Silver Linings
Luanne Johnson

As I write this week’s Bird News, I just heard that Phil, our groundhog friend in Pennsylvania, predicted another six weeks of winter.

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Beginning Birdsong

It is winter time and, no surprise, the weather is cold. This is not the time of year to expect to hear birds singing. But I have been hearing Carolina wrens singing just about every day this month. Not only their staccato chattering alarm call, but their boisterous, loud, whistled and usually three-syllabled song that is repeated over and over again. The song sounds something like “teakettle” or “committee.”

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Seaduck Scarcity
Robert A. Culbert

Common eiders used to be plentiful in Vineyard waters.

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Backside Bones

Which weighs more: a bird's bones, or its feathers?

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A Heated Topic

We all have bird feeders to provide nutritious food for our feathered friends. Likely the feeders are fairly close to our houses, so the birds can be seen up close and personal. All well and good, but we can all do more! They need water to drink and to bathe in. To be most effective, the water needs to be shallow for the smaller birds like the chickadees, and deeper for the larger birds. A small pile of pebbles reaching up to the surface can provide the necessary varied depths.

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Christmas Bird Count

The 61st annual Christmas Bird Count was held on Jan. 2, but the initial compilation of the data was started the next day when we all gathered via Zoom to review the species we saw in the field.

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Taken for Granted

Some local species may seem ho-hum to us, but visitors from abroad will rave about them.

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Nomadic Irruptives
Robert A. Culbert

We have seen irruptive species — residents of the northern woodlands that irrupt (migrate) southward when their foods are scarce.

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Unexpected Encounters
Robert A. Culbert

Whether you are looking out your window or taking part in an outdoor activity, you never know when the unexpected shows up.

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Fall Falcons
Robert A. Culbert

Fast-flying falcons are frequently found in these parts at this time of the year.

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