Monday, 29 February 2016

Hints of Spring Migration

27 February 2016
Waterloo, ON

     As soon as it gets towards the end of February, birders in this part of North America start to watch for the first migrants to arrive from the south. Some species are passing through on their way farther north, others are arriving to breed in this area.
     It was almost uncanny that I was sitting in the family room thinking that I should be keeping an eye open for Pine Siskins Spinus pinus and I looked out the window and there were two of them on one of the bird feeders.

     These birds are in transit here as they move north to occupy their breeding areas. 

      It is always a delight to see Pine Siskins and we can confidently expect to see them in greater numbers over the next couple of weeks.

     Squirrels are very intelligent creatures and miss no opportunity for an easy meal. This one simply positioned itself below the feeder to munch on the seeds knocked out by the birds above.

     The American Goldfinches Spinus tristis are now acquiring their lovely yellow colouration and are a delight to see.

     A friend of mine reported that she has a single male Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus in her backyard, and another friend has reported Brown-headed Cowbirds Molothrus ater. 
     The early vanguard is here! More is yet come.


  1. Beautiful pictures, David. I love the fluffy American Goldfinches.
    Spring is coming, the birds tell us that. Gr Jan W

  2. Well it is March very soon.............

  3. Hello, sweet collection of birds. I love seeing the goldies and the Pine Siskins. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  4. Excellent pictures, and a great reminder of what's to come. I haven't thought of the Pine Siskin as a springmigrant before, just as a winter bird, so maybe it's my earliest migrant. I need to work on the photos. Every year I get frustrated, but when early spring arrives it gets exciting again.

  5. Siskins for us too. It does seem that our respective migration times are absolutely equal. Lesser Redpolls any day followed closely by Sand Martins then Wheatears.

    Wishing our lives away.

  6. Lovely photos David and I find it so interesting to see birds from other parts of the world. When we first moved from Africa to the UK, at first I thought the birds were quite dull, but since moving to France and having more time to watch the birds I have learnt how wrong I was.

    1. There sure are some spectacular species in Africa, however.

  7. Beautiful series David.
    The first bird: the Siskins I had this week in the garden.
    Beautiful also the squirrel, cute critters are.
    Greetings Tinie

  8. Hello David!:) I have also been seeing Siskins, but haven't yet managed to take such beautiful captures as these. An exciting time for birders, and nature lovers.Best regards.

  9. Thank you for your visit David.
    Such beautiful little birds you have shared with us. The squirrel is very cute too and as you say, very clever. Have a lovely week :)

  10. Beautiful golds and yellows in your series of pics here.

  11. Hello. Great pictures of birds. Spring seems to come here in the Finland.Black-backed gull have become.

  12. Eurasian siskin and European goldfinch are almost the same appearance, as the birds there.

  13. Ils sont trop mignons tes petits passereaux ! Et le chardonneret de chez vous est trop joli !!!! je veux le même ;-)
    Les migrations sont à l'honneur, il faut profiter de ces oiseaux de passage.
    Bonne soirée David, bises.

  14. Dearest David,
    Oh, we too have lots of the finches and their cousins feeding off the thistle seed feeder that we keep filled up daily.
    Indeed, squirrels try to steal away whatever they can find.
    It is such a joy to observe a variety of birds from our bay window at breakfast!
    Sending you hugs,

  15. Beautiful shots of the birds! Right now where I live in north Florida, the robins are everywhere. I usually see them this time of year for about a month before they move further north.

  16. Your place is a 5 star hotel for the birds, you must see many interesting species when they fly back from migration.
    About my Little egrets, yes they do have yellow feet, the one I photographed in flight had dirty feet! LOL! It shows more on the last picture (4).
    Hugs to share with Miriam :)

  17. Hi David.

    Pretty Birdies, the Squirrel is cute.

    Greetings from Patricia.

  18. Hello David,
    Beautiful series of photographs of the birds.
    The last three pictures are my favorite.
    Best regards, Irma

  19. Amazing coincidence - Siskins (OK, so a different species) have been appearing in our garden on a regular basis for a few days now. They're delightful.

    Just noticed Noushka's answer to the black feet on her Egret!

    Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

  20. Nice pictures especialy the birds are wonderful, species that doesn't appear here.


  21. These beautiful birds are passing you say.
    Wonderful to see and you have them very beautiful and also put clear in the photo. So we can also enjoy a moment of.
    Greetings, Helma