“Snowbirds”

BC8EDBC2-EF40-4A72-8636-8176EB152EFA.jpegEach 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!

25 thoughts on ““Snowbirds”

  1. A local Nature Center’s bird feeders are on top of high metal polls in a clearing, supposedly making them impervious to squirrels. One day I watched as a squirrel climbed a large tree which, although some distance away, had a branch which ended some 5 or 6 feet above the feeder. The squirrel ventured to near the end of the branch and, with a mighty leap, landed on top of the feeder to have himself a feast. I didn’t stay long enough to see how he got down (I assume he just jumped to the ground despite the fact that the feeder is at least ten feet high).

    Chalk up another one for the squirrels!

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  2. We have all the same assortment of winter birds. The small Carolina wrens huddle up close to the house while foraging for food in the leaves. Out squirrels have outsmarted all our feeders. Smart little creatures.

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  3. I can imagine that days and days of rain and darkness are difficult for people. It has been raining here for three days now, Elizabeth, and it is glorious. You have no idea how wonderful rain is for people who don’t get any for six months at a time. The snowbirds are lovely and I am glad you feed them. We feed our birds too.

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