Snow Birds

Despite the snow and ice, we have been able to keep the birdfeeders full.  We have a finch feeder with thistle and nyger seed, a sunflower seed feeder, a suet feeder, and a mixed seed feeder. They hang on a steel pole which looks as if it has four shepherd’s crooks attached to it.

At this time of year, the finch feeder brings in goldfinches and purple finches.  The sunflower feeder attracts chickadees, white breasted and red breasted nuthatches, and hairy and downy woodpeckers. The suet feeder has the same visitors as a sunflower feeder with the addition of the occasional bluejay.  The doves, juncos, and cardinals seem to prefer to feed on the ground; but, when there isn’t much there, the juncos and cardinals will use the mixed seed feeder.  I have a feeling that the finches toss out the thistle seed to get to the nyger and that it is the thistle seed that the juncos and doves hoover up.

We have had to hang little ornaments in our windows which look on to the feeders because when the sun shines off the snow, the birds have a tendency to fly into the windows.  One winter, a male downy woodpecker flew into one of the dining room windows.  He hit the window with enough force to knock himself out.  When I saw him lying on the snow, I thought he was a goner.  My plan was to wait until the children were busy and then go out, scoop him up, and put him in the compost bin.  However, when I went to look for him, he wasn’t there.  I looked around, and then saw him.  He was clinging onto a tree, slowly moving his head from side to side, and looking like he needed whatever his equivalent of two aspirin and a cup of hot sweet tea might be.  I walked away without saying anything or making sudden loud noises.

We also have a small window feeder filled with sunflower seeds which is a favourite with the finches, chickadees, nuthatches, and cardinals.  The window feeder is probably our least expensive one; but, it has brought us much pleasure.  We can do our birdwatching from the dining room table.  Moreover, there is something more moral about the mutual voyeurism it allows, something less invasive than the usual behaviour patterns of the ornithological paparazzi.

About Tweed and Briar

I am the pastor of a rather conservative rural congregation. My interests alongside of work are hunting, fly fishing, cooking, and life in an agricultural community. By way of family, I have a wife and two children: a daughter and a son. I am of indeterminate age because my wife is a bit younger than I am and my son is ages with some of my friends’ grandchildren. However, to say that I slip smoothly among the generations would imply an agility which I no longer possess. I aspire to the genteel poverty of the country manse.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Life, Wildlife and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Snow Birds

  1. My wife thinks that I should draw your attention to an old post from December 2010, titled Woodpeckers.

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