This morning a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker visited my suet feeder. For at least the last 3 winters sapsuckers have overwintered here, although range maps show Conn. to be the northern limit of their winter range.
Last winter we also had a Northern Flicker overwinter with us, and frequent our feeders. Range maps show the northern limit of their range to be south of Vermont.
And while these sitings might be the result of the ongoing global warming episode, I suspect that bird feeders were also a factor in the decision of each species to overwinter.
A consistent supply of high energy foods - normally lacking during the winter months - probably made migration an unnecessary risk for them!
This morning a Northern Harrier was hunting over nearby fields.
The migration of northern harriers is often described as "protracted." Spring migration happens over the three months from early March through late May. Fall migration starts in mid-August and ends four and a half months later in late December.
Therefore, it's possible to see migrating harriers during at least 7 if not 8 months of the year!
Bush Honeysuckles show their alien invasive eagerness to leaf before native species, unfurling new growth in sheltered spots around my neighborhood this week. Twenty eight degrees with a brisk NW wind apparently feels like spring to them.