This week I want to address several questions that I frequently get asked this time of year. Judging by the volume of email I get, many of you are experiencing the same situations throughout our area.
First of all, that bird pecking at your window is not trying to come inside. It is fighting its own reflection in the window. Some species, especially Eastern bluebirds, Eastern towhees and Northern mockingbirds will defend their territories against the “intruder.” You will have to find a way to cut down on the reflectivity of the glass. Many folks have success placing clear plastic wrap over the exterior panes.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are back as of April 1.Go ahead and put the feeders up if you haven’t already.
Do not be surprised if you see some birds immediately, only to have them disappear. Many of the birds you will see are heading north. After the initial early spring rush, I often get inquiries from concerned feeder watchers afraid of a hummingbird population crash. Do not worry. Nesting responsibilities will keep the birds busy until mid-summer, when numbers at feeders will dramatically increase.
That black and white bird with the rosy triangle on its breast feeding at your sunflower tube or platform feeder is a rose-breasted grosbeak. They don’t breed here, again just passing through. Enjoy them while you have them. They might be back in the fall but they will be brown.
That big brown bird with black spots, black “V” on the chest, red on the back of the head, and a white spot on the back when it flies is a Northern flicker. It’s a woodpecker that spends a lot of time on the ground eating ants. They are quite attractive and folks who see them for the first time are always impressed.
Many of you will think I am psychic for writing about these topics today. Let me know.
If you are interested in learning more about bird migration, area birding opportunities, raptor rehabilitation and more, come to Avian Adventures Thursday, April 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon Street. For more information, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.