Friday, February 03, 2017

Party in the plum tree

It snowed overnight and all morning, as promised. Around noon, I replenished the plum tree's stock of bird treats, and went back inside to take photos through the window. The birds got there even before I did.

Party time!

Starlings, towhees, a sparrow, and a junco.

The rest of the juncos were on the ground below, picking up the suet crumbs that the starlings kept dropping. A chickadee dropped by, grabbed a sunflower seed, and flew away to hammer at it in peace before I got the camera focused.

The brown "box" behind the tree is the neighbour's chimney; against it, the steadily falling snow is visible.

And then, I took the camera to the park and a wetland while the snow was still coming down. Photos anon.


  1. Are Oregon Juncos social mimics of Towhees?

    1. Good question. I don't know. I haven't been seeing too many towhees; it's only in this last week that any showed up at my feeders. If they stay around, I'll get a chance to make comparisons.

    2. Gosh,, I have never had Towhee come on to a feeder. They will lurk on the ground, certainly. Towhee and junco are are typical pairs in a winter feeding guild. Towhee numbers much lower, juncos are the higher watcher, occupying trees more readily.

    3. I ought to find and scan up Schueler, Frederick W. 1977. More war paint. The Bird Watch 5:1-2. - which speculates about the possibility of this mimicry

    4. Upupaepops, Watching the towhees this morning, I notice that the towhees are definitely more uncomfortable in the tree than the juncos. They have to keep flapping to regain their balance on the twigs, and think about the suet box longer before they actually jump onto it.
      I had a flicker on the suet this morning, with the starlings waiting their turn; a change for them!

  2. What a lovely flock of different species you have there on such a wintry day.


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