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Three Signs of Winter Approaching.

November 29, 2014

Northern Harrier

Dark-Eyed Junco

Tree Sparrow

Here in November, there are certain signs of winter approaching.  Three bird species in particular mean the cold weather is really close, being reliable indicators of changes to come.

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Northern Harriers are a sure sign of the transition to cold weather.  Consistently flying low over the grasslands, they stand out from other hawks.  They’ll be gone by the spring.

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Dark-Eyed Juncos are sparrows who typically show up this month in Ohio, bringing with them cold weather.  I often think of them as ‘the Snow Bunting’s city slicker cousin’ because they can often be seen at feeders and in parks close to people.

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Tree Sparrows are handsome sparrows that will be with us all winter as well.  Most frequently seen out in the country, they seem to replace the Field Sparrows that are here in the warm weather.  This month they start to move in.

If you see any of these birds, you know what follows- months of winter 🙂

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2014 2:47 am

    I love how puffed out the juncos’ and sparrows’ chests are. Makes them look somewhat proud/regal/ satisfied. I guess they are probably just cold and fluffing their feathers up though! I rarely see birds with chests so rounded like that. Now that it’s summer, they spend most of their time cooling themselves in my bird bath or holding their wings away from their body to cool themselves. We’ve had maximums about 35C most days, with a couple of 43C days when the birds really suffered. Meanwhile your birds are shivering with cold. Lovely action shots of the harriers as well.

  2. November 30, 2014 6:34 am

    Enjoyed your shots! We saw a harrier at Battelle Darby Metro Park not long ago but weren’t in a position to get a pic.

  3. November 30, 2014 10:54 am

    Hi. I love the second photo of the Harrier, the second of the Junco. We have Juncos here … they are so tame and gentle. Nice post! Jane

  4. December 1, 2014 7:41 pm

    Beautiful shots.

  5. December 1, 2014 9:08 pm

    Juncos have been here for over a week now, and today Towhees showed up. Both very welcome.

  6. December 2, 2014 8:31 am

    Beautiful shots as usual. The in-flight pics are amazing!

  7. January 18, 2015 12:47 am

    Nice shots of the Northern Harrier. Beautiful wing patterns. We had several juncos arrive this week, a couple early birds have been here a month or so. They are city slickers! 😉 Pretty sparrow, haven’t seen one of those.

    • January 18, 2015 8:56 am

      Juncos are the most likely to be seen at a feeder for sure, Patti! The others are country birds 🙂

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