Thursday, April 4, 2019

My quarterly report (ala Indigo Bunting)

I haven't made a list like this before--a report of the birds seen since the turn of the year. I do keep a life list and was able to add one this first quarter for the first time in many years. I haven't traveled much in recent months until this spring break, so most of my birds keep on being most of my birds:

Mourning dove, rock pigeon, mockingbird, cardinal, robin, Canada goose. Red tailed hawk, northern flicker, mallard duck, European starling, American crow, blue jay, red bellied woodpecker. Coopers Hawk, bald eagle, house sparrow, downy woodpecker, turkey vulture. Dark eyed junco, house finch, Eurasian tree sparrow (in my yard), American tree sparrow, chipping sparrow. Hairy woodpecker, pine siskin (NEW).

The Eurasian tree sparrow is not a native species to the US, but was introduced in St. Louis in the 1800s. It didn't spread well (as opposed to the starling and the house sparrow). I had only seen it one other time before moving. I am close to a small river and more open land than I was in my old place, so that might have something to do with it. At first I thought they were house sparrows at my feeder (there are always house sparrows at my feeder), but I realized they had little ear muffs on and I had to be happy. Invasive species are not good, but these little guys keep to themselves.


  1. How lovely. All these birds are so foreign to me. (Well, except the Canada goose, mallard duck, and the idea of a sparrow.) And to have a bald eagle hidden away in the middle of your list must be pretty cool!

    1. It took me a minute to find this paragraph from an old blog:

      I think about my girl scout troop heading up the Mississippi to the Clarksville dam and watching eagles in the wild, bald eagles. I turned to my coleader and said, "when we were kids, bald eagles were in the zoo or at Grant's Farm or on TV. Our kids get to see them here." And I remember my voice breaking as I said it, struck by the power of that, of how we as a society were able to end the use of DDT and help bring these birds back to where they truly belong. How impossible such a task seems, to bring an animal back from the brink of extinction, but with practical work and education and hope, this time it worked.

      I work alongside the Mississippi River now and this past winter there was a juvenile bald eagle in the tree outside my window. Hi there.

  2. I don't think I've ever even heard of a Eurasian tree sparrow. Just looked it up. I can imagine myself thinking "house sparrow" and never looking closer. Really cool. And your eagle story is making me tear up.