3 comments on “Feed the birds

  1. I haven’t put out seed feeders for a long time, but I do feed the hummingbirds pretty regularly. They’ve become so accustomed to feeders in this area (at least) that they are now encouraging people to keep them filled even in the winter, since the little balls of feathers and fluff no longer bother migrating. Last winter during an unusually severe couple of weeks when the temps were down in the 20s and lower (Fahrenheit, so around -5 or -6C) I kept rotating two feeders. When one would freeze solid I’d bring the second one out, and bring the first in to thaw, and so on. I don’t know how they do it, tiny as they are, but my little friends survived that awful cold.

  2. November is our “strange” month, songbird-wise. You don’t see a single one, and even in the woods there’s an almost absolute silence. Part of the reason is that this is our “high time” for food. There’s plenty around for them, and they have no need to have it supplemented. And yes, the second brood is gone and I suppose those poor parent birds are just having a rest, hanging out in bushes and thinking, “Phew! I’m glad THAT”S over!”

    On the other hand, this is the month our migratory water birds begin coming in. Ibis, heron, white pelicans, coots, grebes and such begin appearing from the north. Geese and ducks will be next month’s arrivals. I saw my first huge flocks of white pelicans two days ago, so high you barely could see them circling on the thermals. I’m still waiting for the first coot – they’re so pretty, with their white bills.

    Best of all are the osprey. Their calls are beautiful, and it’s just stunning to watch them fish, flying away with dinner in their talons. Next spring I hope to get over to Lake Martin in Louisiana – it’s a huge egret and roseate spoonbill rookery, and I’m told you can get marvelous photos there.

  3. Yes, I often wonder how the small birds, in particular, continue to function in heavy frosts or worse. Why don’t their skinny little legs freeze up?
    As for your list of immigrants, Shoreacres, I am so envious! It reminds me that I must pack some sandwichers and a flask and get myself along to our nearest wildlife reserve (only a few miles away on the outskirts of Newport) before much longer.

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