During February, 2021, we were still living in relative isolation as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to grip the globe, but we could finally see light at the end of the tunnel as we received our vaccines. It wasn't a month of enjoyable weather, with cold weather for most of the month, warming to just above freezing every time a storm system showed up, treating us to cold rain and sleet, with only a few quickly disappearing dustings of snow. My daily walks were all close to home, as I rarely even went north of the Cape May Canal. But as I've said before, if you've got to be stuck in one place during a pandemic, and if you're a birder, you could do a lot worse than to be in Cape May.
Light at the end of the tunnel?
Food begins to get scarce for birds by mid-winter, but this American Robin (left) found a holly berry, while the Gray Catbird feasted on winged sumac.
This young Great Black-backed Gull enjoyed a meal of menhaden.
Above: Bonaparte's Gull
Two Hermit Thrushes, a good illustration of individual variability and of different light for photos.
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
Eastern Bluebird amidst snow flurries
Wintering raptors, left to right: Cooper's Hawk, Merlin, Red-shouldered Hawk
Doesn't everyone love sparrows? Above left: White-throated Sparrow. Above right: Song Sparrow.
Below, two races of Savannah Sparrow, the typical race at left and "Ipswich Sparrow" at right.
Three of the more common year-round resident birds in Cape May, left to right: Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, and Carolina Chickadee.
Three views of February skies.
By the end of February, Tundra Swans (above left) are heading north, Eastern Phoebes (above) are returning, and Killdeer (left) are courting. Spring is near!