340/365 Irruption

In the past few weeks I have seen two birds in my backyard that I’d never seen there before.

On Black Friday I glanced out at the feeder that I’d just filled and saw a goldfinch-sized bird that, at first, I assumed it was a winter-clothed goldfinch — possibly a female. But then I noticed the white eye-ring and wondered if it might possibly be a ruby-crowned kinglet. I looked it up and sure enough, that’s what it was.

Then last Wednesday* I looked out the window and was surprised to see a red-breasted nuthatch on the almost empty feeder. I ran out and filled it and when I came back in the house it came back many times. Later in the week I went near the feeder and saw one swoop from a tree, fly inches away from me and land on the feeder. Those fellows are fearless!

I heard we might get birds who preferred to hang out farther north than Maryland because of a food shortage in Canada. I’m sorry about the food shortage, but delighted to see birds I normally would not see in my backyard.

*I’m writing this on December 9th.