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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

North Texas hosts more birds in cool weather than warm

Forgive me if I misled you, with all my talk recently of hummingbirds leaving, fall migration and so on. You may have gotten the impression that north Texas is empty of birds until spring. Not so!  A look out your  window may be enlightening. Clearly, there are more birds in this area in the fall and winter than in the spring and summer.

Some birds (like Hummingbirds and Buntings)have left us, and gone to their winter homes in South and Central America. Many other birds (like Juncos, Kinglets, true Sparrows, Towhees, Sapsuckers and Goldfinches) will be arriving in north Texas as the leaves fall from the trees; to spend the winter. After all, this IS the South - and our comparatively mild winters agree with them.

Many other birds stay right around here in north Texas, including Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Chickadees, Robins and most woodpeckers.

Sadly, wild birds have a high mortality in cool weather. This is mainly from exposure to weather, coupled with a lack of fresh, energy-producing foods. To combat this, they seek out "roosts" for the night - places to get out of the wind and weather. This can be almost anything; an evergreen tree or even an unused birdhouse. Provide plenty of good food too. And leave your birdbath out so the birds can get clean (helps them stay warm).

North Texans have been doing a good job of providing these basics, so we continue to have more birds here in cool weather, than in spring and summer. 

(Incidentally, other birds that usually come here for the cool weather include Cedar Waxwings, Pine Siskins, Nuthatches, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers and Northern Flickers.)

1 comment:

  1. Saw a Northern Flicker this week!