Friday, January 3, 2014

First avian signs of approaching spring

December and early January always provide a few instances of birds "thinking" about the coming nesting season, despite us still being short of the coldest part of the winter.

On December 23, I had Eurasian Collared-Doves singing in Jefferson Parish; I have heard more since.

Yesterday, a House Finch was singing in Jefferson Parish as well.

With a few exceptions, song in birds is generally associated with breeding season (other vocalizations are less seasonally restricted)

The amount of spring-like activity so far has actually been less than what I noticed last year- when in addition to Collared Doves, I noticed Mourning Doves and Carolina Chickadees both singing on multiple dates in the first half of December.

There are some species that are well known to be in the midst of breeding activities by now:  Great Horned Owl and Bald Eagle both get started very early.

Later this month, the first clear-cut migrants will arrive from the south- a few Purple Martins are usually reported back somewhere in the state in late January.


For a copy of Birding Made Easy-New Orleans, email me at, or look for it at area book stores.  It is now available at
Uptown:  Garden District Book Shop, Maple Street Book Shop, Octavia Books
French Quarter and Marigny:  Peach Records, Fauborg Marigny Art Books Music, Librairie Book Shop, Beckham's Bookshop, Arcadian Books and Prints, the Crabnet
Mid City:  City Park Botanical Garden, Community Book Center
North Shore:  Mandeville Chiropractic


  1. Peter,
    I found this at Lafreniere park this morning. I think it's a Bullock's Oriole and I was wondering if you could confirm the ID.


    1. Jody-

      Sorry I did not see this till now. YES, it is a male Bullock's Oriole- a bird that is out of range here but occurs most winters somewhere in Louisiana. This bird was reported a few weeks back on the island at the boardwalk, but had been thought since to have disappeared.

      Was it at the island? I will put a post on LABird unless you want to do so yourself.