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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey


Winter 2003
Hannah Suthers

A mild December gave way to cold temperatures in January, when repeated snows got rained upon and refroze into a glacial cover that stayed on the ground through February. Deer stripped shrubs and cedars in reach, and seed-eating birds flocked on roadsides and feeders for survival. The wild fruit crop was abundant for the frugivores. The Downy was seen eating poison ivy berries, Sapsucker eating a pear hanging on the tree, Robins, Hermit Thrush, White-throated Sparrows eating crabapples, Mockingbird eating bittersweet. On January 9, 3-4 PM, temperature in the 20's, I watched from the car as a flurry of birds came down to bathe and drink at a little thawed patch in a brook at a culvert: 50+ Robins, flocks of White-throated Sparrows and Juncos, a Purple Finch, Mockingbird, Catbird, Downy , 3 Waxwings, 5 Starlings, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. The Ruffed Grouse was missing this winter.

Canada Goosethroughout
Black VultureDec 25; 6 on Jan 29
Turkey Vulturesthroughout, up to 50 at a Borough roost
Sharp-shinned HawkDec 16, Jan 18, Feb 13
Cooper's HawkDec 14 (Janet Speck)
Red-tailed Hawkthroughout
Wild Turkey8 on Dec 15, 12 or more pairs of tracks Jan 19
American Woodcock2, Feb 26, 28
Mourning Doveup to 10 throughout
Eastern Screech Owlred phase, in tree cavity Dec 14 (Janet Speck)
Great Horned OwlJan 1
Yellow-bellied SapsuckerJan 3, 18, Feb 13, 16
Downy, Hairy (Janet Speck), Red-bellied, Woodpeckersthroughout
Pileated WoodpeckerDec 14, 16
Jays and Crowsstable throughout
Carolina Chickadeesthroughout
Black-capped Chickadeesscarce
Tufted Titmouse6 pr throughout, singing Feb 13
White-breasted Nuthatches3 pr throughout
Carolina Wrens2 throughout
Golden-crowned Kingletpair Jan 18
Eastern Bluebirdsmid Dec
Hermit ThrushJan 9, 18, 19, 22 (2)
American Robinthroughout, up to 75
Northern Mockingbird2 throughout
Gray CatbirdDec 16, Jan 9
European Starlingflocks 30+ throughout
Yellow-rumped WarblerJan 9
Northern Cardinal6 Males 5 females throughout
Eastern Towheemale Dec 14 (2), 16, Jan 18, Feb 21
American Tree Sparrow3 throughout
Song Sparrow2, White-throated Sparrows, 20, Juncos, 12 throughout
Common GrackleFeb 25
Purple Finchthroughout
House Finchfew throughout, singing Feb 10
American Goldfinchthroughout
House Sparrowfew throughout

Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew  

Last revision: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 7:33:36 PM