Many of us in Vermont experienced incredible numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos during this winter. But this past weekend was epic. With snow, ice, sleet, and rain blanketing the region for 3 days, bird watchers reported amazing numbers of juncos at their bird feeders and along highways.
Many observers had dutifully stopped feeding birds early in April as Black Bear became active but put out feeders during the day or placed some feed on the ground during this intense spring storm.
Observations reported to Vermont eBird were often flocks of 50 to 75 birds. One checklist in Weathersfield had 150 juncos reported. How these birds fared during this weather is anyone’s guess, but hopefully they were healthy and encounter enough resources to make it through the tough conditions.
Reports to Vermont eBird from January through early April show a steady decline as birds dispersed. But during the storm, bird watchers reported counts about three times higher as the storm raged (see chart below). With the onset of spring in the coming weeks (hopefully), these birds will be quickly dispersing to their breeding territories and hatching the next generation.