Hello MOBIRDers!!
         We have been having very interesting year at our feeders this
spring and I would appreciate your expert input. I work at store
specializing in feeding wild birds and we have had a LOT of interesting
information coming in from our customers and I am wondering if others
across the board are experiencing the same phenomena. Our customer base
spans a handful of counties in IL, therefore, we have a fairly large sample
size to draw information from. The data we are most interested in are those
which are *recurrent* and* somewhat out of the ordinary*; specifically the

A. Late-Arrival/Lack of Hummingbirds and/or frequent sightings of unusually
small, skinny hummingbirds.

B. Surprisingly numerous sightings of uncommon migrants *AT* *FEEDERS*;
i.e.,  almost ALL of our customers have had Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, many
sightings of Indigo Buntings as well, others include Blue-Grosbeak,
Pileated Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker (one at my own apt in Alton
IL!). We even had one customer who had 6 or 7 male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
incessantly assault her bay window and make a HUGE mess of her patio
furniture for at least a week.LOL! (obviously a common occurrence this time
of year, especially with Cardinals and Robins, in our area, but that many
Grosbeaks for that long? how exciting!)

C. Blackbirds sticking around later as well as uncommon sightings of other
insect eaters. Thrashers, Flickers, etc. Or larger birds, Mallards, Teal,
Turkeys, etc. (mostly seen foraging under feeders, as is common)

These types of observations are common at our store every year and usually
don't raise a feather (pun intended) but we have noted a marked difference
this year in the volume and consistency of these occurrences.

This article may be of interest to some of you as well.

I guess in the end this is just to satisfy our own curiosity and
fascination with the habits of "our" birds this spring but it seems to me
as if this dialogue may have some merit in and of itself perhaps. Citizen
science does indeed have benefits after all. :)

Thanks for your time,
Evan Dvorchak :)

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