Field of Science

Fun fall freeloaders

Our urban estate attracts a lot of wildlife because it's got cover, water, and food, some natural and some supplied by TPP's garden, and some offered up because we're good hosts.  This time of year is quite busy especially for our avian wildlife because transients combine with natives.  A mixed flock of finches, mostly gold, some house, and maybe a pine siskin or two, have descended upon us, a ravenous horde that can empty a feeder in a day.  Standard nuthatches, Carolina wrens, and brown creepers are year around residents, but two or three pairs of red-breasted nuthatches have arrived within the last couple of days and they are very busy birds unable to wait even long enough for you to put seed in their feeder.  The first juncos have arrived and will remain all winter, but the white-throat sparrows they arrived with will just be passing through.  Chickadees, pairs of downy woodpeckers, and even red-bellied woodpeckers are also being quite active.  For a few rare moments virtually all of these were visible from our kitchen table at once, and maybe even a cardinal or two, and then they all scatter when a blue jay screams its arrival.  And lurking around all this little bird activity are our local Cooper's hawks, one of which was chasing squirrels around one of our oak trees.  Go hawk, go!  Although they are indoor pets, the kitty girls watch all of this like excited kids in front of a TV. 

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