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Mystery Photo

If you think you know who has been feeding here, go to the Naturally Curious blog ( and enter your answer under “Comments.” (Hint: photo taken in large agricultural field in Champlain Valley of Vermont.) Answer will be revealed on Monday, January 11. (Difficulty 1-10 = 10)

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27 responses

  1. I think it is horned larks.

    January 8, 2021 at 9:23 am

  2. Or maybe snow buntings. I think it could be either – I have seen both in a similar situation, in winter – big agricultural field feeding on emergent vegetation.

    January 8, 2021 at 9:25 am

  3. david putnam


    January 8, 2021 at 9:31 am

  4. Bruce Flewelling


    January 8, 2021 at 9:32 am

  5. Alice

    I really enjoy seeing bird-feet prints in the snow, but no clue who was here.

    January 8, 2021 at 9:42 am

  6. Adam Parke

    Snow buntings feeding on weed seeds

    January 8, 2021 at 9:45 am

  7. Anne Marie

    Small birds foraging on seeds. Maybe some Juncos

    January 8, 2021 at 9:49 am

  8. Turkeys.

    January 8, 2021 at 9:52 am

  9. Amy Harris

    Is it a grouse?

    January 8, 2021 at 9:55 am

  10. Ann Creaven

    snow buntings?

    January 8, 2021 at 9:57 am

  11. Snow buntings browsing. Yep. That’s my conclusion and I’m stickin’ to it.

    January 8, 2021 at 9:58 am

    • Susan Greenberg

      Good for you, Mark!!

      January 8, 2021 at 1:40 pm

  12. Hugh Schultz

    Tree sparrows feeding on low lying seeds

    January 8, 2021 at 10:31 am

  13. Don Clark

    Common Redpolls

    January 8, 2021 at 10:47 am

  14. Dianne Rochford


    January 8, 2021 at 11:53 am

  15. Missy

    Ruffed Grouse?

    January 8, 2021 at 12:35 pm

  16. I can’t tell if the prints are large enough, but I would say Wild Turkeys!

    January 8, 2021 at 12:38 pm

  17. The plants look like some kind of dock. The bird tracks seem too small for turkeys, pheasants or even corvids. That leaves only about 50 possible suspects, lol.

    January 8, 2021 at 1:50 pm

  18. Suzanne

    No idea about the scale, but since we have a bunch of redpolls madly feeding around our feeder right this minute, I can imagine they’d get more satisfaction with the vegetation in the photo, and if the snow here were softer/fresher the tracks would look like that.

    January 8, 2021 at 1:52 pm

  19. Margaret

    My guess is snow buntings, our winter visitors who leave the arctic to enjoy New England’s warm winter weather.

    January 8, 2021 at 4:04 pm

  20. Gail Coffey

    It is difficult, but assume it is snow buntings because the prints are so close together and horned larks are not as crowded together when feeding.

    January 8, 2021 at 4:29 pm

  21. Beth Zimmer

    Definitely birds, grabbing seed most likely. On the smaller side, so I’m eliminating turkeys and grouse. But as to which exact species… I have no idea.

    January 8, 2021 at 4:31 pm

  22. If not juncos, second guess is snow buntings.

    January 8, 2021 at 5:23 pm

  23. Common Redpolls (with perhaps 1% Hoary Redpolls mixed in). Not sure about the plant – an agricultural field planting whose seeds they are feeding on.

    January 8, 2021 at 6:50 pm

  24. Laurie Wadsworth

    Crows. This is my guess because I’ve seen them , in flocks and alone, poking around through leaves etc in the ground for something — some kind of seeds?

    January 8, 2021 at 6:51 pm

  25. Stein

    I’d also guess snow buntings. Wish they would come visit my neck of the woods…

    January 8, 2021 at 9:58 pm

  26. janice gendreau

    My spirea bush looks to be half eaten and there are lots of foot prints in the snow of neighborhood rabbits. I know that isn’t the right answer, but the remains are terribly similar!

    January 9, 2021 at 10:13 am

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