The Hardy Birds of Troy Meadows, Feb. 10, 2013

Troy Meadows, Feb. 10, 2013 - looking north from Troy Meadows Road (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Troy Meadows, Feb. 10, 2013 – looking north from Troy Meadows Road (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

(Click on the photo for a larger image)

A combination of sub-freezing temperatures the past few weeks and a 10-12 inch snowstorm this past Friday have left only birds resourceful enough to survive. A walk at Troy Meadows today (snow shoes would have been appropriate) brought out the survivors. The granivores were busy gleaning any food they could find from any source not buried by the snow. Ground-feeders became tree climbers with Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows picking at bark and lichens high up in the tree canopy. A pair of Brown Creepers worked different sides of the same tree while American Tree and Song Sparrows picked at anything sticking above the snow. A single Eastern Bluebird found cover in a Virginia Red Cedar. A Swamp Sparrow and Field Sparrow were a duo working the woodland at the edge of the marsh. A Cooper’s Hawk made off with a possible Am. Tree Sparrow in its talons. Four Red-tailed Hawks were scattered throughout the Troy Meadows Road area. A Belted Kingfisher and Great Blue Heron stayed close to Troy Brook, the only open water in Troy Meadows. A highlight of the frigid morning was a light morph Rough-legged Hawk roosting on a snag on the marsh. In 2013, there have been 2 Rough-legged Hawks in Black Meadows, at least one at Troy Meadows, as many as three at one time in the Great Swamp.

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