Thankfully, the prediction for 8-12 inches of snow for today didn’t come true. But it did snow, rain and sleet. And the birds were on the move.
The moment I stepped out the door to fill the feeders and spread seed and peanuts on the ground I was greeted by the kon-ka-reeee of the red-winged blackbirds who stopped by for a few hours. Their songs filled the air with the promise of spring.
And with them came a few friends. Or were they? It seemed the cowbirds may have been scheming.
Mrs. Cow perhaps choosing others who might raise her young one day soon.
Another recent visitor also added its song to the chorus and its streaked breast to the landscape–such is the manner of the song sparrow.
American tree sparrows, on the other hand, have been frequent flyers all winter. This one paused long enough to show off its bicolored bill and white wing bars.
And then there were those who chose to visit from a distance–the American robins appeared as ornaments in the oak and maple trees.
Meanwhile, a crow stood sentry–allowing all to eat in peace as it was ever ready to announce any intruders.
And so they came and went–some upside down like the white-breasted nuthatch.
Others waiting patiently for a turn,
confident in the knowledge that the wait was worth the reward.
But not all . . .
that waited . . .
The juncos gobbled the seeds . . .
and the peanuts.
And like siblings, they squabbled . . .
with attitude . . .
Of course, there was always a winner.
I love these plump winter visitors with their head and flanks completely gray, contrasting white breasts and pale pink bills–making the junco an easy ID.
They weren’t the only gray birds to visit the feeders. Oh, you mean a gray squirrel isn’t a bird?
Nor is the red. Don’t tell them that.
The same is true of this dear friend, who first spied some action in the distance . . .
and then turned its eyes on the bird seed and me. But with one periscope ear, it still listened to the action to my right.
And then as fast as the birds that feed here all day, but flit in and out when they hear the slightest noise or sense a motion, the deer turned and flew off as a car drove up the road.
I played the role of a fair-weather naturalist today as I watched my feathered friends from indoors.
With friends in mind, I dedicate this post to my mom’s dear friend, Ella, who passed peacefully in her sleep the other day. I trust Mom has put the coffee pot on and she, Aunt Ella and Aunt Ruth are watching the birds out the kitchen window.