Wednesday, October 19, 2011


The clear blue skies and wind gusts of 20 mph signaled the cold front hours before it moved into Missouri. As the temperatures dropped by 10, 15, maybe even more degrees, the houseplants moved inside, the porch filled with black oak leaves, storm windows came creaking down and the asters were in full bloom.

The true sign of change came the next morning when I stood at the window drinking coffee and spotted my first-of-the-year dark-eyed junco hopping on both legs to feed on a Eupatorium seedhead. Another junco came into view in the traditional bird feeding area next to the brushpile and heaps of Christmas tree skeletons. Stepping outside to fill the thistle feeder, I heard the dulcet little call of a white-throated sparrow and couldn't remember the name of the bird for several seconds. I haven't heard "Oh, sweet Canada Canada Canada" since early May, after all. Moments later, I dressed and drove directly to the hardware store for seed and suet. Winter bird feeding season is here.

You can follow the happenings in Missouri's birding world by visiting Birding on the Net: Missouri , where you can read short notes about all the robins gorging on cedar berries this week, the Ruddy Ducks at Eagle Bluffs. Visit any Missouri establishment with a television to follow the movement of the Cardinals.

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