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      Anyone see bird migration already?     
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KarlBAndersen1
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01/13/2020 03:10PM
On a drive to town this morning - I live in central Illinois - I saw a handful of geese chevrons that looked like they numbered a couple hundred birds apiece. I'm guessing over 2000 geese.
And at extremely high altitude - maybe a mile?
Local populations don't congregate in those numbers or at that altitude.
And they were headed north.
Are they telling us something? Any other oddly early spring observations?
 
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Diego
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01/13/2020 03:33PM
Not geese...but I've been seeing quite a few Robin's around, which I've never seen around here (SW Iowa) this time of year before. But I don't think they ever really left. Very little snow so far and and a fairly gentle winter. I don't like it!
 
KarlBAndersen1
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01/13/2020 03:59PM
Diego: "Not geese...but I've been seeing quite a few Robin's around, which I've never seen around here (SW Iowa) this time of year before. But I don't think they ever really left. Very little snow so far and and a fairly gentle winter. I don't like it!"

Many do not leave - they head for the deep woods. Being an avid deer hunter, I've seen flocks of robins in the cold dead of winter when there might be hundreds of them in a flock. I think they just head to the woods for protection and come out when things warm up.
 
jwartman59
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01/14/2020 02:05AM
We have flocks of robins that overwinter at seeps along the bluffs along the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. They’ve been there since I was a kid. I’m out bird watching often, this winter, Minnesota, feels like the old days, snow cover is kind of good, temps cold but not Really cold. No interesting birds yet.. I haven’t seen much in Duluth either.
 
tumblehome
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01/14/2020 08:20AM
Since we're on the subject, can someone explain this to me?

I live in northern MN. Every fall the Junkos come through in late October for a few weeks on their way south. In the early spring I see them again for a few weeks as they head north again. This year however, I have had Junkos at my feeder this whole winter.

I was looking at bird migration maps yesterday and my jaw hung open as I looked at the migration path of the Arctic tern. It migrates from the North pole to Antarctica and back again each year!

Tom
 
Bearpath9
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01/14/2020 08:55AM
Very few juncos at my feeders this winter. I am south of the cities, usually have a lot of them, but not this year. In fact, not too many birds at all compared to previous years. Thought it may have been the seed, threw it out (which the squirrels liked) cleaned the feeder and bought new seed. Still not too many birds.
 
LindenTree
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01/14/2020 01:51PM
 
Bearpath9
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01/14/2020 01:59PM
LindenTree: " Maybe a lttle off topic from the OP, but an interesting article on birds. "

That could be what is going on here. While I do have a marsh hawk that flies through the backyard once in a while, it never seemed to slow the birds down. I might see one or two birds a day now, used to be I would fill the feeders twice a week in the winter. Had plenty of 'em this summer, now practically nothing.
 
01/14/2020 02:29PM
KarlBAndersen1: "On a drive to town this morning - I live in central Illinois - I saw a handful of geese chevrons that looked like they numbered a couple hundred birds apiece. I'm guessing over 2000 geese. And at extremely high altitude - maybe a mile? ...And they were headed north."

I haven't seen geese flying north in my area (western suburb of Chicago), yet.
 
LindenTree
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01/14/2020 07:28PM
Bearpath9: "LindenTree: " Maybe a lttle off topic from the OP, but an interesting article on birds. "


That could be what is going on here. While I do have a marsh hawk that flies through the backyard once in a while, it never seemed to slow the birds down. I might see one or two birds a day now, used to be I would fill the feeders twice a week in the winter. Had plenty of 'em this summer, now practically nothing. "


Where do you live Bearpath, and in what kind of habitat are your feeders in?

I am by no means an Ornithologist but it seems strange that a Marsh Hawk/Northern Harrier would come to your bird feeders.
(Edit, I see that you said they were flying by your feeders in the back yard, were they simply flying near your feeders that may be in close proximity to open prairie or actually flying through/close to your feeders?)
In my 15 years working for the US Fish and Wldlife Service I never heard of that avian behavior, but I was a knuckle dragging firefighter.

I've seen Sparrow Hawks/American Kestrel's come in to harass and kill birds at feeders but they are much smaller than a Marsh Hawk.

Marsh Hawk/Northern Harrier

Sparrow Hawk/American Kestel
 
Bearpath9
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01/14/2020 08:58PM
LindenTree: "Bearpath9: "LindenTree: " Maybe a lttle off topic from the OP, but an interesting article on birds. "



That could be what is going on here. While I do have a marsh hawk that flies through the backyard once in a while, it never seemed to slow the birds down. I might see one or two birds a day now, used to be I would fill the feeders twice a week in the winter. Had plenty of 'em this summer, now practically nothing. "



Where do you live Bearpath, and in what kind of habitat are your feeders in?

I am by no means an Ornithologist but it seems strange that a Marsh Hawk/Northern Harrier would come to your bird feeders.
(Edit, I see that you said they were flying by your feeders in the back yard, were they simply flying near your feeders that may be in close proximity to open prairie or actually flying through/close to your feeders?)
In my 15 years working for the US Fish and Wldlife Service I never heard of that avian behavior, but I was a knuckle dragging firefighter.


I've seen Sparrow Hawks/American Kestrel's come in to harass and kill birds at feeders but they are much smaller than a Marsh Hawk.


Marsh Hawk/Northern Harrier

Sparrow Hawk/American Kestel "


Could have been a Coopers. Little bigger than a crow, grayish color, heck of a flyer, low to the ground. I've seen it a few times, comes through the backyards, between trees and about 7-8 feet off the ground. As to my lack of birds, it occurred to me that my neighbor cut 4 trees out of his backyard. Big open spot now.
 
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