Eight birds showing at Wichita chook feeders this winter


Because the climate grows colder and birds start migrating south, listed below are eight birds that Wichita will begin seeing once more. To draw these birds to your yard this fall and winter, put birdseed, particularly black oil sunflower seeds, in chook feeders and supply water.

Water, particularly when it’s subfreezing, is oftentimes a greater attractant than meals is,” stated Bob Gress, former director of the Nice Plains Nature Heart. “Even the small quantity of water in a birdbath is simply irresistible to plenty and numerous birds.”

Keep away from placing out bread, crackers and human meals for birds or placing antifreeze in water for the birds, as it might be hazardous for the birds’ well being, in accordance with Gress.

Pink-breasted Nuthatch

With brief tails and no neck, the tiny, compact Pink-breasted Nuthatch steals nesting materials from different birds and chases birds a lot bigger than them away from potential nesting areas.

“Pink-breasted NutHatches are cute little snorts,” Gress stated. “They’re reporting them everywhere in the state, and I had one in my yard right here in north Wichita simply the opposite day. They be a part of our White-breasted Nuthatches, that are already right here and nested right here.”

5 Forms of Sparrow

The Harris’s Sparrow is returning to Kansas from the taiga, or snow forest, area of Canada, in accordance with Gress. The brown and black-streaked birds have a black bib and in winter, there are extra of those birds present in south-central Kansas than wherever else on this planet.

“They’re fairly simply drawn to black oil sunflower seed, and so they don’t feed within the feeders, however on the bottom beneath the feeders,” Gress stated. “It all the time helps to throw, particularly on snowy days, some seed on the bottom beneath the feeders.”

Weighing about as a lot as an AA battery, the chunky red-brown and grey Music Sparrow will likely be returning to the state alongside the Lincoln Sparrow. The brown and buff-colored Lincoln’s Sparrow usually sports activities a brown mohawk of kinds. The females favor male mates who can sing for them throughout chilly mornings.

The chunky ball-shaped Noticed Towhee has a jet black higher half and head however is usually mistaken for a robin as a result of they sport a crimson under-breast. They’re identified for his or her two-footed backward-scratching hop, the place they scratch the bottom to uncover seeds and bugs to eat.

“They like yards which have thick vegetation and numerous shrubbery that provide safety,” Gress stated. “A brush pile is only a certain delight for them.”

Darkish-eyed Juncos, generally known as “snowbirds” for his or her behavior of exhibiting up throughout winter and leaving in spring, have a darkish gray physique, white stomach, and pink invoice. They’re one of the vital widespread birds in North America, and their vary expands over all the continent.

Blue Jays

Maybe one of the vital simply identifiable birds, Blue Jays, are present in Kansas all yr lengthy, however the Blue Jays in winter are usually not those right here in the summertime.

“The birds that nest right here, they take off and go farther south,” Gress stated. “These birds which are method up north migrate all the way down to this space, and so they spend the winter right here. We’ve all the time bought Blue Jays round, however straight away, the Blue Jays are in large numbers.”

American Goldfinch

Throughout spring and summer season, the American Goldfinch sports activities a vivid yellow coat and lives primarily within the Kansas countryside. Nonetheless, within the winter, they return to yard feeders with muted tones. They’re strict vegetarians and solely eat the occasional insect on accident.

“Some individuals don’t acknowledge them as a lot presently of yr as a result of they undergo a molt, and so they’re largely brown with black wings throughout the winter months,” Gress stated. “They’re right here within the summertime, however they swap their food plan to bugs, and so they transfer out into the nation.”

Sarah Spicer studies for The Wichita Eagle and focuses on local weather change within the area. She joined the Eagle in June 2020 as a Report for America corps member. A local Kansan, Spicer has gained awards for her investigative reporting from the Kansas Press Affiliation, the Chase and Lyon County Bar Affiliation and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition.