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A foul winter for South Dakota’s fowl

Posted: Thursday, Apr 25th, 2013

This winter in Eastern South Dakota has been a tough one for birds. Summer residents like robins are in search of food, and pheasants are finding places to nest later than usual, with the ground still covered with snow. Register file photo

• Birds tough it out, looking for spring

BROOKINGS – For the birds of Brookings County, it's been a long, tough winter with plenty of snow and cold. But a winter punctuated with rare periods of warmth and much melting of snow, turned out to be false alarms that spring was here or near.

Asked about birds in the city, ornitholigist Nelda Holden of Brookings, noted for leading the annual Christmas Bird Count, said, "The winter birds are still standing around yet with us. The common redpolls and the red-breasted nuthatch, which usually migrates north, have been with us. But the ones that are coming back, the summer residents, are the ones that I'm worried about more.

"Like the robins and the sparrows that are coming back; of course, the sparrows can get feed pretty well. But the robins, that are fruit eaters, are having a problem. Some people are feeding them by putting out apples and so forth for them. So that helps some. I put suet out, and I have a robin that's eating that."

For the complete article see the 04-25-2013 issue.

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