Monday, January 28, 2013

Shelter From the Storm

We have some nasty, evil weather today - freezing rain. We got a nice 3 inches of light, fluffy snow on Friday, but I didn't have the opportunity to get out in it for photos. It's been melting little by little since then, and now the freezing rain has made a mess; there's a coating of ice on everything. Not a day for being out wandering around, so all of today's photos were shot from inside.

A month ago when we got our first good snow (read about it here) I noticed that the snow was covering the seed in the feeders, especially on the flat feeder. So I bought two more squirrel baffles from work to use as weather shields over the feeders, and they've worked great in the snows since. And today they're performing the same service, as well as providing shelter along with the dining service. They're proving to be scenic, too, with the icicles hanging off the edges. 

This time I'm not seeing any Cardinals, but, thankfully, neither am I seeing the pestilent House Sparrows and Starlings. Instead, the feeding station seems to have become a hangout for White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Now, these are normally ground-feeding birds, and even in today's weather some are still feeding on the spillage beneath the station. But I've been catching them feeding up in the feeders, too. Obviously the shelter of the baffles is providing an extra, appreciated feature if even ground feeders are taking advantage of it.







Even though I haven't gone out into the cold and wet, the weather makes me feel the need for a hot, hearty meal. Supper tonight will be homemade lentil soup. Mmmmmmm!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

9 comments:

  1. Nice shots, Roy! I have a few juncos but am usually over run with the sparrows and starlings.
    I do have one little wren...cute little guy...that eats the suet, along with chickadees and nuthatches...and a single woodpecker. Plenty of cardinals, too...6 couples have been hanging out! But what I really, really want to see is a blue bird! Do you have any? Send them west, please! ha.

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    1. Betsy, Bluebirds don't eat seeds, they eat bugs. If you want them hanging around you have to put out a feeder with mealy worms, preferably live but since that's really not practical you'll have to go with dried ones. You can get some lard and make suet with dried mealy worms in it, too.

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    2. Oh! See...I didn't know that! I'll have to make some suet specifically for them. Thanks for the tip! haha...my family is going to think I've gone crazy if they see me cooking up a batch of something with mealy worms in it. lol...better not leave it out on the counter. Someone might stumble out to the dark kitchen for a midnight snack! :)

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  2. I'm in love with Juncos. Used to get scads of them in New York and they used the feeders because the snow was so deep (?) Here they feed off the ground mostly, often ignoring my feeders and working under and around the honeysuckle and climbing roses. I rarely see Purple Finches here.

    I get more Cardinals than I can count, Mourning Doves, several types of Sparrows, three kinds of Woodpecker (Pileated, Red-bellied, and Downy or Hairy (I can't tell from my window), dozens of Tufted Titmice (?mouse), Phoebes early fall and in spring, Bluejays, Red-winged Blackbirds (not yet - but end of Feb.) Mockingbirds, and Nuthatches, both the Red-breasted and the White-breasted. Hardly ever get Starlings - and Bluebirds are seasonal here.

    I really like the texture of the ice-covered seed. Keep warm, and don't fall on the ice!

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  3. Congratulations Roy! You Won Prizes!!! Best Wishes from Blighty!

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  4. @ Tony and Alan - Thanks, you guys! It's truly an honor to get a photography award from two great photographers.

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    1. Sorry, typing error.
      Congrats Roy from a Dutch Sepian. Magnificent shots!

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