Winter By the Yard

Downy WP 1-4-15-0030I’ve been reading numerous posts on the local list-serve of exotic species to be found with some driving distance. There have been treats such as Sedge Wren, Ivory Gull, and a handful of Snowy Owls. Since I am not presently inclined to go far from home, I have so far spent the new year at home except for going to work on Friday, and things are back to work-normal starting today. Here and there I have managed to take a few photographs of the birds that visit my yard. Predominant are House Sparrows and they come in flocks of up to 40ย or more. Often with them are House Finches. It seems all the other species sneak in when there’s a lull in the traffic.

HOSP 1-1-15-9704HOSP 1-1-15-9710

I did manage to get outside a bit yesterday and on New Year’s Day, but yesterday I stood for the most part on the porch and shot through the windows while my neighbor was making some repairs to my porch door, and that is when the Downy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinals and American Goldfinches showed up. Not very clear pictures but you can get an idea of the wintry weather we just started having.

NOCA 1-4-15-9916NOCA 1-4-15-9853

The wind was pretty awful yesterday too, and this morning with the outside temperature around 3 degrees when I left the house, I don’t think I want to know what the wind chill was.

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House Finches with Northern Cardinal

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Female House Finch

Male House Finch

Male House Finch

It’s nice to see the Chickadees again, and hear them too. They always have a comment when it comes to food.

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I’m always glad to see a Dark-Eyed Junco in the yard. I never know exactly what they’re eating as they tend to stay away from the feeders, so either they’re eating what’s dropped on the ground or they are health fanatics eating only what nature provides.DEJU 1-1-15-9763

This Black-Capped Chickadee ate a little snow.

BC Chickadee 1-4-15-0048

I may be eating snow myself on the way to work tomorrow. We’re supposed to get 1-5 inches sometime after midnight but ending by 5:00 a.m. That means I’ll have to get up even earlier to shovel my walks. That’s okay. Cold as it is, I like being outside before people start their cars and when the birds start waking up.

9 thoughts on “Winter By the Yard

  1. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such cold weather and you have to go out schlepping in the snow to work. Just bundle up well my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Since I stopped putting out safflower and sunflower I get few house sparrows, though also a lot fewer cardinals. Right now I offer suet, peanuts in the shell, nyjer seed and occasionally dried mealworms. I’m seeing lots of woodpeckers, goldfinches, and chickadees. Also the occasional nuthatch and sometimes the cardinals take a bite of peanut.

    • You have better habitat than I do. I don’t do safflower; the cardinals seem to come for the sunflower only, although I know they like peanuts, but it’s impossible for me to put out a peanut feeder that the squirrels don’t take over except for the one I have now. I had more goldfinches in previous years. I’m hoping by improving the plant life gradually I will attract more birds, but the House Sparrows hang out in my neighbors’ bushes and they are a fact of life in my neighborhood. As long as I don’t get pigeons!

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