Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 19 Hancock County Christmas count

This should be the copmplete list of the Hancock County Christmas count, held last Saturday the 19th. I believe it totals 64 species, 1 "spuh", and 6 count week species. 38 people participated; about equall numbers of field people and "feeder watchers"
Contact me if you have any questions

Canada Geese 4775
Am Black Duck 4
Mallard 943
Bufflehead 1
Common Goldeneye 1 (count week)
Red-breasted Merganser 4 (count week)
Ruddy Duck 1
Wild Turkey 74
Common Loon 1
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 1 (count week)
Great Blue Heron 4
Turkey Vulture 2
Bald Eagle 3
Harrier 2
Cooper's Hawk 9
Red-tailed Hawk 17
American Kestrel 14
American Coot 3
Sandhill Crane 2
Ring-billed Gull 124
Herring Gull 86
Great Black-backed Gull 12 Lake LeCompte (sp?) near Fostoria. Highest # ever for Hancock.
Rock Pigeon 297
Mourning Dove 284
Eastern Screech-Owl 3
Great Horned Owl 2
Barred Owl 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-headed Woodpecker 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 36
Downy Woodpecker 80
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 11
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 89
American Crow 30
Horned Lark 830
Black-capped Chickadee 53
Carolina Chickadee 3
Chickadee sp. 5
Tufted Titmouse 46
Red-breasted Nuthatch 63
Brown Creeper 8
Carolina Wren 8
Golden-crowned Kinglet 28
Eastern Bluebird 3 (Van Buren)
American Robin 10
Starling 2407
Cedar Waxwing 23
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2 (count week)
Am. Tree Sparrow 160
Chipping Sparrow (count week)
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 5
White-throated Sparrow 17
White-crowned Sparrow 4
Golden-crowned Sparrow 1 (yes.......)
Dark-eyed Junco 175
Lapland Longspur 2 (count week, where the heck are they?)
Snow Bunting 9 (hundreds were found in county during the week)
Northern Cardinal 165
Common Grackle 17
Brown-headed Cowbird 26
Purple Finch 10
House Finch 139
Common Redpoll 1 (Camp Berry)
Pine Siskin 2
American Goldfich 151
House Sparrow 671

Thanks to Betty Hardesty to providing these numbers.

Findlay Reservoirs side note

As of Monday, the Findlay Reservoirs were largely ice-covered. #2, the large one, was >98% covered with snow on top, and #1, the small one, was 75-80% iced with one sizeable hole remaining.
This is weeks earlier than our ten year average and also flip-flopped from normal. Typically, #1 freezes first.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Waterfowl

That front from a few days ago really seemed to get the ducks and geese moving. On Sunday, I saw 2 Cackling Geese, Am. Wigeon, Shoveler, Am Black Duck, Ruddy Duck, Mallard and Redhead at Findlay Reservoir #1 (the small reservoir).
A bit later I stopped by Lake Cascades and saw an immature Greater White-fronted Goose. This is about the sixth or seventh record of this bird in Hancock County, about half of which are from Lake Cascades.
Lake Cascades is the large quarry just west of the hospital in Findlay and just east of SR15.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sandhill Cranes

Late Friday morning, I saw about 165 Sandhill Cranes from the parking lot of Oakwoods NP, SW of Findlay. They were heading in a SSE direction. In the past, I've seen waterfowl follow this path. In the past, birds along this route tend to show up later around Killdeer Plains. Now, I'm not promissing that's where the cranes were heading, but Killdeer Plains is always good this time of year anyhow.
As a follow-up, Allen Chartier posted on the Ohio Birds ListServ that he saw 45 Sandhills near Carey, probably near the Hancock/ Wyandot County line. I also heard from om Bartlett that there had been at least three flocks of cranes (50, 100, 150 respectively) around Tiffin on Friday. Looks like Friday was the big push for them.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A good Saturday morning.

