The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 13: Meet the Gray Catbird

Dear Wood Folk, Around Haliburton, Ontario we have a few mimids/”mimic” birds. There’s the brown thrasher, which sometimes gets mistaken for a woodpecker or roadrunner. There’s the northern mockingbird, which I’ve yet to see, and has only been recorded once on iNat for Haliburton county. And there’s this slate-colored mimic called the gray catbird (dumetella …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 12: Meet the Flycatchers Ft. Eastern Phoebe

Dear Wood Folk, Once in a while I see a meme about telling sparrows apart that has drawings of their heads with their different color patterns – super helpful really. There’s a flycatcher version. Except in the flycatchers case they just copy/pasted the same drab head for each one. It’s a joke, but it’s kind …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 11: Meet the Song Sparrow and Friends

Dear Wood Folk, The song sparrow (melospiza melodia) is the sparrow I most often spot and especially hear around Haliburton. But I’ve seen 8 species of sparrows, listed here in order of my own frequency: our feature song sparrow, white-throated (zonotrichia albicollis), chipping (spizella passerina), dark-eyed junco (junco hyemalis), fox sparrow (passerella iliaca), American tree …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 10: Meet the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

Dear Wood Folk, There are many species of hummingbirds in the world, but here in Haliburton county there’s just one: the ruby-throated hummingbird. Only the males have the “ruby throat”, which in low light appears black or rusty. All sorts of folks put out hummingbird feeders here come end of May and bring them back …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 9: Meet the Pileated Woodpecker and Friends

Dear Wood Folk, If I wasn’t including a local woodpecker checklist (hence “and friends”) I would have titled this Architect of the Birds, or maybe Landlord if landlords weren’t so often loathed. Pileateds are kind of the bird version of beavers. The rectangular holes of various sizes that pileated woodpeckers make are utilized for food …

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 2, Chapter 8: Meet the Chestnut-Sided Warblers and Friends

Dear Wood Folk, Last year most of my May mornings started with a whistling “pleased, pleased, pleased to MEECHYA” from a chestnut-sided warbler I uncreatively called Chessy. Finding a mate seemed to take a while, but eventually he found a partner and had one fledgling. Well, it probably only appeared to take a while because these …

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