Friday, January 8, 2010

Birds in the Snow

I took a few photos of some birds at our feeder this morning. It was 15 degrees outside, colder here than in Maine, according to our friends! Needless to say (or at least it's needless to say if you know me -- I hate to be cold), I took these from inside my kitchen window, hence the not-so-fabulous quality. The male cardinal, above, proved very elusive to catch on camera. We have cardinals at our feeders year-round, but apparently the males are camera-shy. Or at least skittish at movements in nearby windows.

Tufted titmice are also frequent, year-round guests. This one was quite cute, breaking open the black-oil sunflower seed on the side of the feeder.

I was excited to see the first flock of dark-eyed juncos. We only have them in the winter. Since they are ground feeders, I liberally sprinkle seed around to coax them in. It's a terrible photo, I admit, but perhaps you can still note its pale yellow beak. Juncos feed in small flocks; I've never seen one alone.

About three weeks ago, we noticed our first goldfinch in a tree, so we hung up our finch feeder full of niger seed. This male sports his "winter coat"; in the spring, he'll be a glorious gold.

Here's a Carolina chickadee, which is smaller than a black-capped chickadee. They are year-round visitors to our feeders, and their absolute favorite seed is black-oil sunflower. They turn their beaks up at plain mixed seed.

This female cardinal was not as camera-shy as the male. I got quite a few shots of her, and this was the best. Cardinals are not as picky as chickadees, although they also prefer to (pricey) black-oil sunflower seeds. They still come to snack when only mixed seed is on the menu.

I also saw a nuthatch at the tray feeder, a male Eastern towhee, and a red-bellied woodpecker, but they were too quick for me to capture on "film."
With this frigid weather we're having, Tiny Girl and I are planning to whip up some homemade suet mix to put in our suet feeders. The birds need the fat to stay warm. Miss Priss does not enjoy making suet mix; she says it's too messy!
Join in on winter birdwatching action yourself. Hang a feeder or two near a window, brush up on your bird identification skills (we keep the Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds: Eastern Region by the window), and have a camera or binoculars nearby. And get ready for the 2010 Great Backyard Bird Count, slated for February 12-15. For some more great winter nature study ideas, visit Melissa's blog In the Sparrow's Nest.
Bundle up and have fun!


  1. Love the snowy birds! And I love your quotes in the sidebar! :)

  2. These are beautiful! I like reading your posts about birds. We need to study to be able to identify more. It makes walks in the woods lots more fun!


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