Powderhorn Birdwatch: Park offers unsolved mysteries


Once again I don’t have many park birds to report on, but the backyard birding has been as good as most winter months. We even had a Hairy woodpecker at the backyard finch feeder in mid-January. There have been many days with multiple Goldfinches, Cardinals and of course English Sparrows. Just today, there were about 20 English Sparrows and one male Cardinal in the back yard and three House Finches at the deck feeder. Chickadee numbers are quite low right now and Junco numbers are real low, both in the yard and the park. The Juncos could have gone farther north to the serious winter they are accustomed to.
The giant numbers of American Crow from last month are way down, at least in my observations. Sometimes I see five or 50 Crows over the park. Many times, none. I see the pair of Song Sparrows every now and then in the park. They are not supposed to be here at all in winter. They both seem to be in good flying health and general health. It could be that they just love me and Powderhorn Park, or they could be a little ahead on global warming.
I just missed the car crashing into the wading pool fence around suppertime on Jan. 13. The car came from Bloomington Avenue, speeding down 34th Street into the park because someone was shooting at the people in the car. That’s all I know about that incident. You can probably still see the tire tracks and fence damage. On that same day, with no relation to the shooting, a small group of good Powderhorn people were out on the athletic fields, practicing soccerball kicking, using the soccer nets that have remained there all winter.
Another neighborhood event I, or all of us, may miss is the Art Sleds in the park. It should be happening on Saturday, Jan. 31, between the time when I am writing this (Jan. 27) and when Southside Pride comes out on Feb. 2, but I don’t know if there will be enough snow to hold the event. Time will tell.
I recently received a raccoon report from the Fire Mama (actually a two-raccoon report), but neither was seen in the park or immediate neighborhood. I miss the almost daily—or nightly—backyard raccoons we have had in some past years.
Since I don’t have many birds (or mammals, amphibians, insects, etc.) to write about this month, I will report on the important fortune cookie fortune I just received. It states, “Visit a park. Enjoy what nature has to offer.” Hopefully next month there will be many good things to write about.

Comments and observations are always welcome. Send them to me, in care of Southside Pride. Thank you.

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