[CT Birds] Two Backyard Feeder Observations (Stratford)

Kathryn Hastings kathryn.hastings at gmail.com
Mon Aug 25 16:21:03 EDT 2014

Hello Everyone!

I thought I would mention two interesting observations I recently had at my
backyard feeder in Stratford (inland).  The first had to do with Safflower
Seed.  I got a bit tired of seeing the House Sparrows (and only the House
Sparrows) at my mixed seed feeder so I bought some Safflower Seed as I read
that they don't like this seed too much.  While it did seem to decrease the
amount of sparrows at that feeder what I found interesting was that only
the female sparrows are eating the seed.  I have not seen a single male
sparrow at the feeder since I put this seed in but many ladies come to
visit every day!

Second, I saw a very interesting bird at my feeder yesterday afternoon and
evening.  At first I thought it was a Starling that was getting its fall
coloring.  On closer inspection I realized that it wasn't as the eyes were
off, the beak color was off and the leg color was off. Additionally it was
not spotted on its belly but streaked.  Lastly it had a buff colored
eyeline.  Here are all the characteristics:

1. Very "painted" like a fall Starling or a female Red Winged Blackbird.
 Many spots on the wings.  Beautiful variations of brown, white and black
coloring and spots on the back.  No iridescent purple or green.
2. Dark eyes. The eyes reminded me of a sparrow.
3. Was the size of a starling or a robin.
4. The belly was whitish with black streaks going all the way back to the
5. The tail was black and somewhat long.  Not like a flycatcher but not as
short as a Starling.
6. Dark beak
7. Dark legs
8. Buff colored eyeline
9. Ground feeder

Anyone have any thoughts?!  The only thing that comes close in my research
is a female red winged blackbird but I have never seen those around my
house as I am not close to their environment and from what I have seen its
not a spot on comparison.

Happy Birding,

Kat in Stratford

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