Strolling down a wooded path in the dead of winter, we become aware of a sudden stirring in the trees and soon we’re engulfed by a mixed group of birds, Chickadees, Titmice, Kinglets, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and Creepers, each feeding in their own distinctive way, some eating last season’s left over berries and seeds, while others seek insects hidden in leaves or buried under tree bark. The noisy Chickadees and Titmice sound alarms to warn of danger, and in a flash the flock proceeds to the next lucrative spot only leaving us with a memory. This was a Winter Feeding Flock, an unexpected pleasure of the season.

It seemed as though the bird feeders were not as busy this winter, maybe because of the mild weather. Some notable sightings were Catherine Unterschuetz in Lindenhurst reporting two Ravens on the perimeter of her property in early February, and Alisa Kremer-Parrott in West Sayville had a Bald Eagle high up in a Cherry tree in her yard eating a “critter”. For this survey period we had 9 participants, Banaszak, Caruso, Fogarty, Horman, Kremer Parrott, Merryman, Paltridge, Unterschuetz and Wilson, the 8 areas represented were Babylon, Blue Point, Deer Park, East Islip, East Patchogue, Lindenhurst, Ridge and West Sayville.

The GSBAS Feeder Survey has been run for many years. The reward of the survey is to bring awareness of nature to our doorstep and share our observations with others. Anyone is welcome to join the survey at any time during the counting period from November to March, Instructions for the survey are in the Fall issue of the Sandpiper.

Red-tailed Hawk 0/ 0/ 1, Sharp-shinned, Hawk 2/ 0/ 0, Cooper’s hawk 3/ 2/ 1, Rock pigeon 5/ 0/ 5, Mourning Dove 89/ 117/ 74, Monk Parakeet 0/ 6/ 2, Red-bellied Woodpecker 8/ 7/ 7, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1/ 0/ 0, Downy Woodpecker 13/ 13/ 14, Hairy Woodpecker 4/ 2/ 2, Northern Flicker 2/ 5/ 3, Blue Jay 36/ 37/ 25, American Crow 2/ 4/ 18, Black-capped, Chickadee 29/ 22/ 17, Tufted Titmouse 11/ 13/ 7, Red-breasted Nuthatch 0/ 0/ 0, White-breasted Nuthatch 5 /6/ 3, Carolina Wren 14/ 17/ 10, American Robin 2/ 100+/ 5, Northern Mockingbird 6/ 7/ 4, Brown Thrasher 0/ 0/ 0, European Starling 55/ 173/ 24, Towhee 0 /0/ 0, Fox Sparrow 1/ 2/ 0, Song Sparrow 13 /5 / 8, White-throated Sparrow 43/ 45/ 30, Dark-eyed Junco 39/ 39/ 46, Northern Cardinal 33/ 57/ 22, Red-winged Blackbird 2/ 2/ 8, Common Grackle 2/ 0/ 4, Brown-headed Cowbird 4/ 0/ 0, House Finch 60/ 62/ 47, American Goldfinch 7/ 19/ 4, House Sparrow 115/ 100/ 50

OTHER SPECIES
Purple Finch 0/ 2/ 1, Chipping Sparrow 2/ 0/ 0, Mallards 0/ 4/ 2, Kingfisher 0/ 1/ 0, Great Blue Heron 0/ 1/ 0, Ring-billed Gull 0/ 12/ 0, Bald Eagle 1/ 0/ 0

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