We mentioned, on last visiting the bird seed store, we had more birds at the feeders this year than ever. Only one more feeder, and that a small one, so I’m ruling out quantity available. The fellow behind the counter said customers were reporting fewer birds this year; we were an anomaly.
I was not able to take one decent bird picture last winter; certainly not like the winter before. Remember the cardinal in the oak tree? That took a lot of light. The chickadee in the oak tree took even more. There was not light like that last winter; it was gloomy almost every day.
I attribute all our guests to the harshness of this winter and to the feeder wait staff. Emily and Laura took good care of all those feeders, even when the paths to the feeders had four foot walls.
The return of the red winged blackbirds is a sure sign of spring. They live in the meadows and marshes. And this spring there were red winged blackbirds at our feeders, on top of the hill. The male stopped for a few days and left. There probably were females, too, but they look too much like cowbirds for me to distinguish quickly. An immature young male still hangs around, so polite and handsome, with the white shoulder bar.
For fun, here’s a list of all the birds at the feeders: cowbird, starling, red-winged blackbird, grackle, crow, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, red headed woodpecker, red bellied woodpecker, blue jay, house finch, pine siskin (winter finch), song sparrow, junco, purple finch, tree sparrow, house sparrow, cardinal, mourning dove, nuthatch (red breasted and white breasted), chickadee, titmouse, goldfinch. I think the squirrel ground crew increased to half a dozen.
We were at the bird seed store probably every other weekend until the end of March. We’ll keep seed enough this summer for nesting birds who want it, but it’s coming on time to put out the bird baths. For Christmas I got a bird bath we can keep on the ground and outfit with a heater. With the snow gone we may get all those jobs done this weekend.