Six to ten of these wonderfully appointed sparrows are below our feeders
every day this time of year, here on the southern end of Snake
Mountain. They are best seen all together just at the earliest light of
dawn when they stay only about 5 minutes. There is just barely enough
light to make them out. This morning it was from about 6:50 -6:55.
Juncos and Cardinals arrive at the same time. I usually prime the pump
by throwing about a cup of birdseed on the ground ahead of time. Then
during the rest of the day they flit in and out, one to three at a
time. They hide in nearby thickets and eat on the ground. I can follow
them around from thicket to thicket via their chip note; they are not
singing right now.
Every winter there is the same pattern. Sometimes there are only 3-5
overwintering. In early May numbers can jump up to 15 or more, but
after mid-May they are gone until the first of October. From then on
they are around consistently until mid-May. There is a brief overlap
with White-crowned Sparrows in mid-May, who also are then all gone by
the end of May.
Not surprisingly, Juncos have exactly the same pattern here on Snake
Mountain as do the White-throated Sparrows; they are often but not
always in mixed flocks.
On 1/20/2012 12:33 PM, b flewelling wrote:
> I have had a first winter White-throated Sparrow under my feeder (Rt 73, Rochester) most of this morning. It is very skittish and I have been unable to snap a picture.
> I checked on ebird one other was recorded yesterday. Anyone else seen one?
> Bruce Flewelling