Cal Cuthbert has been watching birds for several years in the Portage area, and hails from Delta Beach. He shares an update on bird populations around the region.
"There's there's lots of snow buntings going through right now predictably," says Cuthbert. "These are little finches, and they nest up in the high Arctic. They're coming down now. I think most people are familiar with snowbirds or snow buntings. The winter birds -- some of the pine grosbeaks, common red polls, and so forth -- are coming through right now. There are a few American tree sparrows, lots of juncos, or some people call them snowbirds, but they're not really snowbirds here. Snowbirds are what we call Snow buntings, Juncos are those little gray-back, white-bellied little guys that are hopping around in your backyard in feeders."
He notes there a huge numbers of them at times. Cuthbert explains they'll mostly be gone in a couple of weeks, and we'll be looking for snowy owls.
"Bird numbers are cyclic by nature in most cases, perhaps moreso with the winter finches and red polls," says Cuthbert. "One winter we'll have hundreds of them. The next winter, if you see one or two, you're doing good. And it's the same with crossbills and some of those species."