Update on Cowbirds and Chipping Sparrows and Goldenrod Seed Feeders

In two recent posts, 3 Steps to Identifying an Empty Bird’s Nest from a Crabapple Tree and Identifying Eggshells from an Empty Nest: The Second Mystery! I said that I thought a cowbird may have laid an egg in a chipping sparrow nest in my crabapple tree.

A few days later, while reading the archives at Toronto and Southern Ontario Birding, I read a series of posts which describe a pair of chipping sparrows raising their own two chicks and a cowbird chick. I consider this supporting evidence for my theory. Of course, you’re welcome to leave a comment with alternate theories!

Photo of juncos eating seeds from a goldenrod plantAnd in another recent post, Goldfinch on Goldenrod: Both Can Beautify a Natural Shade Garden I said I wasn’t sure that the goldfinches were eating the goldenrod seeds. Whether they were or not, the juncos certainly are eating them! I watched three feeding on some goldenrod heads I had cut off but left on the grass. There even was a minor squabble when two juncos flew in a chased away three other juncos before settling down to feed. So goldenrod can help provide natural food for our native birds.

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Have you noticed any birds eating goldenrod seeds? Would you consider growing a small clump to feed birds in your own backyard? Please share your experiences with a comment.

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