IN THE BACKYARD : Philadelphia in January
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After last month’s excitement of the long staying Allen’s Hummingbird in the yard, January has been relatively quiet, but there is still plenty of activity. I should mention that the Allen’s Hummingbird was re-found, earlier this month, 11 miles away in Philadelphia. Remarkable! You can read more on that story in a previous blog.
It has been most enjoyable having a pair of Brown Creepers work their way up our snag multiple times each day. At first light, well before sunrise I fill the feeders and scrape suet into the crevices on the snag, and often by the time I enter the house and turn around to look at the snag, a creeper has already shown up.
A dozen or more Dark-eyed Juncos are always in view along with half a dozen White-throated Sparrows. The mild weather has meant that the fall leaves that we spread in the beds have been easy enough for the sparrows including Song Sparrow, to scratch away in search of seed that I’ve scattered about.
Though House Sparrows, House Finches and European Starlings dominate the feeders, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinals, Downy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatches and Carolina Wren all manage to get their fill as well. Surprisingly, given that they are in the neighborhood, Red-bellied and Hairy Woodpecker along with a Northern Flicker have been very sporadic, only putting in or or two appearances! Mourning Doves patrol the floor and can often be seen resting under the cranberry bush when the sun is shinning.
As many as two immature Cooper’s Hawks have been showing up on a regular basis. Often sitting patiently but occasionally swooping in and surprising the House Sparrows, of which we have far too many. It then becomes a game of hide and seek as the impatient accipiter walks under and through shrubs to flush a sparrow, and on occasion get its meal.
updated Jan 1-31, 2021