With the arrival of winter, some birds bid adieu for the season. They were the House Finch, Finch, Grackles, Blue Jays and American Robin. Those who decided to stay with us through the winter were the Cardinals, House sparrows, Doves and Chickadees.
Downy Woodpeckers, on the other hand, remained ‘occasional visitors’, suddenly showing up for a couple of days and then again disappearing for weeks.
We wanted as many of them to stay close to us. So, we moved the feeder in the patio along with a heated birdbath so that the birds and Squirrels both have access to drinking water through harsh Canadian winter when the temperatures drop to minus and stay below freezing for days together.
And this helped those birds that stayed with us through the winter. They came every day and stayed in the yard virtually throughout the day. Whereas Cardinals, Sparrows and Chickadees preferred to eat from the feeder, the Sparrows decided to care for the ground feeder friends too- Doves, and some cardinals. They always shook the feeder tray violently and dropped plenty of feed on the ground not only to help ground feeder birds but also the Squirrels.
The new arrangement invited a new bird that we had never seen in our yard before- Black Eyed Junco. Here is a picture:
Juncos came in groups, hopped around the ground and fed on the seeds dropped on the snow-covered ground by the sparrows and cardinals. It was a treat to watch them sportily jump around and pick seeds from the snow-covered yard. They too, like sparrows came in hoards, pecked on the fallen seeds and flew away and returned after 10-15 minutes. This pattern continued right from sunrise till sunset.
And then we had another beauty- Nuthatch. This little bird was seen late in the last season, but this winter, she has been around almost through the entire winter. Here she is:
Nuthatch behave more like Chickadees- they come one at a time, land on the feeder tray, pick the seed and fly away. They do it throughout the day and never seem to get tired.
And who enjoyed warm water bath the most? Of course the Doves and the Squirrels. See them here having the fun:
And now that the Spring has knocked at the door, we are looking forward to seeing our visitors of the last season all over again. Arrivals have already begun. We had the first pair of American Robins visit us last Saturday-19th March. They announced their arrival with their melodious call from a treetop before descending in the yard.
“Eagerly awaiting return of this little beauty- The House Finch”.
A happy spring to all our feathered friends.
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