I worked from home today. That gave me a chance to look out at my wild bird feeders from time to time as I made trips to the kitchen to refill my coffee mug and have lunch.
I was treated to the sight of a male and female Common Redpoll pair on the nyjer seed feeder outside the kitchen window. I saw a male Redpoll earlier this winter. He was fairly bold and allowed me to get quite close. It’s a treat to see these birds. They come in the winter from their Arctic summer homes to as far south as the Central U.S. I’ve seen highly experienced birders get terribly excited over the site of these LBBs (Little Brown Birds) with the red caps during bird count events. In addition to their distinctive red caps, the males have rosy red patches on each side. They may be having an irruptive year traveling farther south than usual. I think this could be the case since even the few sightings I’ve had are a lot for my winter feeders.
And just when I thought I had my treat for the day, I spotted two visitors sporting red patches in the tree outside my living room window. This time it was a pair of male Red-wing Blackbirds singing their little hearts out and displaying those handsome red epaulettes. I suspect they’ve been here before since they seemed so familiar with the feeder location and comfortable perching at the sunflower snack bar. I’m sure they’re eying the marshy area out back to establish their summer breeding territories.
So, watch for birds with patches of red. If you’re in the northern tier of U.S. states or in Canada, the redpolls are in your neighborhood. And those Red-wing Blackbirds are making their way back into nesting territory.
I saw signs of winter and spring outside my windows today. It’s March.