Saturday, May 30, 2009

Addition to the Yard List

A bird's song emitting from the trees in a neighbouring yard caught my attention Friday morning. I spotted the warbler-like bird in the branches of a tall Walnut tree but required a pair of binoculars to identify the species. A yellow crown and chestnut brown sides. A male Chestnut-sided Warbler. Only the third species of warbler observed from my yard. Living within walking distance of the downtown, warblers are hard to come by. Thankfully, the handful of trees in the neighbourhood attract the occasional migrant. The yard list now stands at 44.

For me, the bird does not have to be within the boundaries of my property. If I see a bird flying in the distance while I am in the confines of the yard then it counts. That's how Double-crested Cormorant ended up on the list. Migrating Broad-winged Hawks soared directly over the yard last year while Jean and I were gardening.

Birds visiting the feeder in the back yard usually include, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, House Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco (October-April). Unique visitors found at the feeder include 4 species of sparrow, Song, Chipping, White-crowned, and White-throated and 2 species of finch, House and Purple. Though they are on the list, we'll have to set up a Niger seed feeder to attract American Goldfinch to the yard.

What bird will be next, I cannot say for sure. Possibly another warbler, thankful for the stand of trees that allow for a refueling and rest period. Another migrating raptor? Time will tell.

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