Stacey Cole's Nature Talks: Reader's patience pays off as hummingbirds return
One of our Windham readers wrote in mid-May: "I am writing because though it is not rare, we had an Indigo Bunting stay a long time on our feeders. That was a real treat as I have only seen them rarely in my lifetime. I was glad to have this one. I put the lids on my tube-feeders as I had neglected doing that. The squirrels had easily knocked them off in order to put their heads and upper bodies down into the feeders to eat the seeds. The birds never had a chance.
Our reader was fortunate to have had visits from these two species. As our reader noted, a visit by a migrating Indigo Bunting is not rare, although it has been a few years since one has called at our feeders. Annually, for several years, a pair of indigo buntings nested in our corn field located next to the house. We gave up raising sweet corn in that field when we closed our egg, poultry, frozen chicken pie and vegetable store.The red-headed woodpecker is a different story. Not one has ever paid us a visit that I know of. According to Carol R. Foss, writing in the aforementioned breeding bird Atlas, "the colorful Red-headed Woodpecker occurs only occasionally in New Hampshire. [Generally] Red-headed Woodpeckers are only locally common throughout their range, and are scarce in New England. Typical breeding habitat includes open woods and open country with scattered trees. The breeding range extends from the Atlantic Coast to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, from the Gulf Coast north to New England and southern Canada. The wintering range extends west to southern Minnesota and western Oklahoma, and north to southern New York. They rarely winter in New Hampshire. The sexes are alike in plumage. Juveniles lack the red heads and are duller than adults with black bands on their white wing patches and obvious white rumps."
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