We finally have winter. Dodging snowflakes and pushed deer, I went east to a hike at Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve in Seneca County. It is south of Tiffin at the intersection of CR 6 and 19. While the hike was fairly quiet birding-wise, it was still a nice park to visit. Afterwards, I stopped at Forrest Nature Preserve, on CR 6 and drove by Howard Collier Nature Preserve, east of McCutchenville. On the way home, I took a look at Lake Cascades in Findlay. All told, a decent morning.
Some of the birds seen.
Cackling Goose 2 at Lake Cascades. They cooperated and were near the Interior and Lesser Canadas. It's a much easier i.d. when they're all together. :)
Canada Goose -150 at Cascades. Only noteable because most were Interiors, plus three Lessers.
One Canada X Domestic hybrid. It's a monster of a goose. Larger than an average Giant Canada.
Mallards and Black Ducks at Cascades.
Lesser Scaup- 200++ at the Findlay Reservoir #2
Pheasant- female at Collier
Bald Eagle -adult at Garlo
Red-shouldered- Collier
Rough-legged Hawk- patrolling a corn-stubble field on CR6, about 4 miles east of the Hancock/ Seneca County line.
Tons of Crows everywhere-Maybe they're being pushed out of the woods along with the deer?
Everywhere: White-throated Sparrows, Juncos, Tree Sparrows

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An afternoon off

Today (Wed, Nov 25) I was actually able to leave at noon today. I had a long list of projects to do at home in the afternoon, so I went birding instead and ended up doing a nothern Hancock County route.
First, I stopped at the Findlay Reservoirs and was largely dissapointed. 16 Canada Geese, half-dozen loons and Ring-billed and Herring Gull were at I could find.
Next, I swung over to Fostoria Lake Mosier (Reservoir #4). Geese, gulls and about two dozen Mallards were present, plus a couple of Pintails.
Finally, I went west to the Hancock County Landfill, SW of Van Buren. A soaring Cooper's Hawk welcomed me there. No waterfowl were present in any of the ponds, but the woods yielded Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Tree Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and more than a few Crows and Blue Jays.
All-in-all not a very exciting birding afternoon, but as the old saying goes the worst day of birding is better than the best day of work. Maybe that's not a saying, but it should be.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Some good late migrants

I hit Camp Berry, south of Findlay today (Sat the 17th). With this blast of cold, I figured that there would be a push of late Passerine migrants. I wasn't dissapointed.

Several of the migrants/ winter visitors seen:
Eastern Phoebe 2
Brown Creeper 3
Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet about 20-30 each
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler 7 This seems like an awfully high number, but I got very good, clear, short views of six of these.
Yellow-rumped Warbler 34+
Palm Warbler
Purple Finch 4
Sparrows seen were American Tree (many), Savannah, Fox, Song, Lincoln's, White-throat (gobs), White-crowned (2 dozen+), Junco

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A sad by-product to migration today.

I recieved a call from my mother today at lunch. About 7:30 this morning, she found an injured warbler that aparently had a head on collision with a door at St. Michael Church, near the corner of Tiffin and Bigelow Avenues in Findlay. She said the bird was in bad shape and may have two broken wings.
When I saw the bird, my heart sank. It was an immature Connecticut Warbler. Its wings weren't broken, but rather it appeared to have suffered a severe concussion. That it initially survived the hit at all is rather amazing.
The only thing one can do with a bird concussion is to put it in a dark, quiet place and hope for the best, and that's if the head injury isn't too bad. This bird was too far gone and died not long after I saw it.
Migration is a very risky venture for birds. Houses, windows, guide wires, cats, hawks, not to mention hunger and exhaustion all take their toll. It's little wonder that the average mortality in a given year for some of our songbirds can approach 80%.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall migrant wave today (Sept 12)

Jeff Loughman and I decided to hit Camp Berry at dawn Saturday to see what was coming through. Despite the birding starting off rather slow, it definately picked up once the sun burned the fog off.

Several of our migrating highlights:
1 Olive-sided Flycatcher -great view, by the main lodge
1 Winter Wren
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
Veery, Gray-cheeked, Swainson's Thrushes- one of each
Warblers
2 Tennessee
6 Chestnut-sided
5 Magnolia
1 Cape May
1 Black-throated Blue
1 Yellow-rumped
1 Yellow-throated- by one of the concrete cabins on the north east side
1 Pine- maybe more
3 Blackpoll
1 Black-and-White
3 American Redstart

Equally surprising was the almost total lack of sparrows. We had just one Chipping.

