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not my favorite harbinger!
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- Subject: not my favorite harbinger!
- From: "Travis, Ginger" <Ginger@athena.dev.unc.edu>
- Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 10:00:58 -0500
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Sunday early a.m. I was drinking coffee and keeping one eye on the feeders.
Suddenly, there among the evening grosbeaks was an all-dark shape -- a brown
headed cowbird! It quickly flew off. That was my avian sign of spring -- I'd
certainly rather have had the yellow-throated warbler!
Cold weather Sunday brought evening grosbeaks flocking for food -- they'd
been a little spotty in attendance the previous warm days. Also, there were
four purple finches, including one brown bird with a rosy wash on the head,
and that was an increase from the daily one or two. Pine siskins are still
around. I forget who on Carolinabirds, maybe Josh, referred to their
"chainsaw-like call," but I now hear it and think of siskins as chainsaw
On Dogwood Acres Drive south of Chapel Hill, my friend Cathy Packer has red
shouldered hawks cutting through her yard on the same route all the time. On
Saturday morning I found the nest with the female on it, and it was just
across the street from her house. The nest is in a sweetgum tree where the
main trunk branches 3 ways, and it's only 20 yards from the road and 30
yards each from houses on either side -- this is a heavily wooded vacant lot
with woods behind. I also saw the male bring a prey item to the female; she
ate it on a big pine branch a few yards from the nest, while he sat on the
same branch near her. I call it the social branch -- I saw one of the hawks
on it before. They seem to like to perch there. Both hawks are in adult
plumage. Two years ago, red shouldered hawks nested in the yard next door to
Cathy's house; that female was in juvenal plumage. Last year they nested
nearby, but we never found the nest. Spring in Dogwood Acres is a little
different from spring in my neck of Orange County. Cathy also has fish crows
in the woods behind her house, and on Saturday a small flock of red winged
blackbirds came through her yard. I had blackbird-envy.
Orange County, NC