Sunny Sunday, April 3, 2016 Fox Sparrow

Seward, Alaska

What a delightful surprise to find a fluffy Sooty/Pacific FOX SPARROW in my yard today, sitting on the brush pile, talking quietly to itself. I noticed the tail feather tips were a bit frayed, but otherwise one would not suspect it just finished an amazing migration across the continent.

Cornell’s All About Birds website notes that Alaska’s Fox Sparrows migrate at night from southeastern USA as far as Florida, regularly crossing large expanses of water (!) This large, handsome sparrow soon found the suet feeder and fed on scraps on the ground. Welcome home; hope you nest nearby!

Two BOREAL CHICKADEES took turns at the suet feeder above; nice to see them again after a few months. CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES fed at the feeder and grabbed large chunks from the loose suet below. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES zipped in and out, and a female DOWNY WOODPECKER investigated a nearby branch while waiting her turn. SLATE-COLORED and OREGON JUNCOS hopped cautiously through the brush to the suet.

The JUNCOS are trilling like little bells. I was very pleased to hear the WHITE-THROATED SPARROW hidden in the spruce branches singing a rather tentative version of “O, Canada, Canada, Canada!” VARIED THRUSHES sang from their hidden perches, their numbers up from last week. Not to be left out, the resident SONG SPARROW and bright red PINE GROSBEAKS tossed out a few verses as well.

The vacationing choir members are working hard to get back in time to rehearse and join the grand Alaskan Spring Symphony. I’ll be listening and cheering!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

PS. First of Season MILBERT'S TORTOISESHELL BUTTERFLY, AND MOSQUITO. Just in time to pollinate all those waiting blueberry flowers!

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