Denny's post of November 6 noted an American Goldfinch eating seed at the
Sparrow Patch. He indicated that it brought the total number of species recorded
feeding at the Patch to 19.
Thought I was going to be able to add number 20 to that list but in a
telephone conversation with Alice Nevue last night, I learned that she and her son
Bill observed Red-breasted Nuthatches on the ground feeding with the sparrows a
short while back.
Dang, thought my observation of a Red Nut feeding on Nov 30 would be good for
a first! It flew from the ground shortly after I first noticed it. However,
it soon returned and moved about much like a Junco...frequently moving and
jabbing at the ground with its bill. On several occasions it paused with its
head up and appeared to be chewing or cracking seeds with those quick
quiver-like beak moves Juncos also use. It is possible he was gleaning bits of seed
hearts (or insects), but I think he was going for millet. Using a scope, I think
I would have seen black oil sunflower seeds. When they grab sunflower seeds
at home, the usually fly to a perch where they can hold the seed with their
foot and hammer it with their bill. I did a slow mental clock count while the
Red Nut foraged and estimate it was busy on the ground for 48 seconds.
So the list grows to twenty species...maybe I'll be first with number 21.
Swamp Sparrow would be nice.
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