Through the Window: March 2013 migrants and an unexpected mammal

It’s spring! Really! What do you mean, it’s snowing again? Of course it is! It does that in spring!

Anyway, back before the spring equinox we watched some birds. And then we did it again after, too. Of course. It’s wonderful what you see when you just sti still and look.

  • Black-capped Chickadees
  • Hairy Woodpeckers (males chasing each other 3/3)
  • Downy Woodpeckers
  • American Crow
  • Blue Jay
  • Mourning Dove
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Common Redpoll (flock of about 15 on 3/26)
  • Common Grackle (3/15)
  • Red-winged Blackbird (3/18 and later)
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Wild Turkey (3/24)
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Northern Goshawk (3/30)

The female Evening Grosbeak was also seen, across the road in the tress, on March 30.

Of course we had some red and gray squirrels. We noticed an Eastern Chipmunk crossing the road on March 26.

To our great surprise (and some delight) we saw a weasel on March 30 and 31. It’s hard to tell the long-tailed and short-tailed weasels apart sometimes, but we think we saw a short-tailed weasel (ermine). It was still in its full winter coat: white with a black tip to its tails. It seemed to be stalking the squirrels, and its presence would go a long way towards explaining why fewer mice were in the bird seed closet traps this winter!

We’re looking forward to NestWatch coming up soon (exactly when depends on where you are; they have a spiffy new website too)

The “Through the Window” series is an informal record of observations made by staff, volunteers, and visitors. Anyone at the Museum may add to this list. Observations are usually through our viewing window: a large window with a film to make it more difficult for birds to see the watchers. We have chairs and binoculars to try there, a white board, and many identification guides. Outdoors, several feeders are attached on a single, bear-resistant pole. A small pond, flowers and water plants, shrubs and trees add cover and other food choices. You can sometimes see what we see via our webcam.