Voice of Audubon: Cardinals & titmice are singing!
Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts.
As the snow melted the birds came out to eat. Horned larks and snow buntings returned to the meadows. Robins and bluebirds settled into their fruit trees. A kingfisher and a common loon found holes in the ice, and the rivers held hundreds of Canada geese and dozens of mallards and black ducks, along with a few common goldeneyes and both hooded and common mergansers. Even a few red-winged blackbirds and turkey vultures ventured north, the first migrants of spring.
Lurking in the thickets and weeds were a few hermit thrushes, winter wrens, swamp sparrows, white-crowned sparrows and common redpolls. Some unusual species found at feeders were yellow-bellied sapsuckers, chipping sparrows, fox sparrows, field sparrows, and even a marauding northern shrike. Best news of all, the cardinals and titmice began to sing.
The gyrfalcon was last seen late last week in the Hadley meadows, but other birds found there included northern harrier, rough-legged hawk, northern shrike, Lapland longspur, clay-colored sparrow and vesper sparrow
A northern shrike and six rusty blackbirds were seen in Sheffield and five Iceland gulls were chowing in Agawam.
Trudy Tynan, a member of the Hampshire Bird Club and a retired reporter for The Associated Press, edits the sightings that are compiled by Seth Kellogg of Southwick. For more information www.hampshirebirdclub.org. Call 781-259-8805 for state bird sightings; go to Ext. 2 and wait for the end of the tape to record sightings. You can also go online for more: