With a stiff wind wrestling an already weak sun into submission, I spent about two hours this afternoon to kick off 2013 with an inventory of the birds that are sticking out winter in the city. Here’s what I saw:
- 60 European Starlings (estimate)
- 30 Canada Geese (in flight)
- 24 Mallards
- 15 Dark-eyed Juncos
- 12 Rock Pigeons
- 5 House Sparrows
- 5 Ring-billed Gulls
- 3 American Robins
- 2 Cooper’s Hawks (1 adult, 1 juvenile)
- 1 Bald Eagle
- 1 Red-tailed Hawk
- 1 Northern Mockingbird
This was a fairly confined area: I started out in Heritage State Park, where I saw the Robins, Juncos, the immature Cooper’s Hawk, and several Mallards in the canal. One of the Red-tails was roosting up on City Hall. I then took a swing through Pulaski Park, where I found the adult Cooper’s Hawk and spotted the eagle out over the river.
Food seems to be getting scarce: Most of the berry trees in Heritage State Park have been picked over, with one or two still flush with a decent supply. A handful of the pine trees have cones. The Juncos were spending their time in the pines and in one of the trees that still had berries; several foraged on popcorn that someone had spilled outside the Children’s Museum.