This Black-capped Chickadee is a relative of the Boreal Chickadee
Yesterday we talked about Pine Siskins coming down from Canada this year. Now huge numbers of Boreal Chickadees, another northern species, have been seen in Quebec and they may be headed down into New England and other areas of the country. This information was just posted by Terry Bronson on the NH Birds listserve, where NH birders keep tabs on bird sightings.
"Germain Savard and Claudette Cormier report a huge irruption of
Boreal Chickadee is occurring at Saint-Fulgence (N48 26 33 W70 52 42)
in Quebec. Germain and Claudette report that "Today, October 8th, no
less than 2403 Boreal Chickadees passed in front of our house for a
grand total of 12,957 this autumn and the migration is not finished
yet!" The chickadees are going from east to west streaming on the
north side of the Saguenay River. They report that the chickadees
don't like to fly over large bodies of water.
Saint-Fulgence is about 215 km north of Quebec City on the north
shore of the Saguenay River about half way between Tadoussac and Lac
Saint-Jean. There have been no reports of Boreal Chickadees moving in
Ontario, but the magnitude of the Quebec irruption suggests that it
will spill over into southern Ontario and probably into bordering states.
Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron
Minden and Toronto ON"
Could it this irruption be related to the poor cone crop this year in the northern Boreal Forests? Boreal species of birds leave their breeding grounds and irrupt down into the U.S. when there is sparse food in winter. Boreal Chickadees look similar to Black-capped Chickadees but have brown caps and rusty sides. See a photo here. Lots to look forward to this winter. Keep your eyes out for Boreal Chickadees at your feeder.