Tomorrow looks like it will be a carbon copy of today weather-wise.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall migrants

Yes, I've been away for too long. Haven't been able to keep this darn thing as updated as I'd like.
Anyway,
Yesterday (Sept 6) showed a minor movement of shorebirds at Fostoria's Lake Mosier. Several Dunlin, as well as a couple Pectoral Sandpipers, a Semipalmated Plover and a Caspian Tern were present. Of note were the Killdeer, or rather all 173 of them.
Today, I dodged the rain and mosquitos and went out to Riverbend Recreational Area. Warblers passing through were Tennessee, Wilson's, Magnolia, Black-and-White, American Redstart, Nashville, and Ovenbird. Also present were Yellow-bellied, Least, and Acadian Flycatchers, and well as several Empids.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Least Bittern

Around 12 noon today, I observed a single Least Bittern along Lye Creek in Findlay. The bird was sitting on a large, expose branch directly above a cattail patch.
I was on E. Sandusky Street when I saw the bird, and I was seen south of the road.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Eurasian Collared-Dove

This is a bit of a late post, but I heard a Eurasian Collared-Dove along the Blanchard River immediately east of the Findlay Reservoirs on Sunday.
Its song is quite distinctive; if you haven't heard it, go to www.allaboutbirds.org and search for Eurasian Collared-Dove.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Late season migrants

Thursday morning found me in Springville Marsh in SW Seneca County for bird banding. Eighteen species of warblers were seen, but the actuall total number of migrants was rather low. These were probably the late stragglers and I would guess migrants will be through by this time next week.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A few shorebirds

I was luckily able to visit Findlay Reservoir #1 today in the late morning. Overall, very quiet, but a handfull of migrant shorebirds were to be found:

1 Solitary Sandpiper
5 Spotted Sandpiper
2 Least Sandpipers
1 Sanderling
10 Dunlin

Also Jeff Loughman reported seeing 11 Dunlin in a flooded field just north of Oakwoods Nature Preserve, along TR 144, sw of FIndlay in Hancock County.

A sleeping Dunlin:


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shorebirds at the Findlay Reservoirs

The surest way to see birds is to leave your binoculars behind.
I took a walk around Findlay Reservoir #1 with a friend this afternoon (Sunday) Before, I concluded that there would be little more than gulls up on the water....

Shorebirds seen:
Spotted Sandp. 3
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Sanderling 2
Semipalmated Sandpiper 3
"Peeps" 15+
White-rumped Sandpiper 2 (almost stepped on one!)

Two loons still were to be found out on #2, and two Bobolinks were calling along the south end of the reservoirs.

Dunlin

I saw over 24 Dunlin Saturday immediately east of Findlay Reservoir #2 Saturday. They were in a small field that had some ponding. The field is between Res #2 and the Blanchard River, just of TR208, I believe, about 200 yards south of Riverbend Recreational Area.
Betty Hardesty reported a similar sized flock on Tuesday, barely 1/4mile east of here, so there's a decent bet that these are the same birds.
I've noticed this spring a drop-off in shorebird numbers in the usuall haunts this year, namely the Findlay Reservoirs. However, several area birders have seen decent numbers in at least three wetland that were put in late last year. I could be the sandpipers are going to gravitate towards better habitat.
They might be worth checking out for people:
1) East of Findlay Res#2 just east of the Blanchard River, "Younger's Wetlands". This is private property, but one of the ponds is in plain view from the road.
2) Just north of the corner or TR89 (River Road), and SR235. Once again, private property, but easily viewable from the road with a scope. Blanchard Landings park is immediately north of here for easy parking.
3) NE of the Hancock COunty Sanitary Landfill (sorry,no road numbers, I'll check on this). These are public access, but no trails, so be careful walking.

I know there must be others, I haven't spent much time looking for them. If anyone know of others, especially in Hancock or Putnam counties, I would be gratefull for the info.

