Birds & Blooms - - Bird Tales -

Yel­low War­bler

Lis­ten for the cheer­ful sweet, sweet, sweet tweets of yel­low war­blers in brushy habi­tats. You might see a lemon-hued male sport­ing or­ange streaks on his chest, or a soft yel­low fe­male. War­blers feed mostly on in­sects, so they gen­er­ally aren’t at­tracted to feed­ers. In­stead, en­tice them to your gar­den by adding a wa­ter fea­ture like a bird­bath or, even bet­ter, a nat­u­ral look­ing pond with flow­ing wa­ter.

North­ern Saw-whet Owl

De­spite be­ing named af­ter the sound of sharp­en­ing blades on whet­stones, the tiny north­ern saw-whet owl’s charm­ing toot, toot, toot calls are hardly men­ac­ing. The pint-size owls stand just about 8 inches tall, with over­sized, en­dear­ing eyes. The alarm notes of song­birds may draw your at­ten­tion to a roost­ing saw-whet owl in a dense conifer stand. You might also see the elu­sive birds at a band­ing pro­gram as re­searchers con­tinue to learn more about their dis­tri­bu­tion, mostly in the forests of north­ern and west­ern North Amer­ica.

Dark-eyed Junco

Called snow­birds across much of the con­ti­nent, flocks of jun­cos are har­bin­gers of win­ter and hol­i­day cheer. For many years, sep­a­rate types of jun­cos were clas­si­fied as unique species, but now sci­en­tists iden­tify them all as dark-eyed jun­cos. Most of them have de­light­ful pink bills, and their white outer tail feathers flash as they fly by. These mem­bers of the spar­row fam­ily use brush piles for cover and feed on bird­seed scat­tered di­rectly on the ground.

Yfll­low waflblflfl on a jun­flpflfl bflanch

A dark-eyed junco shows off its cute pink bill. While Ken Kef­fer loves all of these cute birds, he would like to award the pygmy nuthatch an hon­or­able men­tion for adorable­ness.

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