Sunday, February 14, 2021

Observe & Interact: MGP's Top 10 Non-Migratory Birds

MGP's Top 10 Non-Migratory Birds

Here is a list of the Top 10 non-migratory birds most frequently observed on our feeders so far this winter:

1. Blue Jay: Territorial. Can mimic many other bird calls. Loves peanuts! So pretty and majestic! It's no wonder it's a favorite of so many bird-watchers.


2. Black-capped chicadee: Very friendly. Easy to tame. Can gain its trust through patience and routine hand feedings. Nice little song. So cute!


3. Junco: Travels in groups. Occasionally bullies other, smaller birds off the feeder. Ravenous feeders. Healthiest winter bird population.


4. White-breasted nuthatch: A rarer sight to see, these birds seem more timid than the others and prefer to eat alone. We only ever seen 1 or 2 of these birds at a time. They have very long beaks for their size and don't have much tolerance for other birds. They quickly fly away after eating.


5. Northern cardinal: Such pretty birds! Beautiful plumage. We have at least 2 couples that frequent our feeder daily. Zoe claims to have seen a yellow one (which is possible due to a rare pigment mutation) but it could have been a goldfinch. This bird is one of our favorites and they seem to LOVE what we put out for them because they keep coming back for more.


6. House finch: Another rare visitor. When all the other birds have had their fill, these birds will sometimes show up alone or in pairs. Typically only the females come around but we have seen the males occasionally too. Cute little birds but very skiddish.


7. Downy woodpecker: The smallest of the woodpeckers in our region. They are a little shy but they have no problem pushing out smaller birds to take their place on the feeder. These guys have a voracious appetite for suet! This is one bird we're always on the lookout for because we love see them.


8. Hairy woodpecker: Very rare. We don't see this very often, but when we do, they come around towards the end of the day when there's less competition. They are a medium sized bird, a bit smaller than a blue jay, so when they feed, they make the feeder sway significantly as they dangle upside down on it to eat. The hairy woodpecker is another rare but welcome sight that we're always happy to see.


9. Pileated woodpecker: An extremely rare visitor to our land. We see these mostly in the Spring and Summer months when insect populations are at their highest. They love to peck out giant holes in trees to access the grubs and larvae within, sometimes to the detriment of our cedars. We love to see them but we're also happy there aren't too many because they take a serious toll on our softer trees. These birds are BIG and have a very reptilian maneurism about them, almost raptor-like.



10. American goldfinch: We have only seen this bird on a handful of occasions. Its plumage is unmistakable. It leaves as fast as it comes, after checking things out and scoping the area. You're lucky to catch a glimpse of one before it flies away. They are so quick, you don't even have time to tell someone about it. But despite its fleeting nature, we love them just the same.



What birds do you have in your area? Have you observed any others or different ones where you live? Do the species also change with the seasons? Drop us a line and let us know in the comments.

Cheers! 🙂🐦

Matt Leger
Maple Grove Productions




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