Saturday, May 14, 2011

Phenology: Recent Bird Sightings

Here are recent first-of-the-year bird sightings, all in Northfield except as specified. I've noted whether each is a possible summer resident or a migrant:
Male oriole at feeder
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (4/24) (migrant)
  • Chipping Sparrow (4/24, approx.) (summer resident)
  • Red-breasted Merganser (4/25)(migrant)
  • Lesser Yellowlegs (4/25) (summer resident)
  • Spotted Sandpiper (4/25) (summer resident)
  • White-crowned Sparrow (4/30) (migrant)
  • White-throated Sparrow (4/30) (migrant)
  • Solitary Sandpiper (5/1) (migrant)
  • Baltimore Oriole (5/1 approx.) (summer resident)
  • Purple Finch (5/1, female only)(migrant)
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird (5/4, approx.)(summer resident)
  • Barn Swallow (5/5) (summer resident)
  • Forster's Tern (5/5)(probable migrant - on the western edge of the breeding territory)
  • Black-and-white Warbler (5/7) (River Bend Nature Center, Faribault) (probable migrant)
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (5/7)(summer resident)
  • Northern Waterthrush 5/7) (River Bend Nature Center, Faribault) (migrant)
  • Harris's Sparrow (5/8) (migrant)
  • Green Heron (5/9)(summer resident)
  • Indigo Bunting (5/13) (summer resident)
  • Swainson's Thrush (5/14) (migrant)
I thought the white-throated sparrows that arrived a couple of weeks ago had all moved on, but we had two at the house today, eating millet along with a couple of chipping sparrows and an occasional mourning dove.

We are still also seeing a red-breasted nuthatch at the feeder from time to time, and after several days of seeing none there was a pine siskin here today as well. Both species, having spent the winter here, are most likely to head back north for the summer.

Janssen's Birds in Minnesota (we have the 1987 edition) says the red-breasted nuthatch's latest reported dates in the south are late May. Every time I see it I expect it to be the last time, but I keep being surprised.

Pine siskins are not seen every year in southern Minnesota and do not consistently nest here but may do so after an "invasion" winter. About three weeks ago Dan Tallman reported banding a pine siskin that had a well-developed brood patch (bare patch on the belly used to incubate eggs), considered to be physiological evidence of breeding.


    Daniel said...

    Good sightings there, like the bird feeder that you have where did you get it?

    Penelope said...

    All Seasons Wild Bird Store in the Twin Cities -- the feeder is called "Bird's Choice." Was interested to check out your "buy bird food direct from the farm" business.