Monday, January 24, 2011
One Very Cold Day
At four o'clock this afternoon I looked out one of the bay windows into the yard and saw several house finches at the very top of a maple tree. I wondered if they were trying to soak up the last bit of sun's heat on this bitter six degree day. At six-fifteen this morning the digital thermometer in the kitchen hit me with the news it was sixteen below zero. By seven, birds were at the feeders voraciously going through the black oil sunflower seeds. At ten-thirty, the feeding frenzy continued and I was treated to a visit by a Northern Flicker. He ( and I say he because he had a moustache-seriously males do ) attacked a suet cake with his large slightly downcurved bill. I took a lot of pictures through my porch door and spent my camera batteries. I hope they turn out as I realized my dogs are responsible for quite a bit of slubber on the panes! I watched a lone chickadee eating snow from a crook of a tree branch. I felt guilty not having water out for the birds. I know it's important that birds hydrate as well as eat in cold weather. Eating snow uses up extra energy versus drinking water. I ran out and put out a shallow bowl of warm water. Yesterday a mole appeared out of a hole right under the feeders. He/she just tunneled right up through the snow to the seed on top of the ground. It was about six inches long with a reddish colored nose and feet. It never fully came out of the hole and was quick to pop in and out, grabbing seeds with its feet and pulling them into the hole. Today squirrels have moved in under the feeders and I note that they are kicking seeds into the hole inadvertently. One squirrel actually sat his posterior over the hole. I wondered what the mole was up to in his snow insulated tunnels. He better not be trying to eat my flower bulbs! Anyway, as the birds fly off towards the woods I hope they roost up together in a snug tree cavity to get through another cold night. Stay warm!