Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Wishing You a Birdiful Thanksgiving

Both I and my friend Lois noticed the same birdy phenomenon this week. Multiple species of sparrows had joined together to form a large mixed-species flock. Some have likely bred in our area and others have come here from the north. Some will probably continue southward while others will stay put for a while. It's kind of like how some of us humans like to stay put for the winter while others prefer to travel south where it's warmer. Whether the birds stay or go, it's mostly food availability that informs their movements. In the case of sparrows, they are after seeds and bugs.

Some would say it's a combination of these same variables that determine our Thanksgiving plans during a normal year; our travel plans being informed by a desire to "flock up" with family and go where the food is! It sounds like our sparrows are celebrating Thanksgiving!

If you're stuck at home and looking for something fun and meaningful to do this Thanksgiving, I suggest feeding the birds. Just get a bag of bird-seed mix and sprinkle some on the ground in your yard. Song sparrows, dark-eyed juncos (comprised of several subspecies), and white-throated sparrows are some of the most common sparrows that you'll be likely to see in mixed species flocks all across the United States. 

As you watch flocks of sparrows enjoy their Thanksgiving meal, consider that both you and your distant relative may be watching song sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, and white-throated sparrows out your window. Even though many of us are not able to be with our loved ones this year for Thanksgiving, perhaps the birds we see in our yards will bring us all a sense of Thanksgiving joy and togetherness. 

Wishing you and your family a very birdiful Thanksgiving.

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