures and stories to share with you.

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Continue reading Winter Backyard Birds: Birds in A Winter Storm