Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It has been unusually cold here for the past few days. Well, unusually cold for the Houston area anyway. 

The cold has meant that our feeders have been busier than ever. As my college closed for two days because of the weather, I've been able to spend quite a lot of time watching our visitors.

Thirty or so American Goldfinches have been arguing endlessly and very aggressively over our one thistle seed feeder.

The Goldfinches that haven't managed to get to the thistle seeds have flocked to our other feeders and to seed I have been sprinkling on the ground, on our fence, and on the tree stump that supports one of our birdbaths. They've been visiting our birdbaths also, whenever I've put hot water in them to thaw them out.

We've had flocks of 20+ Chipping Sparrows, too. I never tire of watching these lovely little birds. They always look so neat and tidy.

Our suet feeders have been very much in demand. So much so that our Downy Woodpeckers have gotten quite used to sharing them with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Orange-crowned Warblers and Pine Warblers.

Speaking of Pine Warblers, we seem to have more of these than in previous years. I'm not sure how many are visiting but it must be at least five or six.

Our male Ruby-crowned Kinglet remains a constant visitor.

Several Orange-crowned Warblers visit all day every day as well.

Last January a group of four Brown-headed Nuthatches took up residence in our yards for the first time and stayed with us until the summer. This year only one has appeared and it has been making only a few very brief visits every day. Yesterday it stayed on a suet feeder longer than normal, which enabled me to grab a quick photo.

I'm hoping it will soon feel secure enough to stay longer on our feeders and that some other Nuthatches may show up to join it.

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