Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm not a very consistent feeder of the birds - but it's been cold these last weeks.  I rummaged in my shop to find the feeders that I'd never gotten around to cleaning - and hung them up filled with black oil sunflower seeds.

It didn't take long for the customers to arrive.  Black-eyed juncos by the dozen and the white-throated sparrows that travel with them.  The occasional song sparrow or fox sparrow or tree sparrow will scratch on the ground with them.  Alighting on the feeders are the white-breasted nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, black-capped chickadees and tufted titmice.  They all scatter when the larger red-bellied woodpecker crashes in.  Among the chipping of the sparrows I also hear the slide-whistle call of the goldfinches.  A couple of house finches squabble with them.  A half dozen pairs of cardinals brighten up the snowy scene.  A carolina wren makes an appearance.  The tiny brown creeper ignores the feeders, but seems to like the bustle of birds flying all about.  It does its thing, creeping around the bark poking in the crevasses.  Blue jays show up occasionally in loud gangs - as do the mourning doves.  I was surprised yesterday to see a male Eastern Towhee scratching with the juncos under the bare lilac.  He should be off in his southern ranges far to the south.

I'll spend this 25 pound bag of sunflower seeds to see the birds through the worst of the cold - and a smaller bag of thistle seed for the goldfinches - but after that I think they're on their own again . . . .

UPDATE, Feb 5th

A hairy woodpecker came by today, and Monica said there were a few red-winged blackbirds joining.  The little brown creeper comes by every day.  But filling up the three feeders and scattering around a few handfuls used up the last of the 25 lb. bag.  There was eight inches of snow on the ground, though this evening's rain will have turned that to a few inches of slush.  Still, I may have to see about getting another bag.