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Birding in the Boros

Local flyers you can see out your window

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What to do when you’ve been trapped inside your house (more or less) for the better part of an entire year?

I’ve taken up birdwatching. I never knew the drama of my feathery busy-bodied friends outside of my windows. Since it’s gotten cold this winter, I’ve enjoyed seeing the same few “families” at my feeders. I’ve even tried to snap pics so that I can more easily identify them. Here are some of my regular customers at our home in Avalon. Are they the same as you are seeing at yours?

  1. House Finches

These guys come in groups – sometimes 5-10 at a time. They are my most regular customers. I love watching the males with their beautiful red chest and head feathers. These guys live year round in Pennsylvania. Here’s one giving me the side-eye.

  1. House Sparrow

These sparrows are always hanging out at the feeder. I love their distinct black stripes around their eyes and beak.

  1. Tufted Titmouse

These are some of my favorite to watch. We have a pair of that constantly fly in, grab the biggest piece of food, usually a peanut, then fly away to squirrel it away somewhere OR eat it in peace. Not sure about that. It seems like they are the birdfeeder ninjas, sneaking in and out grabbing the best bits. They are beautiful with a sassy crest and smooth grey bodies with a hint of peach on their sides.

  1. Carolina Wrens

These little chonks are so cute – like little chipmunks that were turned into birds. I love their brilliant white eyebrow feathers and long springy tail. They always look so grumpy, like a mad old woman who is just trying to get her groceries and get home. They are really hard to capture on camera – very quick!

 

  1. Mourning Dove

These are the largest birds at my feeder. With a comically big body and tiny head, I see a pair always hanging out with each other… usually standing in the trees together and taking turns flying to the feeder. They often walk along the ground around the feeders picking up scraps that have fallen down.

  1. European Starling

If I’m being honest, these starlings are my least favorite birds that frequent my feeders. They are aggressive bullies that fly in on the coldest days in groups, sometimes 10-15 at a time, and quickly hoover up any food they can get their beaks on. They push the smaller birds out while they maniacally peck at everything within their reach. I once thought they were dull, but once I took the photo below, I realized how magnificent they are. Brilliant colors shine through their dark feathers.

  1. Blue Jays and Cardinals

I put these together because they are not frequent feeders on my porch, but they will come and grab big pieces every now and then. I like the blue jay especially. You hear him before you see him. He screams until the rest of the birds get out of his way. All the little birds seem pretty scared of him. He’s so handsome. The cardinals are wonderful, especially the lady cardinals. I find their muted colors really pretty (unfortunately I only captured the gentleman cardinal with my camera).

What kind of birds are you seeing this winter? I’d love to learn more about our local feathered friends here in the North Boroughs.

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Beth Mosley

Beth has lived in the North Boroughs since 2010. Over the past 10 years, she has met fantastic people in each of the North Boroughs, and has grown from a girl who loved Affogato pancakes and events at The Creative Treehouse to a married, working mother of two who loves to let her kids run wild at the Bellevue Farmers Market. In her spare time she can be found working on laboratory quality assurance, jogging on California Avenue, listening to podcasts, and pleading with her sons to stop hitting each other. She lives in Avalon with her husband, two boys, and two cats.

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