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Old 01-06-2014, 09:09 PM   #11
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Not a bird but just now I saw a red fox running across the field, over the lane into the woods and then back over the lane again with a friend, the two disappearing into the tall grass next to the sycamore grove. In the ten plus years we've been here we've never seen a fox, they are so fast!!!
Congrats, linrose. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I would really love to see a fox here...or a family of them!
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:26 AM   #12
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I threw some sunflower seed out on the deck yesterday morning when it was 2 degrees out so the birds would have some energy against the cold. The feeders were mobbed so I gave them extra to go all around. We've had the usual goldfinch, titmouse, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatch and cardinals and added white-throated sparrow, junco and towhee to the winter mix. I just saw the first towhee yesterday and I usually miss seeing the juncos until I scatter seed on the ground.

I watched them out the window for awhile and snapped a few photos. turttle, I noticed how they fluffed up their feathers and kind of squatted down to keep their legs and feet warm, you could barely see their feet at all! The sparrows especially were cute little puff balls.

It's minus 1 degree out there now, we are colder than Massachusetts right now.
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Today I Saw (Birds Including Raptors & Hummers) ~ 2014-cardinal.jpg   Today I Saw (Birds Including Raptors & Hummers) ~ 2014-goldfinch.jpg   Today I Saw (Birds Including Raptors & Hummers) ~ 2014-white-throated-sparrow.jpg   Today I Saw (Birds Including Raptors & Hummers) ~ 2014-white-throated-sparrow2.jpg  
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:22 PM   #13
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...and added white-throated sparrow...
So they are *white-throated* sparrows I've been seeing around here. Thanks.

(Funny, I realize there is a field guide for birds on the desk right by my monitor, and I've not cracked it open to find out what I've been seeing...the only reason it is out is because I showed it to the son of our friends who were visiting the other day.)

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It's minus 1 degree out there now, we are colder than Massachusetts right now.
Brr...you are out of practice. Hope you are handling the temps okay.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:45 AM   #14
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I think we've had white-throated sparrows here as well; I'll have to look more closely.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:37 AM   #15
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The give-away for me are the yellow lores on either side of the bill. They seem to be the most common winter sparrow we have although they summer in Canada.

White-throated Sparrow, Identification, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:13 AM   #16
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I always have lots of white throated sparrows in the winter. They have a distinctive whistle call. They are ground feeders and will come to platform feeders. They are one of the benefits of winter.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:54 PM   #17
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The give-away for me are the yellow lores on either side of the bill. They seem to be the most common winter sparrow we have although they summer in Canada.

White-throated Sparrow, Identification, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Funny no mention of the yellow in the name --where they focus on the white throat. (The red-bellied woodpecker is a better example of focusing on a less prominent feature--their red *head* in this case.)
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:01 PM   #18
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Hint: quick way to make ID>
Use Google advanced (I keep link on toolbar)
enter "Cornell" and whatever bird you're guessing it is, or just "sparrow" or "wren"
Cornell pages will come up on Google lst with best possibilities
At top of page you can also choose "Images" so you can find a quick visual match
Even though I have by Peterson's right nest to my desk, this helps
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:13 PM   #19
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My 8th Snowy Owl today, found at Niagara Falls Airport! Before we got the pic, a snow plow went speeding towards the bird and I froze! Didn't bother the bird a bit! But then, when they hang out at airports, they have planes taking off and landing close-by!

This was a huge, lightly barred (probably male not yet adult) sitting a few feet off the ground. As we approached the airport, we saw a large light raptor flying around overhead, which went down and out of sight as we dealt with traffic trying to find a good spot to get on airport land and park.

We pulled in behind the parking lot near the fence and I scoped out the landscape and yelled, there he is!

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Old 01-10-2014, 07:20 PM   #20
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Good idea, Sage. I like the idea of adding Cornell to the search. I often switch to "images" after a student taught me that years (and years) ago.
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