This morning during the snow storm, we had quite the feeding frenzy of sparrows! Many more juncos than I’ve seen all winter, plus a couple song sparrows, several tree sparrows, and more fox sparrows than I’ve ever seen (at least 8, probably closer to 12.) There were many scratching around the ground below the feeders, but also several back in the spruce trees and others in the garden going after seeds. If you look closely at the photo, you can see several birds on the ground.Rather than cutting down the garden in the fall, I leave my plant stalks in the garden all winter to provide food for the birds and also some visual interest. Ideally we could burn it in the spring, but I doubt the neighbors or the city would approve of that. So usually I just cut it down, but this year I’m going to pay someone to mow it all down for me. Fox sparrows are one of my favorite native sparrows. They are relatively large/plump, with a very noticeable reddish color. They are usually seen during migration but will occasionally stick around for the winter (I’ve had them over winter in the yard a few times.) Mostly ground feeders, they can also be seen doing a double-hop motion as they scratch up ground cover looking for food. They don’t often perch up in a tree like this one, but will often be found under a feeder or digging around in a garden. Another sparrow I saw today, but haven’t seen in the yard very often, is a song sparrow. Actually there were two of them this morning mixed in with the other sparrows. They aren’t uncommon in the area, though. I think of them as looking like a chipping sparrow, but with a very heavily streaked chest. Juncos are also a type of sparrow. They spend their winters here and nest in Canada and Alaska. Very common feeder birds in the winter and especially tend to congregate around feeders when it’s snowing. They are mostly ground feeders but will also get up on a bird feeder and eat seed, or hop around on the deck railing. We nickname them “snowbirds” because of their association with snow and winter. I like juncos, but I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see them leave because that means spring has truly arrived!