Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Birds of the Neighborhood (April 21-30)

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. Several prolonged rainfalls occurred during the period, and temperatures returned to a more seasonably cool range (60s to 70s). The following list of 22 species is probably fairly typical of what you would expect to see in many older, small-town urban residential areas in the Mid-Atlantic States at this time of the year (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 (11) - occasional
American Robin (6) - common; nesting
Barn Swallow# (4) - 1 flying over on 4/21
Blue Jay (9) - occasional, with maximum of 2 on 4/29
Canada Goose (18) - heard flying over on 4/21
Carolina Chickadee (13) - noted on 4/21
Carolina Wren (12) - throughout period; territorial singing
Chimney Swift (19) - near-daily (not noted on cold, rainy days)
Common Grackle (5) - present daily in small numbers
Downy Woodpecker (20) - 1 heard on 4/23
Eastern Towhee (21) - 1 sining on 4/26
European Starling* (3) - very common; nesting
Fish Crow (16) - present daily in small numbers
Gray Catbird# (22) - 1 singing on 4/28 (first arrival)
House Finch* (2) - quite abundant; nesting
House Sparrow* (1) - extremely abundant; nesting
House Wren# (15) - first arrivals (2 singing) on 4/21
Mourning Dove (7) - common; nesting
Northern Cardinal (10) - common; territorial singing
Northern Mockingbird (14) - 1 or 2 pairs present
Rock Dove* (8) - common; nesting
White-throated Sparrow (17) - 1 singing on 4/21

Total Species This Period - 22
New Species This Period - 3
Cumulative Species Since 3/11/2002 - 28

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