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The final results of the Allen Benton Feeder Survey

February 28, 2009
Dick Miga

This column concludes the final report of the annual Allen Benton Bird Feeder count. In analyzing the total number of birds reported, the total number of species observed as indicated last week was 29, which consisted of 273 individual birds reported. The top six birds reported in last week's column in order of abundance were hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, blue jay, northern cardinal, white-breasted nuthatch, and dark-eyed junco. I made a note of reporting and hearing from many of you that there were good numbers of irruptive species such as the pine siskin being spotted and heard at many feeders. Two members of the raptor family were also sighted at or near feeding stations. These were the sharp-shinned and coopers hawks, of whom both enjoy a meal of birds. The feeding habit of both these birds is interesting: unlike its more typical raptor cousins like the common red-tailed hawk that enjoy meals of small mammals, these two birds will usually find a perch from which they can observe a bird feeder or other areas where small birds gather and quickly swoop through the gathering, panicking the unsuspecting birds and usually picking off a small victim.



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