Each winter numbers of Connecticut residents head south to Florida for the winter avoiding the snow and ice. On the other coast Oregon residents flee to Arizona for the winter to get out of the relentless dark cold rain. Each group is known as “snowbirds.” Here we are visited by snowbirds of a different sort. In the last couple of weeks one of my favorite birds, the dark-eyed juncos, arrived for the winter. Apparently we are enough warmer than the Arctic to entice them south. They don’t like to pose for photographs, but I managed to catch one in the middle of picking through the discarded seeds from the feeders. Mourning doves and juncos love to eat on the ground, and the sparrows and finches leave plenty of uneaten bits for them.
Fortunately I filled the feeders before the “light dusting” of snow turned into seven inches on Monday. We have been visited by goldfinches, sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees, blue jays, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, mourning doves and these lovely juncos. They seem to get along all right, though I noticed everyone scattered when the blue jay arrived.
Meanwhile the squirrels are having planning meetings, sharing their tips for getting seed out of “squirrel-proof” feeders. Yesterday I watched one try to figure a way to prevent the weight sensitive device from preventing his reaching the seed. In the end, he lay on top of the feeder, rested just a bit of his head on the perch and scooped out seed with one paw. He had outwitted another feeder. Well at least I am keeping the feeder manufacturers in business!