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Continued: MSP handles snowy owl problem differently from New York

  • Article by: VAL CUNNINGHAM CONTRIBUTING WRITER
  • Last update: December 17, 2013 - 2:16 PM

Q: We live near Grand Rapids and I was concerned to see a group of bluebirds flitting around in late October. Why were they still here that late in the year?

A: It’s disconcerting to see a bird we associate with summer so late in the season, but you needn’t fret — bluebirds are hardy little birds. As long as they can continue to find food, bluebirds (and many other songbird species) can survive the cold. In late fall — and even in winter — fruit is still abundant and it’s full of energy, adding to the “fat jacket” birds need to make it through cold nights. As nights get colder and longer, though, the birds head southward.

St. Paul resident Val Cunningham, who volunteers with the St. Paul Audubon Society and writes about nature for local, regional and national newspapers and magazines, can be reached at val​writes@comcast.net.

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  • What are these eagles doing, standing in a field, with no fish around for miles? These opportunistic predators found something to eat in a farm field.

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