P.S. The landfill site has some great grasslands around it. I counted at least 18 Grasshopper Sparrows the last time I was there.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lazy- lazy

I appologize, I do not update this near enough. I been birding at nearly opporitunity that having two jobs allow. For a brief summary, birding around here from last Friday to this Friday (15th) has been pretty good, with the exception of Saturday the 9th which was just not ideal weather conditions. Nothing spectacuarly rare, with the highlight being a female Golden-winged Warbler on Saturday at Oakwoods Nature Preserve.
In a five day period from Friday May 8 thru Tuesday, May 12, I observed 126 species in the county, which is the exact same numer of species I saw in the same period last year. (119 in 2007).
I promise to post with more regularity, folks.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Big wave hit Friday (May 8)

Well, the title says it all.
I took the day off from work and hit Oakwoods Nature Preserve, SW of Findlay that morning. Pretty quiet for the first twenty minutes, then around 7:45am, it's like someone hit a switch. Neo-tropical migrants seemed to be falling out of the sky. At one point, I had 15 Black-throated Green Warblers. In one Buckeye tree. The sound was remarkeable; all 15 of them buggers doing their "zee-zee-zee zoo-zee!" call at the same time, along with several Nashvilles. Definately one of my better birding moments in a while. 74 species in 1 1/2 hrs, and the sun never came out from the clouds. I can only imagine what I would have been if it did.
Some highlights:
Warblers- Blue-winged, Tennessee (10+), Orange-crowned, Nashville (14), Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green (20++), Blackburnian, Palm. Black-and-white, Redstart, Ovenbird, Worm-eating (good look), Common Yellowthroat.

Tomorrow (Saturday), should be good in the morning for those dumb or brave enough to go out. Naturally, I'm heading out. The cold from is suppose to hit late morning. It's possible this front might bring over some unusual migrants.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Why aren't you out birding?

This post is a few days past due; I've been either working or birding.
Firstly, I recieved a call Sunday from Ron S., who informed me that the Golden-crowned Sparrow was last seen Friday morning. Seems like it moved on.
Secondly, the first wave of migrants is here! Jeff and I hit Camp Berry Saturday and Oakwoods Nature preserve early Monday before work. Oakwoods seemed a bit more active. Rather than go through all the birds, I'll just list some of the highlights:
Thrushes: all species at Camp Berry, Swainson's v. common both places
Vireos: Blue-headed, Warbling, White-eyed (Oakwoods)
Warblers: Yellow-rumpeds, Yellow, Black-throated Green, Tennessee, Nashville, Worm-eating (in both places!), Black-and-white, Common Yellowthroat, Palm, Pine, Northern Waterthrush, Kentucky(!), and Hooded.

Also Sue Baxter emailed me to report that she had BOTH species of Tanagers. In her backyard. Not bad birding if you can get it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

About the Golden-crown again

The public window for viewing the bird has past, and by all accounts it was a complete success. About 150-160 showed up, and virtually everyone got at least a glimpse. The overwhelming majority of people were kind and courteous, and the owners couldn't be happier. That being said, I think they are relieved it's over!
The odds are, one or two people will try to see it after today, but to be honest, I can't imagine the bird staying around for more than a day or two. The will change so dramatically this weekend, with strong south winds, that the bird would be a fool to stay.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Golden-crowned Thursday

The Golden-crowned was still present Thursday, early afternoon. I was almost convinced it was leaving last night. Well, shows what I know.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Golden-crowned Update

As a general FYI: The Golden-crowned was still present Sunday afternoon, April 12. I imagine tomorrow (Tuesday) that one or two other people will check again.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eurasian Wigeon

This seems to be a good year for 'goodies'. On Saturday morning a drake Eurasian Wigeon was observed at Springville Marsh Nature Preserve.
It was observed on the "main" pond, that is, enter the marsh via the boardwalk heading straight from the lot (not past the info board). After a while, the boardwalk splits, take it to the left. In about 100yds you'll come to the bird blind. He was out on the pond.
Stricktly speaking, Springville Marsh is Seneca County, in the SW corner on CR24 (Muck Rd.) It doesn't look like much at the entrance, but it's generally worth it to walk the boardwalk.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Golden-crowned Sparrow




