[mou] Goldfinches and Barred Owls

Chad Heins odunamis at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 23 07:21:49 CST 2008

Hey birders,

There are two patterns that I am seeing this winter and I was just curious if I was the only one.

1)  American Goldfinches are hitting my oil sunflower much harder than they have in the past and at times they seem to prefer it to the nyjer thistle which is offered in proximity.  Last year I was hosting 30+ American Goldfinches and all they hit was the nyjer thistle.  This year I only have a few, but the oil sunflower has been dominated by an influx of House Sparrows, possibly pushing them out.  At a nearby feeding station they have 25+ goldfinches and they are hitting the oil sunflower.  There the House Sparrows are distracted by feeders with a mix.

2)  There seem to be Barred Owls in locations I've never seen before and there seem to be more than I've seen in recent years.  Is this a lesser known owl immigration?  

Any thoughts?

Chad Heins
Mankato, MN

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