Fox Sparrows have arrived!

Fox Sparrow photo by Bob Stanowski
Yesterday, 3/7/11, WMCC Education Director Jeff Greenwood came back from the Bird Observatory behind the Museum with the exciting news that there were 3 Fox Sparrows under the feeders. These are the first of this species seen on WMF Property in 2011, and the first seen here since mid-November of last year. A little while later, Ray Belding reported 2 at Pt. Folly. Today, I am seeing reports on the ctbirds listserve of Fox Sparrows elsewhere in Litchfield, plus ones in Mansfield, Portland, W. Hartford, and Westport. Obviously, their migration is underway. Being seed-eaters, they naturally have a tendency to gravitate to bird feeders along their migratory route. Those few individuals that winter this far north, including one this year in Winchester Center, stick very close to feeders. They are a ground-feeding species, so they are very unlikely to be found perching on a tube feeder, or even a platform feeder. They are also a bird of shrublands, so they are more likely to be found at bird feeders located close to bushes. When not visiting our feeders during their spring and fall migrations through here (most of them breed in Canada and winter in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states) they can be found in shrubby habitats along the Little Pond, Mill Field, and Apple Hill Trails, and at Pt. Folly. Most of them should be done migrating through southern New England by mid-April.

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