Monday, March 22, 2010

In Our Own Backyard

Keeping Warm

We've done quite a few birding trips lately and so it was a nice change to spend the weekend watching birds in our own yards.

On Saturday I wasn't surprised to see several House Finches at our feeders. Nor, given the miserable weather, was I surprised to see that they were puffing up their feathers to keep out the cold.

However, I was surprised to find that some of our winter residents were still hanging around. I thought they had all left for the north but on Saturday our feeders had visits from two Ruby-crowned Kinglets, two Yellow-rumped Warblers and eleven Chipping Sparrows. Normally among the most slim and elegant of our birds, Chipping Sparrows were taking a leaf out of the House Finches' book and puffing up their feathers to stay warm.

Strange Choices

Apart from suet, the only food we currently provide for birds are sunflower seeds. The latter are a firm favorite with most of our visitors, including our Carolina Chickadees.

However, in an attempt to keep squirrels away from the feeders, we sometimes put corn on the ground nearby. Today I was amused to see one of our squirrels pointedly ignoring the corn in favor of some sunflower seeds that had fallen from the feeders.

I was even more amused a few minutes later when a pair of White-winged Doves returned the favor by ignoring the sunflower seeds and snacking instead on corn kernels.


1 comment:

Jayne said...

Wonderful photos Jeff. A gardening friend just told me about your blog. Love it! I'm also originally from England and have lived here in the Houston area since 1982. I'm now in the Tomball area and am interested in gardening, wildlife and birds. I'll be following your blog.