So we got our first accumulated snow of the year overnight, and based on the amount we had to shovel it looks like we got around 5 inches. So early this morning my husband and I went out to beat the snow off the feeders, top everything off, freshen the birdbaths, and enjoy the show. And quite the show it was. As fast as we filled one feeder and moved on, the birds swooped in for breakfast. They didn’t even feel the need to move when we were within a few feet of them.
We had Goldfinches and Pine Siskins (first time I’ve confirmed them at my feeders this year) on the nyjer sock feeders, probably 10+ at a time. On the ground we had Juncos, Mourning Doves, and a couple of American Tree Sparrows (in addition to the obligate House Sparrows). The fresh suet blocks were visited by Downy Woodpeckers, one of whom was about 3 feet away from me munching while I cleaned the birdbath. Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal were chowing down on the tray feeder while House Finches and other LBJs (little brown jobs, some sparrows that I couldn’t get a clear view of) were all over the hopper feeder. Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches would come to the peanut feeder and snack. I haven’t seen or heard my Blue Jay family yet, but I’m assuming at some point they came in for their daily peanut party. And everyone seemed happy with the fresh, clean, open water at the heated bird bath.
And lest you think that my feeders are the only things that attract the birds, I got the joy of seeing several of my feathered visitors hanging off of the Ironweed, Aster, and Brown-eyed Susan seed heads in my dormant flowerbeds and munching on the seeds. One little Goldfinch didn’t mind hanging upside down on the slender stalk of the Ironweed for several minutes, gorging on the native plant seeds. I loved that sight both because it confirmed that my gardens do support native wildlife and because it made me feel less like a bad steward on those days when the feeders get emptied early and/or are not hanging because they need a cleaning. There’s still plenty in my yard to attract the natives.
At the top of the feasting, I counted around 35 birds that I could see on the ground or feeders, and there were probably several more that were deeper in under the dormant plants. So, even though I am not a snow fan I have to be grateful for the white covering on my yard this morning for allowing me a robust show of avian action.