Winter Specialties

This is a totally rad year for winter bird irruptions, and Indiana is getting its fair share. It all started with Red-Breasted Nuthatches all the way back in September, and the party has been continuing lately with both Red and White-Winged Crossbills.

White-Winged Crossbill

White-Winged Crossbill

In a trek out to Eagle Creek last week, I managed to see the White-Winged variety chomping on some pine cones (lifer). This might be one of the coolest birds I have ever seen. The kind folks at Cornell have a video telling you why:

I didn’t see any of the other famous winter finches, but it was a great trip with three lifers in total, including this guy:

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrows have suffered since the invasive House Sparrow (or Bitch Sparrow as it is known in the Majewski household) has arrived. But these guys came down from Canada to see what was going on for Thanksgiving.

Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark-Eyed Juncos are probably the most common winter-only bird in the Midwest, but this picture is terrible anyway. It took a long time before Jaime believed that they actually exist, because I would always talk about them while walking our dog, Emma The Dog, but we would never see any.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my other lifer, which was not the Junco but a Bonaparte’s Gull that I failed to get a picture of.

 

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