Have you noticed new arrivals in recent days? White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows as well as Dark-eyed Juncos are showing up and depending on your location, some of these birds may stick around. Most of the White-crowned will eventually move on but often White-throated Sparrows will stay late and some will overwinter. The Juncos are here for the long haul, able to brave our winters. In fact, they are nicknamed snowbirds because they are seen as a harbinger of what is to come. They have already reached their winter destination.
All of these birds are ground feeders although they may go to platform feeders or stop briefly at regular feeders. They will eat sunflower seed and mixed seed. Toss some mixed seed onto the ground, lawn or in leaves and watch them scratch for their meals. If you are lucky you might be visited briefly by a rusty-coloured Fox Sparrow.
By Brian Morin
Publisher of Ontario Birding News