locked Re: Banner Year for Juncos? Or watchers?

Rosemary Johnson

I'm seeing what I think is an unusually large number in all the parks I visit: Tilden, Briones, Pt. Pinole, Sibley, Fernandez Ranch.

Rosemary Johnson

On 07/03/2020 11:14 AM Robert Firehock <rafirehock@...> wrote:

Are others seeing a lot more Juncos this year? I have and I wonder if it is just because I'm spending more time birding on local walks in my North Oakland neighborhood, including my backyard, or are there a lot more this year? I've had several 'family' cycles already around my feeder, as opposed to one or none observed in past years, and I find them singing away a lot more on my daily local walks, too (around Claremont and College Avenues). Or are all the birds more 'present' due to the more benign conditions in this urban habitat under shelter in place? Thanks for any perspective.

And while on Juncos, I observed one interesting behavior. An adult was feeding at my platform feeder in mid-afternoon, when most of the seeds were already eaten. Suddenly it began hopping up 2-3" and flapping its wings in a low hover for 1-2 seconds. It repeated this 6-8 times. There were no other birds on the feeder, or discernible threats in the yard. I don't want to ascribe intention, but the outcome of this behavior was that empty seed hulls were blown off the feeder, leaving those that were still intact more easily visible. Between most 'hovers' the Junco would continue its hunt and peck feeding.

Meanwhile, please all enjoy the 'local' urban birding while we can, the daily noise seems to be creeping back.


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