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 🙂