February 21, 2020
| Northern Mockingbird (left) and European Startling by Laura Frazier|
Our seventh and penultimate BirdSpotter category was all about celebrating our regular feeder visitors that often get overlooked by more exciting rarities. “Boring” birds are the heart of FeederWatch, and reports of these species add to our long dataset tracking their presence at feeders across the US and Canada. We do want to know where and when the rare birds show up, but we need to know where and when they aren’t around too. Otherwise, we wouldn’t know they are rare!
Without further ado, Congratulations to our BirdSpotter People’s Choice winner for Category 7, Laura Frazier of Kearneysville, WV! Laura’s photo of two common birds, a Northern Mockingbird and European Starling, showed off how beautiful these species can be, and earned her the most votes. Laura says the mockingbird and starling were having a tiff over the last bit of suet cylinder, and the mockingbird won!
Northern Mockingbirds can be found over the eastern and southern parts of the US. They often mimic the sounds of other birds (and frogs!) that live nearby, and males will continually learn additional songs throughout their lives. They’ll come to feeder stocked with sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, fruit and suet. European Starlings are also a widespread bird, found over nearly all of North America. These birds are native to Europe, and often fly in large flocks, that can perform beautiful “murmurations” in the sky. These birds will eat just about anything at your feeders, aside from sugar water, mealworms, nyjer, and safflower.
Submissions are open now for the eighth and final BirdSpotter category Potpourri! Now it’s time to share that photo you’ve been waiting to submit all season. Submit your photo by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, February 27, 2020 for a chance to win. These winners will be announced the next day, on Friday, February 28, so that voting for the Grand Prize contest can begin on Saturday, February 29! Biweekly People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice winners receive prizes from the Cornell Lab and our sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited. Anyone can participate by entering a photo and voting for their favorites! Find out more about the BirdSpotter contest.