Saturday, April 20, 2002

Birds of the Neighborhood (April 11-20)

The “neighborhood” consists of a 9-block rectangular area (my block plus the surrounding 8 city blocks) in a downtown neighborhood in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. But most of my observations are of birds seen in, or viewed from, my yard, an area just shy of 0.25-acres. The latter third of the period was unseasonably warm, with temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s; still suffering from a rainfall deficit. The following list of 17 species isn’t particularly impressive, but I suspect that it is probably fairly typical of what you would expect to see in many older, small-town urban residential areas in the Mid-Atlantic States (species are listed in alphabetical order, with numbers in parentheses indicating the order in which each species was detected, # symbols indicating species new this period, and * symbols indicating species not native to the area):

American Crow (13) - only 1 or 2 detections
American Robin (1) - morning chorus very evident by mid-period
Blue Jay (14) - 1 flying over on 4/12 & 2 heard on 4/20
Carolina Wren (12) - 1 singing on 4/12 and thereafter
Chimney Swift# (16) - first arrivals seen 4/16; resident thereafter
Common Grackle (8) - present daily in small numbers
European Starling* (3) - common; nesting
Fish Crow (11) - present daily in small numbers
House Finch* (6) - common; nesting
House Sparrow* (2) - abundant; nesting
Mallard# (10) - 1 flying over on 4/11
Mourning Dove (5) - many resident pairs; nesting
Northern Cardinal (4) - several resident pairs; nesting
Northern Mockingbird# (9) - 1 singing on 4/11, another on 4/12
Red-bellied Woodpecker (17) - 1 calling from the "woodpecker tree" on 4/20
Rock Dove* (7) - much reduced in numbers
White-throated Sparrow (15) - 1 singing on 4/12 & again on 4/20

Total Species This Period -17
New Species This Period - 3
Cumulative Species Since 3/11/2002 - 25

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