Bird Roll Call: January 9, 2018

  • American crow
  • American goldfinch
  • American robin
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Blue jay
  • Canada goose (overhead)
  • Carolina wren
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Downy woodpecker
  • European starling
  • House finch
  • House sparrow
  • Mallard (overhead)
  • Mourning dove
  • Northern cardinal
  • Northern flicker
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • White-throated sparrow

It was a fine day in the yard. The American goldfinches returned, which was a relief. I’ve read that they can disappear without notice. My sweetgum trees and nyjer feeders may not be enough to keep them interested in the long run.

It was warmer today, so I sat outside until the birds no longer took notice of me. I watched a Carolina wren sing a two-note song from the top of my fence. He was singing a B-flat and G-flat combination, which he repeated five times in a row. Later in the afternoon, fueled by a healthy serving of suet at my suet feeder, he sang a series of songs and calls from beneath my kitchen window. It’s the first time I’ve heard him do a more elaborate performance. The songs were similar to the ones I heard a Carolina wren belting out two days ago at Leawood City Park. He put his individual spin on the tunes. Birdsong is nothing if not improvisational.

The red-bellied woodpecker snatched a glob of peanut butter bark from the lower part of one of my sweetgums and smashed it into the jagged remains of a dead limb high up on the tree. The squirrels will most likely steal that stored delicacy before the red-bellied woodpecker comes back for it. That’s OK. There will be more for everyone tomorrow.

The northern flicker returned today, despite having been ousted from his home yesterday.

Location — in my backyard.