January reflections 2-1-24

February 01, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

 

We begin with a short video of clips from our Stealth Cam near the garden, taken in January.

 

January 2024

Deer, a three-legged coyote and an opossum came through the garden in varying degrees of cold, snowy and wet conditions.

Rusty Blackbirds foraged under the Buttonbush shrubs during freezing rain on 1-22-24. Brrr!!

 

Now, let's take a closer look at Pine Siskins that have wintered here in our sanctuary.

 

3-24-13 Pine Siskins eating thistle seed in 12" of snow

 


1-14-19 Pine Siskin eating seeds from Bald Cypress catkins (Taxodium distichum x Shawnee Brave).

 

12-24-20 Pine Siskins eating Beebalm seeds (Monarda fistulosa) in the garden.

 

2-13-21 Pine Siskin eating Cliff Goldenrod seeds (Solidago drummondii).

Pine Siskins are attracted to our yard in large part because of the abundance of native plant and insect food. 

One-sixth of their diet is insects (arthropods).

They will also feed on elm, maple and sweet gum seeds, E. red cedar, birch, spruce and pine. 

 

1-27-21 Pine Siskins will also eat seeds and berries of native Lonicera spp. like our Coral Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens).

 

12-13-20 We documented a green morph Pine Siskin.

As you can see, it is lighter in color with less dark streaking (less brown pigment)

and with yellow-gray-green tones on its back,(black and yellow pigments, carotenoids, retained) indicating a green morph.

What I learned just recently is that according to one study that examined 1500 specimens from 6 museum collections,

about 1% were found to be green morphs, all of which were male. Whether this plumage represents a true color morph or 

individual variation remains uncertain. It's considered an aberrant plumage. 

 

1-26-24 Six Pine Siskins three American Goldfinches1-26-24 Six Pine Siskins three American Goldfinches 1-27-24 Two Pine Siskins1-27-24 Two Pine Siskins

1-28-24 Green Morph and Two typical Pine Siskins1-28-24 Green Morph and Two typical Pine Siskins

On 1-28-24, I had a high count of 12 Pine Siskins.

As you can tell, all of them are darkly streaked with the exception of the bird on the left in this last photo.


 

1-29-24 Three Pine Siskins1-29-24 Three Pine Siskins

1-29-24 Green Morph Pine Siskin1-29-24 Green Morph Pine Siskin 1-29-24 Pine Siskin Composite with Green Morph1-29-24 Pine Siskin Composite with Green Morph 1-29-24 Two Pine Siskins, lower is Green Morph1-29-24 Two Pine Siskins, lower is Green Morph

Once again this winter, we have a green morph Pine Siskin. It was seen on three days. What a handsome bird!

Overall numbers have dropped as temperatures have warmed. The birds are foraging again for their native plant and insect foods.

 

1-25-24 Song Sparrow1-25-24 Song Sparrow

A Song Sparrow popped out on 1-25-24.

 

1-27-24 Downy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker females1-27-24 Downy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker females

A female Downy Woodpecker waited for a turn at the suet while the Northern Flicker female took its time.

 

1-29-24 Cooper's Hawk in fog1-29-24 Cooper's Hawk in fog

Fog helped disguise this Cooper's Hawk as it flew through the woodland. 

 

1-29-24 Blue Jay1-29-24 Blue Jay 1-29-24 Carolina Wrens1-29-24 Carolina Wrens

Once the hawk left, the Blue Jay and Carolina Wrens were back to business.

 

1-29-24 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature female1-29-24 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature female

Another immature female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hammered into old wells of sap to drink. 
 

1-29-24 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature female1-29-24 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature female

Isn't nature beautiful?!!


1-31-24 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature female1-31-24 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker immature female

The sapsucker had worked so hard to get the sap flowing. 

 

1-31-24 E. Gray Squirrel at sapsucker wells1-31-24 E. Gray Squirrel at sapsucker wells

Many will enjoy its efforts!

 

 


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