Christmas card number 5 from BirdsofNewEngland

Photo by Chris Bosak A fox sparrow perches on the snow in Danbury, Conn., Nov. 16, 2018.

Southern New England is green as of December 20th and the forecast calls for rain and above-freezing temperatures for the foreseeable future. That’s good news for travelers, but not-so-good news for those dreaming of a white Christmas. To make things a bit easier for those folks, I’ll post a few photos left over from our mid-November snow storm. I’ll post one photo a day until December 25. Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for your support of BirdsofNewEngland.com in 2018!

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Christmas card number 4 from BirdsofNewEngland

Photo by Chris Bosak A white-breasted nuthatch visits a Danbury, Conn, backyard following a snow storm, fall 2018.

Southern New England is green as of December 20th and the forecast calls for rain and above-freezing temperatures for the foreseeable future. That’s good news for travelers, but not-so-good news for those dreaming of a white Christmas. To make things a bit easier for those folks, I’ll post a few photos left over from our mid-November snow storm. I’ll post one photo a day until December 25. Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for your support of BirdsofNewEngland.com in 2018!

Christmas card number 3 from BirdsofNewEngland

Photo by Chris Bosak A red-bellied woodpecker visits a Danbury, Conn, backyard following a snow storm, fall 2018.

Southern New England is green as of December 20th and the forecast calls for rain and above-freezing temperatures for the foreseeable future. That’s good news for travelers, but not-so-good news for those dreaming of a white Christmas. To make things a bit easier for those folks, I’ll post a few photos left over from our mid-November snow storm. I’ll post one photo a day until December 25. Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for your support of BirdsofNewEngland.com in 2018!

Christmas card number 2 from BirdsofNewEngland

Photo by Chris Bosak A dark-eyed junco visits a Danbury, Conn, backyard following a snow storm, fall 2018.

Southern New England is green as of December 20th and the forecast calls for rain and above-freezing temperatures for the foreseeable future. That’s good news for travelers, but not-so-good news for those dreaming of a white Christmas. To make things a bit easier for those folks, I’ll post a few photos left over from our mid-November snow storm. I’ll post one photo a day until December 25. Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for your support of BirdsofNewEngland.com in 2018!

Christmas card number 1 from BirdsofNewEngland

Photo by Chris Bosak A blue jay visits a Danbury, Conn, backyard following a snow storm, fall 2018.

Southern New England is green as of December 20th and the forecast calls for rain and above-freezing temperatures for the foreseeable future. That’s good news for travelers, but not-so-good news for those dreaming of a white Christmas. To make things a bit easier for those folks, I’ll post a few photos left over from our mid-November snow storm. I’ll post one photo a day until December 25. Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for your support of BirdsofNewEngland.com in 2018!

For the Birds: A New England bobwhite at last

Here is the latest For the Birds column …

Photo by Chris Bosak A nothern bobwhite seen at Happy Landing in Brookfield, Connecticut, fall 2018.

I turned the corner on one of the many trails that cut through the expansive fields of Happy Landings in southern New England and headed straight into the mid-morning sun.

To the right was a long but narrow stretch of bushy habitat; to the left a large plot of a hay field, short-cropped after a mid-fall mowing. It was a perfect New England winter morning β€” sunny and cold β€” even if the calendar read fall.

The bird walk had been very slow up to that point, with a hairy woodpecker being the highlight of only three species spotted. Half daydreaming because of the lack of action, I noticed a large bird on the ground on the trail. It was inches from the brushy strip of land.

The sun was bright and in my eyes, too, so I was too late to identify the bird. It had stepped into the thick brush before I could raise and focus my binoculars. I assumed Continue reading

For the Birds: The siskins come at last

Photo by Chris Bosak Pine siskins visit a feeder in Danbury, Connecticut, fall 2018.

A wise man once said: β€œThe nature of a winter finch irruption, however, could mean a sizable flock of pine siskins can show up and empty out my Nyjer seed feeder at any moment.”

Just kidding. That was me writing two weeks ago about the hot start to the winter finch season. The wise man part is up for debate.

At the time of that writing, a female purple finch had been my only out-of-the-ordinary sighting at my feeding station. A week later a few fox sparrows showed up. I know fox sparrows are not finches, but they can fit loosely into the category of winter finches because of their sporadic visits to New England backyards.

Then last week, true to the sentence at the top of this column, the pine siskins showed up. It started out with two siskins sharing the tube feeder with a group of goldfinches. The next day, I counted three siskins. The third day, about 20 siskins showed up and occupied every perch on the tube feeder and a nearby hopper feeder. The spillover Continue reading