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Monday, December 03, 2007

6-12" of snow

Black-capped Chickadee

Yep, that's what's forcasted. Plus, later, sleet and high winds. This morning, so far, it's just snow. Don started shoveling, then couldn't resist playing with Phoebe, our Corgi. If you throw a snowball at her, she jumps in the air and catches it in her mouth, exploding the snow.

Got the photo of the Black-capped chickadee above. There are lots of photo ops in snow storms because the birds are frantically coming to feeders. This kind of weather is hard on birds and they need to eat frequently. Birds only put on enough fat to get them through a day or so, they need to replenish their used fuel. You can help the birds through weather like this by having bird feeders filled with black oil sunflower and suet, good energy foods because of their high fat content. You can also make sure you plant crabapples and other fruit bearing trees for all the birds that feed on them in winter. Phoebe's breeder, Dianne, sent me the photo below of the beautiful, male, Pine Grosbeak coming to her crabapple tree this morning. The male Pine Grosbeak is a soft rosy red, looks great in the snow. As we have been talking about all last week, Pine Grosbeaks are one of the "irruptive species" coming down, big time, into the U.S. this winter from their usual northern range, because their food sources — pine seeds, etc. are not available this year. The second photo, below, I took a few winters ago. Females and immature male Pine Grosbeaks have variable amounts of mustard olive or russet in their plumage.

Pine Grosbeak, male

Pine Grosbeak, fem./imm.

2 comments:

Lana said...

Beautiful pix, as always. These remind me of when I had my husky in Canada. He made winters fun.

Abby said...

We've never had a pine or evening grosbeak at our feeders. I'm hoping maybe this winter that will change! I'm very eager to see one in person (or bird, if that seems to make more sense) since my neighbors say that they used to get large groups of evening grosbeaks.