In addition to compiling life lists of bird species, some bird watchers like to keep track of their First Of Year birds, or FOYs — the first time they see a particular species in a calendar year.
I’m informal about my FOYs, but this is certainly a great time of year to add to the count.
In the past week, I’ve seen FOY song sparrows, goldfinches, chipping sparrows, buffleheads, eared grebes, and I forget what else.
Just this morning, I had an FOY white-crowned sparrow scrounging for safflower.
I also briefly had a raven land on one of my trees. In the Sibley bird book, under Common Raven, the first word in the description is: “Uncommon.” They aren’t all that uncommon in parts of the Northland, but I certainly don’t often see one in my back yard.
Meanwhile, a robin’s nest suddenly appeared on my front porch. I’m not sure if it’s being built on spec or if it’s a certain nesting site.
I don’t think the robins will be happy with my habit of reading on the front porch, if it ever gets warm enough to do that.

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2 thoughts on “FOYs

  1. Since I keep a database with my bird observations, I can pull of report of my FOY birds whenever I wish, so I don’t keep a list. Last year so many of my FOYs were in March and early April. This year it is late April and May. There are some birds that I don’t think I will see at this Spring’s migration. Some of the ducks that I normally see on Lake Beauty, I haven’t seen yet and probably won’t this Spring. We normally see the Common Merganser by now. Oh well there is next year.

  2. We have a small 1/4 acre pond that is ice free.Yesterday we had 2 buffleheads,2 common mergansers,2 mallards, a drake wood duck and a drake blue wing teal.Nice diversity!

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