Golden-crowned Sparrow.
East of Findlay, Ohio April 08, 2009
The exact location is currently being kept secret at landowners' request.
The habitat is rural farmland, and the landowners' property is about 5 acres of mostly thick, over-grown grass with many brush piles and several bushes and trees.
It cannot be a coincidence that a Golden-crowned Sparrow (state 1st), and a Mountain Bluebird (state 2nd) show up at roughly the same time, within 45 miles of each other. The only reason this bird was sighted and reported is it just so happened to find an isolated (for Hancock County) house with ideal habitat. It doesn't hurt that the landowners' are wildlife nuts and know when they see an "odd" bird!
This is what gets me; how many other rarities are there in NW Ohio (and elsewhere) that are currently being overlooked? Argh! Enough to make me want to quit my jobs and go birding! So, if anyone out there would like to hire a full-time bird watcher in Northwest Ohio, let me know. I'll be happy to apply. :)







Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring migration warming up.

It's definately looking a lot like April in the area. I took an early morning, pre-church hike Sunday to Riverbend Recreational Area. For those who don't know, Riverbend is immediately North, North-East of Findlay Reservoir #2, along the river, right where it makes a 90 degree turn west.
Migrants seen were Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrushes, Fox Sparrows, White-throat and White-crowned Sparrows and many, many Juncos and Song Sparrows.
Also of note, observed flying overhead was one Common Loon and about 125 Bonaparte's Gulls, and along the wires just outside of Riverbend were my first Tree Swallows of the year.
The weather is suppose to turn nasty around here Monday and Tuesday; this will probably slow migration up quite a bit.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Early spring migrants

Migration is well underway. I took a quick trip to Oakwoods Nature Preserve this afternoon with Jeff (Mon.). It was mostly quiet, but a few of the early migrants were present. Seen or heard were Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (2+), Fox Sparrows (6), Eastern Towhee, Golden-crowned Kinglets (several), plus many, many Song Sparrows some of which must have been migrants.

Later in the day I took a quick trip to the Findlay Reservoirs to check on waterfowl. The water was glass-smooth and fairly quiet. Red-breasted and Common Mergansers, Common Loons, Lesser Scaup and Redheads were present.

All in all not exciting, but it's always good to get out and get birding.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday Banding at Springville Marsh

Hi all,
This is a late post, but the 2009 bird banding season started on Sunday March 15 at Springville Marsh Nature Preserve in Seneca County.
If you have never been to a banding operation, I highly recommend it. I've been to perhaps a dozen different operations, and the SMNP is easily my favorite, but all of the banding operations were highly interesting.
I will try to do a more complete write-up of an average banding day in the future, but to summarize last Sunday, Tree Sparrows and Song Sparrows were in abundance in the nets. The best banded bird was a Fox Sparrow, and the best birds in the marsh were about 35 Rusty Blackbirds.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Waterfowl starting to move

Friday after brought strong winds, warmer weather, and me to the Findlay Reservoirs to look for waterfowl.

Present on reservoir #2 (the large one) was three rafts of ducks: a small flock of Canada Geese (around 20), a flock of about 50 lesser scaup, and one raft of around 300 mixed divers. This mixed flock contained Lesser Scaup, Canvasbacks, and Ring-necked Ducks. There could have been more species, but viewing conditions were poor, mostly because of the gusty winds making it difficult to keep any piece of optics or persons steady.

The Findlay Reservoirs, for those who don't know, are found a couple miles SE of Findlay. Any half-decent map will show them. If you are new to birding it, I recommend starting at #1's boat ramp, which is on the southern side of the reservoirs about 1/4 mile west of the Blanchard Rivers. From there, walk around reservoir #1 (the small reserevoir). It's an easy walk and gives you good views of both reservoirs.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Even more Peregrine





The Peregrine is still around the Marathon building, and once again, showing that I have the inability to see it in good light!
I was able to briefly talk to a Marathon employee (Dennis, I think) and the impression I gathered from him was the workers were excited about this falcon's presence.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Peregrine

The peregrine was found again around 5PM Friday. Its favorite perch appears to be nar the top of the building close to the North-east Corner. If I can ever get there when there's decent light, there might be some decent opporitunities for pics.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pergrine Falcon, Marathon Building, Findlay

