Bird Roll Call: January 8, 2018

  • American robin
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Blue jay
  • Canada goose (overhead)
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Downy woodpecker
  • European starling
  • House finch
  • House sparrow
  • Mourning dove
  • Northern cardinal
  • Northern flicker
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • White-throated sparrow

Several hawk alerts throughout the day kept the birds away from the yard for long periods of time. American goldfinches were notably absent, and several species didn’t make an appearance until the afternoon. One of the hawks was a red-tailed hawk, who landed in my neighbor’s tree like a boulder.

In the evening, a northern flicker attempted to retire in a cavity in my silver maple, only to find that two squirrels had taken the space over and outfitted it with several mouthfuls of dead leaves. The flicker approached the cavity twice within a fifteen-minute period before flying away. The squirrels who now reside in the cavity mated three days ago — I wasn’t trying to see it, but I did — so I doubt they have any interest in responding to the flicker’s eviction notices. They are getting everything in order for their first litter of the year. We’ll see where the flicker lands and if he comes back tomorrow.

Location — in my backyard.