[mou] Cook Co. tough birds

Jim & Carol Tveekrem jotcat at boreal.org
Tue May 13 17:20:11 CDT 2008

We have had numerous Chipping Sparrows for at least a week - they 
replaced many of the Juncos during one of the rare spells with warm 
winds from some other direction than northeast.  Still a few juncos 
about, increasing numbers of White-crowned Sparrows, fewer 
White-throated Sp., but a few of those will stay to nest nearby.  Today 
brought a Harris's Sp., presumably a different individual than the one 
who spent the winter with us.  Clay-colored, Song and Lincoln's Sparrows 
also present in small numbers.  Tree Swallows have been investigating 
bird houses, no nest building activity yet.  Ruby-crowned Kinglets in 
small flocks, ditto for Brown Creepers.  We have had the most 
brilliantly colored Purple Finches here this spring, and staying here 
for weeks now.  No warblers except Yellow-rumped and Palm, but a very 
determined Yellow-rump challenged a Hairy Woodpecker for a spot at a 
suet feeder, and eventually got it, with a half dozen of his buddies 
then joining him.  Only one Y-Rump appeared to be possible female.  
Amazing little birds.  Saw my first of season Rose-breasted Grosbeak 
today, then heard that a friend who lives a few miles inland had had one 
at her place since Saturday.

No shortage of Robins, Redwinged Blackbirds, Com. Grackles or Cowbirds.  
Had one pair of Rusty Blackbirds last Thursday.  Kestrels common sitting 
on wires, and one lived up to it's old Sparrowhawk name by catching and 
eating a small (probably Chipping) sparrow in our front yard.  The wind 
scattered the plucked feathers, and some scavenger must have grabbed any 
other remains.  While the Kestrel ate, the small birds continued to 
crowd our feeders, and scattered only when he (well-marked male) took 
off again.  They were soon back.

There are still some rafts of ducks on Lake Superior, especially Scaup.  
Larger lakes gradually losing their ice, and wind and rain today may 
have helped finish the job. 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird reported from Colville, 30+ miles northeast of 
here.  I have yet to see one, but I've been working indoors for a few 

Carol Tveekrem,

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