"Northern Birds Arriving in Connecticut"

As mid-January approaches and food gets harder to find, more and more birds are likely to head further south. That includes a number of species of a far northern origin. The 2 Rough-legged Hawks that we found on the Christmas Bird Count on December 19th fall into this category. It is quite possible that they will stay around here for awhile. A light-phase bird like the one that we saw at Apple Hill on 12/19 was seen at Little Pond about 10 days ago, and a dark-phase bird that we saw at No Man's Land Swamp that same day was seen there again last week. Today, 2 Rough-legs were reported in the Farmington Meadows. That means that if you are out and about, and see a hawk that looks like a Red-tail, but has a real black belly band and black patches on the front portions of its wings, it's a Rough-leg, like the one in the photo above by Paul Fusco. Please report it to us right away so that we can spread the word because there are lots of other birders who want to see this very uncommon visitor from Canada. That also goes for Northern Shrikes, Common Redpolls, Pine Siskins, Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, and White-winged and Red Crossbills; all of which have been reported in southern New England, New York, and New Jersey in the past week. The winter finches don't seem to be irrupting out of Canada as they do some years, but a decent number and variety have been reported to be on the move. This is also true for Red-breasted Nuthatches, which we have seen almost daily in fair numbers around White Memorial since early December. The Museum feeders are the best place to see them.


Jeff Greenwood said...

Thanks for sharing. All I've seen so far this winter from the list above are the R-b Nut and Pine Siskin. I'd love to see some of the others. Dave, could you arrange to have them come to my yard in West Morris? :)

Anonymous said...

Dear WM friends: I am glad that you have this blog so I can keep updated on happenings up north. We have had rain, rain and rain down here. No complaints since you are experiencing a rough snowy winter. We have a pair of otters that live in one of the ponds here. Are they called River otters as well? A loggerhead shrike hangs around in my front and back yards waiting for an unsuspecting yr warbler! From balmy North Carolina, Ann Orsillo

James Fischer said...

Thanks, Ann!

I happy to hear that you found our blog. Yes, they are commonly referred to as River Otters. We were wondering where the shrikes had gone this winter! Sounds like you found them! I don't blame them, it has been a tough winter for some of our local predator populations.

Stay in touch,