they’re back…well, some are

Despite cold rainy weather for the past few days, a few of the many migratory bird species that will eventually pass through this area have stopped by the backyard to grab a quick snack.  Rain may have kept them grounded temporarily, but that’s not a bad thing when they need to replenish their fat stores with all the nutritious bird seed and suet lying around for the taking.

White-throated Sparrow-

A White-throated Sparrow showing off its intensely white throat and pretty yellow eye liner. You can tell it’s chilly by how puffed out the bird is.

White-throated Sparrow-

Doing the two-footed scratch to unearth some of the spilled seed beneath the bird feeder.

Foraging behavior in some birds is hard-wired; their neocortex is full of pre-programmed instructions, unlike mammals that rely on a suite of learned behaviors.  The reason I bring this up is that there was a feeder full of lovely, fresh seed four feet above this bird, but rather than fly up there and grab a beak full, it painstakingly scratched through moldy mulch in search of the stray seed some squirrel hadn’t yet found.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle's)

Male Yellowrump (Myrtle’s) Warblers found the peanut butter suet I left on a feeder.

In contrast, Yellowrump Warbers seem to adapt quickly to whatever looks edible in the backyard.  They tried out the bird seed, the left-over peanut butter suet, and scratched around in the litter, perhaps hoping to scare up some errant bug.  A few tried flycatching but nothing much was flying around in this damp weather.

4 thoughts on “they’re back…well, some are

  1. Yes I saw some yellow rumors warnlers that were not doing their usual rapid branch hopping in the trees. And decided it was because there are very few insects. I also saw an all grey bird larger and plumper than the sparrows and the warblers but could not identify it. Any ideas?

  2. Pingback: they’re back…well, some are — Back Yard Biology – escreversonhar

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