This Chipping Sparrow that has been visiting my yard since February 3rd reached a milestone today.....according to eBird it is no longer considered out of season for my location. This species usually overwinters much further south than Michigan, more specifically from Tennessee southward to southern Mexico. If they're not tolerant of cold weather this bird was not letting on that it bothered him. The day it arrived in my yard the morning low was 5° F.
|Kicking snow at 5°. 2/3/13|
The remainder of February was about normal (cold) and March averaged a couple of degrees below normal(less cold). It disappeared for a few days around February 11th. I wasn't really worried about it until more than one birding expert told me, "It's probably dead". It wasn't, and I saw it more days than not until February 28th. In fact, I saw it a total of 17 days for the month which broke my previous yearly record of 16 days of seeing a Chipping Sparrow in my yard.
When the calendar flipped to March the bird disappeared again until the 21st, then returned again on each of the last 3 days of the month. Now that April is here and the weather looks like it will break at the end of the week the bird's status has gone from literally to figuratively out of the woods.