Month: February 2016

Mourning doves are welcome in my garden

Mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) are year-round New Jersey inhabitants, although they make partial migrations in search of food. They are ground feeders. Their fawn color with black spots helps to camouflage them on the ground. Although they are the most hunted bird in the… Continue Reading “Mourning doves are welcome in my garden”

House sparrow patriarchy

Male house sparrows (Passer domesticus) are hierarchical, according to Nicholas Lund on the Audubon.org website. The hierarchy depends on the size of the black patch on the breasts of male house sparrows. Breeding male house sparrows have larger black chest badges than non-breeding males. Other… Continue Reading “House sparrow patriarchy”

White-throated sparrow: new bird at the feeders

White-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) are new ground feeders in the garden this winter. The following photos were taken from February 12-15, a period of sub-zero temps in central New Jersey. White-throated sparrows are winter residents in this area, so I don’t know why they… Continue Reading “White-throated sparrow: new bird at the feeders”

Dark-eyed juncos are back at last

Dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis) are back at last. The first photo of a junco this winter was taken January 13. They may have been back a few days previous. But they were late this year, that’s for sure, probably because of all the warm December… Continue Reading “Dark-eyed juncos are back at last”

American robins come calling

A small flock of American robins (Turdus migratorius) came calling on February 11 to sample the berries on the Sparkleberry winterberry shrub. The high temp for February 11 was 42° F., so the 37° theory may have been a factor. (The theory being that robins come… Continue Reading “American robins come calling”