Date: 2/2/18 10:31 am
From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...>
Subject: [texbirds] yard birding this winter with pictures
Birding in the yard has been odd this winter after the destruction of the
Harvey floods. Much of the trees and shrubs are gone along with about 4-5
feet of former bayou bank from my window as well as many old sycamores etc
which has eliminated much habitat.
The barred owls have moved down bayou but can be heard on occasion. Stoney
Brook has more fish as there are more ponds due to sand bars. This has had
more kingfishers recently and made a good hunting area for great blue

The red-tailed hawks are back visiting but the nest trees from past years
are gone but they had moved last summer. Cooper's hawks of various ages and
sizes hunt occasionally.

The house finches are back but not the birds from before the storm. Those
mostly died. The new birds were originally youngsters and then males
appeared with almost all red birds

A good portion of the pre-storm birds were orange phase birds but only one
is orange but has some day-glo tints too

Another has a few orange feathers.

Am inundated with yellow rumped warblers eating bark butter. Have had more
than 25 on the balcony at one time. Most winters I had a couple and last
year a few but this winter there are large flocks of them. The seem to
attract more yellow-rumps but no other warblers as of now. But there is
hope and I keep looking.

Only a single orange-crowned warbler remains after the freezes. Usually
there are several. And the Wilson's warblers vanished after the freezes but
stayed for a couple of days after.

The yellow under the tail is about the only field mark on this bird

Goldfinches abound and this morning a single pine siskin appeared after
really looking for them since they appeared at the hawk watch last fall

Pine warblers are normally the commonest warbler but there is only a single
occasional bird this winter

Scaly-breasted munias are currently absent but were common during and after
each of the freezes. They liked the millet on the platform feeder and then
also fed in the small brushpile I built for shy birds.

Titmice and chickadees are singing but have slowed down in the last couple
of weeks. They can really puff up when it is cold

There are two pairs of downy woodpeckers that do both sunflowers and bark

But only a single pair of red-bellied woodpeckers.

The brush pile gets white-throated sparrows but only just before dark. They
roost in the bay tree just off my balcony and are the first in a couple of
years. No other sparrows this year, again.

It will be interesting to see what sprouts and grows come spring as there
is so much new habitat with sand dunes and open ground for the seeds the
water washed in.

Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston

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