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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

There are more birds here in cool weather, than in warm months


 
 
Spotted Towhee
 
There are unquestionably more birds in north Texas in the fall & winter, than in the spring & summer.  That includes birds like Cardinals, Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, Titmice and Bluebirds that stay here year ‘round. After all, we’re in “the south”. Their relatives from up north come here too, because the ground (and their food supply) isn’t frozen and snow-covered. So the populations of these birds swell during the cooler months.

The cool-weather list also includes birds like Towhees, Goldfinches, Kinglets, White-throated Sparrows, Sapsuckers and Juncos that come here for the winter. They too can find natural food in our comparatively-mild weather. Although, in a rare Texas snowfall or ice storm they can only find food around feeders.
 
It may seem like there are fewer birds, but that's wrong. Only a few species fly farther south. During cool weather all birds are less active, and prefer to stay in cover - like tall vegetation and shrubs. Clearly this is because they're conserving energy for such vital tasks as staying warm.

 

 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.

 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Robins live in north Texas all year long



American Robin

Actually, there are more Robins in north Texas in cool months, besides being here all year ‘round. Robins from up north come here when snow and ice covers up their food (which happens infrequently here) joining with the ones already here. If a friend of yours will be watching for “the first Robin of spring”, he (or she) might want to keep an eye out for the Easter Bunny too. Wherever Robins happen to be, they tend to become more active and visible as mating season approaches. But they live here 12 months a year as long as they can get food, and take a bath every now and then.

 


clogged feeders?     Whenever your feeders are outside, experiencing three or more straight days of continuous rain and/or high humidity, the seed in them can clump together and clog. Since birds feed heavily during breaks in the rain, I leave my feeders outside. But as soon as possible, preferably overnight, I’ll bring them in, empty the seed into a large pan, break up any clumps, and let it air-dry.   Certain seeds (particularly hull-less types) are worse than others, so I recommend seeds with shells, which all birds are very accustomed to opening.


 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.