Winter birds: Dark-eyed Junco

  Junco facts: Juncos vary across the U.S., but in general they’re dark gray or brown birds brightened up by a pink bill and white outer tail feathers that periodically flash open, particularly in flight. The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found across the continent, from…

Winter birds: Eastern Towhee

Towhee facts:  Towhees are a type of large sparrow that spend most of their time on the ground, scratching at leaves using both feet at the same time, in a kind of backwards hop. They spend lots of time concealed beneath thick underbrush. Eastern Towhees tend to be solitary birds, and males will defend a territory several…

Winter birds: White-Breasted Nuthatch

Nuthatch facts:  Nuthatches get their name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from the inside. White-breasted Nuthatches creep along trunks and large branches.  Like other nuthatches, they often turn sideways and upside down on vertical surfaces as they forage….

Winter birds: Cardinals

Cardinal facts: Cardinals do not migrate seasonally.  They maintain permanent residence throughout their normal geographic range. The Cardinal is the official state bird of 7 states in the Southeastern U.S. For decades Cardinals have been extending their range and now are abundant as far north as southeastern Canada.

Unexpected visitors

For two days this week, we had rose-breasted grosbeaks at the bird feeder.  They’re not often seen in our area and must be migrating back to cooler climes in the northern U.S. or Canada.  It’s been at least a decade since we saw the last ones. Related articles Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks Grosbeak!