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February 7, 2017 – Winter Doldrums

Winter Doldrums Pine Siskin and Red PolBirding in Maine is wonderful . . . seabirds, shorebirds, raptors, warblers, owls, boreal forest birds and the ever present Black-capped Chickadee. But each year we hit winter doldrums where the birds are no longer moving, fall migration is over and spring migration hasn’t started. We’ve picked up all the easy birds and the handful of birds that we haven’t seen require braving winter travel, bundling up like the Ralphie in Christmas Story, and getting lucky.

But our feeding stations keep us from getting too down, with our regular daily visitors keep us entertained.



The last month has been a relatively mild stretch here in Maine but we seem to be entering a stormy stretch with up to 10 inches predicted on Thursday, 3 on Saturday and another 3 on Sunday. A harsh winter can drive birds that normally winter in Canada and perhaps the next few weeks will see new vistors to our feeders.

Two years ago we had a particularly nasty winter, with record snowfall accumulation. One day we looked out our window and saw a pair of Common Redpolls and a bunch of Pine Siskins. The Siskins stayed into April and for a few months were the dominant birds at our feeders. We haven’t seen one since.