Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Those beautiful little snowbirds...

I love it when the Dark-eyed Juncos arrive. The have such a sweet twittering song, and they look so pretty against the snow. They also help mark the shift in the season. Riding the northern winds down to us, they seem to usher in the cold, reminding us it's time to get out the coats...and letting us know Thanksgiving is on the way!

Surrounded by green, this little snowbird looks out of place...

This little Junky was part of a small flock twittering away in a field bordering the forest near the Caesar Creek State Park nature center the weekend before last. The field was filled with grasses and weed seeds and sunlight, and the juncos seemed very happy to find it.

It was 65 degrees F when I took these photos. Too warm for a Junky (but I'm sure he's not complaining).

It has been a very strange fall here. This morning as I was putting seed in the feeders I heard another of our winter snowbirds, a White-throated Sparrow, singing in the brushy area at the back of our garden. It wasn’t a full song, more of a half song (Oh sweet Canada...), but he sang over and over, and he sang sweetly. It was 50 degrees, so not very cold. In this extended Indian Summer my flowers have re-greened and the petunias are blooming again. Listening to the White-throated Sparrow singing and seeing the fresh blooms made it feel like a spring morning.

...hmm....no snow in the front of me...

...none to the right...

...none to the left...

Rick told me there are more and more record highs being reported. It used to be a 50/50 ratio between record highs and record lows, but now, it seems to be 3 to 1 record highs to record lows. He said in the next 10 years it's reported it might reach 300/1 ratios. At least I think that's what he said. I should look it up, but I don't have time. I have to unpack all my shorts...

(Writing this is probably the kiss of death to our unseasonably warm weather). It has been so warm we have not yet had to turn on our furnace! Our house is well insulated, but even so, this is the longest stretch into fall we've ever had without turning on the heat.

(If you want to see some older posts of Junkys in the snow...click here.)

46 comments:

Steve Willson said...

If our precipitation pattern doesn't change there may be plenty of snow for Juncos this year. I love to see those Juncos in the snow, but I get tired of going out every few hours to sweep the fresh snow from their feeding area. Maybe we'll have the perfect snowy season this year -- three inches on the grass and everything melts off the road. I definitely hope we don't get as much freezing rain as we got last year.

Kerri said...

Your Juncos are precious! I saw one a couple of weeks ago - but none since. However, it is supposed to get colder over the next few days....I bet I see another one soon ;)

Kelly said...

Steve...your version sounds perfect. I love the snow on the ground but not on the roads!!

Kerri...yes..I'm sure the rain we are getting right now might be the beginning of the march towards winter.

Jain said...

Juncos are among my favorites, too. I know they've been seen to the south, but none here in north central Ohio. I'm keeping an eye out and crossing my fingers the weather normalizes a bit. It ~IS~ November, after all!

Carol Mattingly said...

Kelly, love this little bird photo. I never see these here in Kentucky. Don't know if we have them here. Carol

Susan said...

We had 100's of Junco's and white throated sparrows a few week ago, but haven't seen many at all lately and it's also unseasonably mild here too.It's the Catch 22 of climate change isn't it? We humans warm to it, but it's not right...

Roy said...

We saw some Juncos flitting among the brambles at the Sachuest Point NWR on the bird walk Sunday. And I've been hearing White-throateds here for about three weeks now; in fact, I heard one this morning when I was taking the trash out to the sidewalk for collection. We may not be getting any Winter weather yet, but the Winter migrants have certaqinly arrived!

Kim said...

Great shots of the Juncos Kelly! Such cute little birds and one highlight of the winter.

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

I love it when the juncos arrive too:)
Love your photos.

Teri C said...

I always looked forward to the snowbirds arriving and now that I am a snowbird myself I never get to see them. I love your photos.

Bill S. said...

There are so many different varieties of Juncos it is interesting to watch for the different color patterns. Great pictures. I love the winter birds.

NicoleB said...

Beautiful shots of these tiny Beauties.
I guess the weather is strange everywhere on the Globe. Weird.
I hope you didn't jinx your stretch of warm though ;)

Chad said...

I always look forward to the arrival of the Juncos although I must admit, they are much prettier when they are hopping around on the snow... let's hope we are all wrong about the warming winters.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kel, I love Juncos. The first time I saw a big bunch was when we were vacationing in Arkansas... They were all over the place. It was March and we had had an ice storm. Guess they do love the cold weather. I've only seen one here so far this year.

It has been a warm and wet Fall for us---but we had an unusually COOL summer this year. It's been a crazy year--but I still do NOT believe in Global Warming. I think that Al Gore is just making money off of us idiots... ha ha

They say we'll have a cold winter---so we shall just wait and see ---while we enjoy this weather.

Hugs,
Betsy

Mary said...

It's been warm here, too. Hope we don't jinx it by talking about it! I had a couple Juncos show up yesterday looking for food. I had to go out today and get something for them to peck around for. They are so pretty, but I seldom see them in the tree like you show...they are always down on the ground making it hard to get nice photos.

NPT said...

Hi kelly....
Graet pics.....

Anna said...

Kelly, beautiful is the right word, and to add adorable. Nice story line, thanks for sharing good info on those little snowbirds. Talking about strange, I have not seen many birds lately in our neighborhood - do they know something I don't know, lol? Anna :)

Elaine said...

Very sweet photos of the juncos. It does seem strange to hear them referred to as snowbirds because we only see them here in the summer.

Sue said...

Kelly-I agree-the Juncos are so very sweet. We always look forward to their arrival....it means it's time to hunker in and enjoy the quiet of winter.
STILL waiting for my hamster ball feeder to arrive!!! Can't wait-I'll post pics of my first "users".
Thanks again for your help in locating one!

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
Well I guess that even if it is not that cold, you kind of appreciate to see these nice birds around. It is the same over here, the temperature are quite warm for this season, around 2-5°C and the snow is late... Not even the mountain do have flakes! So really hard to see any birds around, cause it is too warm!

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

I am glad you got to see the Brown Creeper. I keep looking for him to return but so far no such luck. I have had the Juncos and the one with the white collar was different. Cornell told me it was a Dark-eyed Junco and that's what I thought but it looked so different.

We have both a sharp shinned hawk come here almost every day as well as a Coopers Hawk -- sometimes the male and sometimes the female. It is odd. I hope they both don't show up at once and they have come close by minutes.

Laure Ferlita said...

Such beautiful shots, Kelly, since we don't get those visits down here - thanks for sharing!

Jayne said...

It has been really oddly warm this past week here too. Highs in the mid 70's for goodness sakes... in November! I'm scared the bulbs I planted a few weeks back will start coming up!

Love your little Junco. ;c)

Roy said...

I think we have all your rough windy cold weather over here Kelly. I know, you would like us to keep it.{:)

Ginnymo said...

I always seem to have those little Juncos around all year here. But I do see a lot more through the winter. I have quite a few Tufted Tits and Nuthatches too. I love hearing them. It's been real nice here and I hope it never ends but I know it will soon. In the 50's again today. Take care Kelly! Great pics!!

Robin Robinson said...

I am just squeally over your banner photo! Great use of a Cardinal shot. Oh the little Junkys, who doesn't love a good Junco? Have you been overrun with Blue Jays this year? I have!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

No juncos here along the river today—though saw a number last week and a few the week before. I always wonder where they hide whenever they disappear for a few days. Most likely. I just not looking out at the time they're around.

Nice photos. It's strange to see a junco photo with green in it, though.

Caroline said...

What wonderful birds you have in your neck of the woods Kelly - I've never seen these Juncos before!

Warren Baker said...

Hi Kelly,
Our winter is just beginning, the temp. has been 3 - 4 degrees higher than expected so far this autumn, we havn't had a single frost yet!

Heather said...

Nice photos of the Junkys, Kelly. Last weekend I only spotted ONE of them hanging out at our feeders, but the other day I was out and startled 4 or 5 of them! D'oh! Don't they know I need them around to count them for Feederwatch?!

holdingmoments said...

Lovely looking bird Kelly.
Our weather over here has been unusually mild too, so far.

Tom Bailey said...

I like your bird pictures you have taken here. I go to a bird sanctuary sometimes and see people with cameras that sit for hours and hours and most of their professional level pics are not as good as yours.

Wanda said...

I thought early Tuesday morning felt spring-like Kelly, but by 10:00 a cooler wind was blowing in. I saw a Junco here last week and it's cold and raining today! A neighbor!

Jenny said...

I love the sunlight through that lovely pink beak. Gorgeous! For us, Redwings and Fieldfares bring the colder weather and thoughts of thermals! (-:

Lynmiranda said...

Beautiful birds! It is quite warm here, but with very strong winds and plenty of rain.

Gaina said...

What lovely little birds! :). We haven't had many winter visitors in my part of England yet because the wind is blowing the wrong way for them to come from Scandinavia. Hopefully we'll see more Redwings and Fieldfares when we get into December :).

I noticed that you're on Vimeo so I've subscribed to your channel and added you to my friends if that's ok :) (channel name 'Gaina).

JeniQ said...

Hi Kelly! I walked out of the office yesterday and thought of you. The world was full of bird noises, sounded like a million birds hiding in the tree's around the parking lot.

I ride Caeser creek and never see the things you do. Maybe I'm too busy watching out for killer deer?

E said...

Beautiful, Kelly, great photos. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for all your beaties and teaching. God bless you.
Hugs

Tina said...

Kelly,
You took such wonderful shots of those juncos..they are a very sweet sounding bird and spend a lot of time at my feeders, also. Our weather, recently, has been wonderful..I'm just hoping it stays around for a while..I'm not ready for those snow flakes, just yet!

Shelley said...

I love your junco! I just had a pair visit me last weekend at the cabin. Winter is on its way!

RuthieJ said...

we're having Indian Summer in November here in Minnesota too. 12 days of the month so far have had highs above 50 degrees! I'm not complaining, but I am a little worried about what Dec & Jan might have in store for us.

Kelly said...

...pink and gray is such a lovely color combination and that must have something to do with the love we feel for these little birds. Those pink bills are just adorable. Plus...on those snowy cold days, they seem so happy to be alive, pecking through the snow for sustenance, and that melts my heart every time (it must get to us all!!). Thank you for all the wonderful and kind comments. I always like to answer individually, but I'm pressed for time. I'll get to your blogs to answer any questions you left.

NatureFootstep said...

what a beautiful bird. Whish I could hear it sing. And your images is soo good. It is only raining over here and too dark to see birds. ;(

Glennis said...

Dear little snow birds, now i know what the song was about. I would of thought they would be snow white.

Dave Lewis said...

The Juncos don't have any Junk in their trunk! Wonderful behind shots...

Steve Borichevsky said...

Great shots. In all my years, I've never been able to get Junco shots like these.