Date: 1/13/21 12:44 pm
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao...>
Subject: Re: [southbaybirds] Palo Alto feeder birds new in 2021
I was just posting something online about this, Ruby-crowned Kinglets (and other species such as Townsend's Warblers) are much more prominent this winter. I do not know if there are more of them, but they are feeding at ground level, in more open and shrubby areas, and are generally easier to see this winter. The hypothesis is that the lack of humidity we had over the summer/fall, what created the bad fire conditions, has done a number on many overwintering insects and other bugs. Similarly, Anna's Hummingbirds seem to be much more densely distributed in coastal sites and feeders this year, as we have had such low flower availability. But I think it is a product of the low humidity, not just lack of rain, but the fact that people tracking fire danger were talking about incredible lack of moisture in forest litter, trees etc this year. That has to have affected insects in a major way.
We are seeing the second order effect in the birds. The most obvious to me seem to be Ruby-crowned Kinglets, but other birds are also acting weird.

Alvaro Jaramillo

-----Original Message-----
From: <southbaybirds...> <southbaybirds...> On Behalf Of Natasha Dehn
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:00 AM
To: <southbaybirds...>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Palo Alto feeder birds new in 2021

January has brought regular visits to the suet feeder from a Ruby-crowned kinglet, a single visit by a scrub jay, the occasional female Nuttall’s woodpecker and just yesterday a male Downy woodpecker.

The suet feeder is the fallback feeder for the house finches, chickadees, and (sometimes) the Pine siskins who all generally prefer the seed feeder. For the last week we’ve witnessed courting behavior among the House finches, with females pecking at male beaks and sometimes receiving a seed.

Last week I saw a Ruby-crowned kinglet at the garden on Oak Rd at Stanford. This was a first and I know this area very well over multiple seasons. Are there more Rubies this year?

Best wishes from the SW corner of Palo Alto, just off El Camino, Natasha

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