While in North Dakota last week I scavenged a half dozen sunflower heads, complete with seeds, from a harvested field. These were heads missed by the picker. I wish I had taken more. The finches at our feeders choose the heads first, at least this morning. We saw thousands of acres of sunflowers, about half harvested, in western North and South Dakota and eastern Montana. North Dakota had more by far. There were no birds to be seen in the unpicked fields, although flocks of thousands of Red-winged Blackbirds were seen in many places. Blackbirds are said by some growers to take up to 10 percent of black oil seeds before harvest. Horned Larks and unidentified sparrows were foraging in the debris of harvested fields. 

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Birding thin on trip west

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How hunters support the birds we watch