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For the Birds: Sentinel readers share what they've been seeing, by Chris Bosak

Colorful song


A yellow warbler sings from a perch in Brookfield, Conn., earlier this month.

Spring migration is in full swing.

I’ve had a pretty good season so far with several warbler and vireo species, scarlet tanagers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, Baltimore orioles, gray catbirds, bobolinks, a few thrushes and a ruby-throated hummingbird pair.

So far, the indigo bunting has eluded me, but hopefully by the time this column has gone to print my luck will have changed on that front.

I’m not the only one who has been busy looking for birds this spring. Here’s a rundown of what some of our neighbors have been seeing …

Elena from Winchester has had both orchard and Baltimore orioles, as well as mockingbirds, northern flickers and wild turkeys. Earlier this spring, Elena played host to a flock of evening grosbeaks.

Jeannie from Marlow also had a sizable flock of evening grosbeaks, numbering more than 20 birds in all. It was a good winter for seeing those handsome yellow, black and white birds, and that seems to have trickled into spring. Jeannie also relayed a yard first for her as she saw three yellow-bellied sapsuckers on the same tree on her property.

Also, she reports, a male purple finch paid a surprise visit.

Same for Dick and Pat from Westmoreland. They report seeing four males and three females, commenting that “The contrast between purple finches and the house finches is dramatic. No question they are purple finches.”

Jane from Marlborough was one of many people from across New England who noticed a dearth of birds at her feeders this winter, but exclaimed “They’re baaack!” a few weeks ago. The sightings included visits from pine siskins, robins, bluebirds, red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, goldfinches, purple finches, blue jays and cardinals.

Jane also mentioned an important tidbit regarding her husband giving the feeders a “good spring cleaning.” If you haven’t scrubbed your feeders lately, remember it’s important to do so, especially as the weather grows warmer.

Don’t make me submit that photo of a goldfinch with avian conjunctivitis again.

Finally, Baltimore orioles seemed to have been the bird of the week last week. Richard from the Monadnock Region had two male orioles at his suet feeder. Lida, also from the region, attracted five (three females and two males) orioles to her back deck with oranges. She sent a neat photo to document the sighting. I’ve never had a single oriole visit my offerings, let alone five at once. I’ve tried oranges, suet, grape jelly — but nothing.

Spring migration is fleeting; don’t miss out.

And, keep reports of the sightings coming.

For the Birds runs Mondays in The Sentinel. Chris Bosak may be reached at or through his website

For the Birds runs Mondays in The Sentinel. Chris Bosak may be reached at or through his website

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