A short time ago I was wondering where all the little birdies were. I was counting only four to ten juncos at any one setting. Then came sub-zero temperatures and two and a half feet of snow. As if by magic the population grew to more than one hundred. I now have a yard full of birds.
It looks like Winter is upon us. This is what my yard looked like just before Christmas. The snow and cool weather increased the number of Juncos coming to the feeder. I throw a few seeds out onto the snow. It seems like the Juncos prefer foraging for food out in the open rather than on the ground under the shed. They don’t seem to mind falling snow and single digit temperature. I wonder how their little bodies keep warm in these extremes?
My thoughts keep turning back to Spring. Here is a photo of a proud alert mother turkey. Every Spring one or two families come to my yard to feed on the birdseed spilled from bird feeders.
For many years I have led a fieldtrip to Sage Hen Reservoir. We are usually treated to bluebirds nesting in nest boxes along the way.This photo shows part of our group checking out the birdlife on the water. Someone detected a Common Loon out there among the other water fowl. Besides birding we stop to observe the abundance of wild flowers. In the early Spring just after the roads are cleared of snow we see many species of flowers seldom seen on our other field trips. Most participants look forward to this trip each year.
This Wild Turkey tom showed up a few days ago after being absent since last fall. Five hens returned with him. A crippled hen has been present most of the winter and more recently another hen joined her. The turkeys feed on the wild bird seed I throw out for song birds. Each turkey will consume as much feed as several song birds. Wow! I’ll be making more frequent trips to the feed store.
I had the pleasure of birdwatching at my doorstep a few days ago. You can’t get much closer than this.
This little owl made an appearance again yesterday. I heard a thump on the window and looked up in time to see this guy fly away and perch in the plum tree by the woodshed. It had made an unsuccessful stoop on juncos feeding at the window feeder. This convinced me more than ever that this bird has been visiting my yard more times than I have been aware of.
Imagine my surprise when I looked out of the kitchen window and saw this little guy. It had the yard to itself except for a couple of chickadees and a Steller’s jay that hopped about in the tree scolding from a safe distance. I think I now know why there have been prolonged periods of time when there were no birds at the feeders recently.
With the weather cooling off I thought I’d take a look at a Springtime photo. Here is a busy little nuthatch with plum blossoms in the background.
About a dozen of these busy bodies have descended upon my yard. They come and they go until it is hard to get an accurate count on them. They seldom stay in one place any length of time. They are greedy little beggars. It seems nice to see them when they first arrive but they soon wear out their welcome. They gorge their gullets with birdseed then fly off to stash it somewhere and come back for more. I hang a cake of suet in a wire mesh feeder on the clothes line and the jays deplete it in less than two days. Local people often call this bird a blue jay. The true Blue Jay is an eastern relative of this Steller’s Jay with a different color pattern and a lighter shade of blue.