The Authentic Dirt: Yellow-rumped warblers and dark-eyed juncos
Not all birds usually found in California stay listed here calendar year-spherical. Some show up for just a few months for the duration of their spring or slide migration. Other individuals could continue to be for the summer months. Yellow-rumped warblers and dark-eyed juncos are two species of birds that are pretty normally found in the Central Valley throughout the winter season, when they prefer open up areas like woods, thickets or household regions.
Both equally species are lively birds that are fun to check out even though they forage in a park or in your backyard, before their springtime migration to breeding places at larger elevations in coniferous forests.
The principal winter warbler in North America, the yellow-rumped warbler can be recognized by a yellow patch on the rump, a slender monthly bill, and white eye arcs. They may well or may possibly not also have yellow patches on the head and sides and a white patch on the throat. In the wintertime this bird’s plumage is much more subdued than it is in summer.
Yellow-rumped warblers feed mainly on bugs but will also consume berries in the wintertime. They forage for their prey on the floor, in foliage, or in mid-air. They are generally in movement, but you may possibly see them perched on exposed branches, seeing for bugs to fly previously mentioned them. You can tempt them to come to your hen feeder with hulled sunflower seeds, raisins, suet or mealworms. Owning trees and shrubs exactly where they can perch while searching as effectively as berry-forming shrubs will also make your garden far more appealing to these warblers.
Karen Smith, an skilled birder who is area journey coordinator for Altacal Audubon Society, claims the yellow-rumped warbler, fondly nicknamed “butter butt” simply because of the brilliant yellow patch just above the tail, is a fun fowl to see in the winter months. This tiny warbler can be noticed flitting from department to department in search of insects these types of as caterpillars and other larvae, ants and aphids, just to name a couple.
“I commonly listen to their ‘chip, chip’ sound right before I see them,” Smith claims.
The dim-eyed junco is a species in the New Environment sparrow relatives. There are several plumage variations, but in our place the most prevalent Dim-eyed Junco has a dim, blackish hood if it is male and a grey hood if it is woman. Each male and woman darkish-eyed juncos have a reddish-brown again and sides, white tummy, darkish eyes, and a pinkish monthly bill. Their white outer tail feathers are obvious in flight but hidden when stationary.
Dim-eyed juncos typically feed in flocks on seeds of weeds and grasses in the winter season, typically pecking and scratching the leaf litter to forage and flying into a close by shrub when startled.
In the summertime they also take in bugs and their larvae, spiders, and some berries. They will feed on millet, hulled sunflower seeds and cracked corn that falls from your chook feeder. You can also enable some veggies and bouquets in your yard go to seed and leave them standing to supply a lot more winter season food items.
The dark-eyed junco is one of Karen Smith’s favorite backyard birds to view although they scratch up seeds on the ground together with other sparrows. She suggests that in flight their dazzling white outer tail feathers flash. This is useful for pinpointing these birds in the area if they are also much away to see evidently, which can particularly be the circumstance when they are grouped with other ground such as the white-topped and golden-crowned sparrows.
You can depend on these two species of birds to provide you with hrs of backyard entertainment in winter. A valuable source for bird identification is “The Sibley Subject Tutorial to Birds of Western North The usa.”
The UC Grasp Gardeners of Butte County are section of the University of California Cooperative Extension system, serving our neighborhood in a range of ways, which include 4-H, farm advisers, and nutrition and bodily action applications.