Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nature Notes: More of the Same

As usual I'm early posting for nature notes. By the middle of last week, I thought we might actually have winter for awhile.
One thing I notice when it stays cold all day is that the smaller birds like the titmouse below seem to be at the bird baths more than other birds.
They will peck at the ice blocks I've gotten out of the bird baths when the bath itself has refrozen.
The smallest birds move so fast it's hard to get shots of them but the titmouse and chickadees were pecking at the ice blocks until I got fresh water in after thawing the refrozen bath enough to get the ice out.
The house finch below was another of the birds frequently at the bath on the coldest days.
The sparrow below was another that I photographed last week.
I was wrong to think winter weather would finally stick around for a while.
By Friday it had warmed up and Sunday was like spring again, temperature wise.
Although American Robins are year round in North Carolina where I live, their habits vary a lot with the weather.
I rarely spot them at the bird baths when it's very cold but even a warmer day here and there brings them back to the baths.
They don't have insects to peck for in the ground in the winter so I know it's a sign of spring when the American Robins start landing on the ground in large numbers.
Even when we have a lot of snow I will occasionally spot the American Robins on snowy branches, but they must have stored berries somewhere because they don't join the other birds at the bad weather feeding stations I set up. I try to have dried fruit and berries in the mix but I rarely see American Robins join other birds at bad weather feeding stations. The woodpeckers will arrive for food I put out in the snow if I don't have suet cages for them like I used to.
The male cardinal above was finding seeds in the deck planters.
The cedar waxwing displaced some of the American Robins to get some warm weather bath time.
The European Starling and the Bluejay below seemed to be eyeballing each other.
The bluejays are skittish around me, flying off before other birds if I'm photographing from the window. In a way, it's odd that bluejays are more nervous than other birds when sensing a human but are very aggressive in their interaction with other birds.
I know I should be careful what I wish for but I'm tired of the frequent weather changes. I'd just as soon go ahead and have the cold weather stick around a little longer before flip flopping back and forth so much. I also wouldn't mind a pretty snow like the ones we had last winter. We've had at least some snow for about 6 years in a row so we may be going into a spell of no snow winters like we've had in the past.
We always have very variable weather where I live but I don't think we've ever had a winter as freaky as this one, in terms of the 48 hour changes back and forth. Click for the home of nature notes.


Unknown said...

I'll never stop being amazed by the variety of birds you have there!
I love the Waxwings!

Gattina said...

Congratulations, your photos are really excellent ! what a bird meeting in your yard, lol !

Rambling Woods said...

I know my robins have a great place to winter although it is pretty warm here too. I have never seen a waxwing and they are so pretty. I love the group of robins. I don't know any bird that takes a bath with the gusto that a robin does...Michelle

Nature Rambles said...

Really strange weather! But i'm amazed at the variety of birds who come to your bird baths. A pleasure to see your pictures!

DeniseinVA said...

These photos are wonderful, very enjoyable. Love seeing the birds at the water bowls. Quite a collection there. We get all those birds up here except I rarely see a Cedar Waxwing.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I am in awe of your yard. I don't think I've ever seen a titmouse; would love to. Cardinals we have seen (but not in Oregon) and the rest of the birds were visitors to our Oregon yard and feeders. But not in such great numbers ... I think you must truly be a bird whisperer! Not to mention that you are way good enough be a professional photographer!

eileeninmd said...

You do get to see some great birds there, Carver! The Waxwings are beautiful birds. I wish the waxwings would visit my yard more often. Wonderful post and photos.

Anonymous said...

You have an amazing variety of birds visit your yard. The pic of the little titmouse is particularly appealing. :)

Anonymous said...

You have an amazing variety of birds visit your yard. The pic of the little titmouse is particularly appealing. :)

Leora said...

What a lovely variety of birds you get visiting. And yes, the weather goes up and down - who knows what will be next.

Cezar and Léia said...

Wonderful captures, I think the beautiful birds are very anxious for Spring time! :)

EG CameraGirl said...

The weather has been freaky here too...but it's snowing at the moment so maybe winter has arrived for good now.