Based upon a tip from Betty Hardesty, I spotted a Peregrine Falcon this afternoon around the Marathon building in downtown Findlay. Apparently this bird has been seen on-and-off my Marathon employees most of the winter. One can hope that eventually there'll be a nesting attempt. This would also explain the noticeable decline in Rock Pigeons in Findlay this winter!
I found this bird twice in the space of an hour. Once it was perched on an eighth flood window ledge on the south-facing side of the main building, and once on a pole on the far eastern side of Marathon.
Shortly after these shots, the Pergrine took off, heading SE over the YMCA and heading towards Eagle Creek. Parking in mid-day can be a bit tricky at times around the Marathon Building, but there is some public spots on Beech St between Lincoln and Hardin Streets.


And a couple of zoomed in:


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dark Red-tailed Hawk near Oakwoods

Not a new species, but interesting nonetheless, I saw a very dark Red-tailed Hawk on Monday just NE of Oakwoods Nature Preserve, on TR 144 just outside Findlay, OH


This bird was first seen about 4:40PM perched at the very top of a pole. It was rather skittish for a Red-tail Hawk, and wouldn't tollerate someone out of a car. This and the overall lighting conditions made not the best shots but good enough.


I talked to Jeff, a former Hawk Watch volunteer, who in turned talked to yet another Jeff (Shultz) in Michigan who is rather excellent in hawk i.d. They both thought this was a Western Red-tailed Hawk, or some form of Western and unknown integrade.

No clear shots of the breast but it was a very thick and dark band. It appeared to simply have a whitish throat, with a bit of white near the legs.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments.






Saturday, February 7, 2009

Horned Grebe on the Blanchard

Hello, there
A Horned Grebe was seen this afternoon on the Blanchard River, roughly 100yds west of I-75.
This winter plumaged individual was swimming with the wintering Pied-billed Grebe. Also present was a Great Blue Heron, as well as the omni-present Canada Geese and Mallards.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tough walking; good birding Saturday.

Saturday morning found Jeff L., his friend Jeff, and myself birding at Camp Berry. Very cold, single digits to start, perhaps 10 to 15 below wind chill. We walked primarily along the Lone Scout Trail, which roughly follows SR 68. We were obviously the first people to walk this trail in a while; the snow was untouched and up to 18 inches deep. We got a workout birding!
Our primary goal was to search for crossbills, and we were largely unsuccessful. A brief listen of a couple White-winged call notes and that was it.
We had good birding otherwise. Probably 30 Pine Siskins, at least as many Cardinals. White-throat and White-crowned Sparrows were found along with several Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Four Wild Turkeys were also seen. The "odd" bird was a Turkey Vulture seen soaring. There was a dilapidated barn near where the vulture was seen, I guess that is where it's been staying.
With luck, I hope to hit Camp Berry, west section, either Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wood Duck, Pied-billed Grebe; w. Findlay

A female Wood Duck and a Pied-billed Grebe were seen Friday afternoon on the Blanchard River, on the west side of Findlay. They were both within 100 ft of the I-75 bridge. They were viewable from either North or South River Road. This section of river is currently the only major area of open water left in Hancock County.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chipping Sparrows

This winter has seen a fair numbers of Chipping Sparrows apparently over-wintering around Hancock County. Our Christmas count on Dec 20, 2008 had 4 reports of the species, and for about a month my parents' feeders have hosted up to four of these birds, two in summer plumage.

Pine Siskins are plentiful.


Bob here,

This witner has been amazing state-wide for two particular winter finches: White-winged Crossbills and Pine Siskins. Both have been seen in Hancock County this winter, with Pine Siskins being the most plentiful. As this winter has progressed, they are frequenting feeders more and more. Odds are, if you maintain a thistle sock or thistle feeder, you have had, or will have, Pine Siskins.

If you are familiar with American Goldfinches, you can find siskins. They are the same size as goldfinches, maybe a bit thinner looking, and they act similar. In fact, they are often seen together. Simple tell, if the breast is streaked, it's a Pine Siskin.

Personally, I've seen a couple at my thistle. My parents have had as many as 15, and Jeff L. has had several as well. All of our houses are in Findlay.

Not my pic, but shows a typical Pine Siskin at a typical location; the thistle feeder.