New Backyard Visitors

by Em
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The migrating songbirds are starting to show up in Southern Wisconsin, and some of them are noticeably early.

Yesterday it was mild enough to open some windows, and I’m glad I did that because otherwise I would’ve have missed the House Wren that starting singing in the backyard in the afternoon. I dropped everything and ran outside to find him because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Eventually I spotted him in the shrub next to my office window. Males arrive first and set up some nesting sites for the female to choose from when she arrives. I keep track of when I see or hear the first one every year and it’s usually the last week in April.

Two days earlier I had a thrill when a Carolina Wren stopped into our yard for about 10 minutes in the early morning to sing his little heart out. I’d never seen or heard one before, so it was exciting to add this “lifer” bird to my list, and I didn’t even have to leave my house!

A photo of a Carolina Wren by Jack Bulmer

That afternoon I saw my first of the year Chipping Sparrow. Looking at my past arrival records, he’s right on time.

A photo of a Chipping Sparrow

And before the House Wren arrived yesterday, I saw two Purple Finches (Mr. and Mrs.) at the feeders. We don’t get Purple Finches around here very often, so this was another nice spring migration surprise.

A photo of a male Purple Finch
A photo of a female Purple Finch

Finally, this bird wouldn’t sit still long enough to pose for a decent photo. It’s a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. A pair of them spent a day scouring our neighbor’s hickory tree looking for sap and insects.

A photo of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

There are still many more songbird species that will come through our area during migration season. You can follow the expected birds in your area by checking out the Birdcast Migration Dashboard.

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