Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snow Days are for (Watching) the Birds

We've had two snow days this week (Monday and Wednesday) with a combination of a very heavy 8" of snow on Monday and then 3 more inches of snow last night topped with 1/4" or more of ice.  

I don't mind snow days.  I have enough to keep me occupied and busy at home.  And, the fact that extending the school year doesn't really affect me because I have to be there during the summer anyway makes it okay.   Since we've had 5 snow days already and only have 3 built into the school calendar, we will be waiting to see where they're going to put these last two days.  And we are only in the first week of February - there's a lot more of winter to come.  

So I watched the feeders and there were some old and some new visitors.  Up at the top was our neighborhood red-bellied woodpecker. 

Then, there was an unfamiliar bird that I had to look up.  I believe this is a juvenile starling.  The light coloration was confusing to me as I usually see starlings that are mostly iridescent black.  

This hairy woodpecker we don't see around much.  He's a little larger than the downies that usually hang around.  They were there too, but kept their distance when this guy was around.

We had our share of blue jays too.  Not pictured were loads of juncos, some titmice, and goldfinches.
They were all very active around the feeders but it was snowing pretty steadily and my camera was going nuts trying to focus on the falling snowflakes instead of the feeders further off in the distance.

Today, after it stopped sleeting, HWNSNBP cleared off the wall again and threw out some seed and raspberries and look who showed up - a female cardinal.  I think the male was there too, but they are very skittish when they see the slightest movement even through the window.  There haven't been many cardinals around this winter and no purple finches either.  I was glad to see this pair show up.

And one last picture I took Tuesday on the way to work (we had a delayed opening that day because of all the snow on Monday that had not yet been plowed).

The trees were so pretty draped in snow but we actually lost a lot of branches on our white pines in the front yard and I've been very nervous about the power lines with all the ice on top of the snow now.  As I sit here posting this I can hear the ice falling off the trees onto the roof.  

 HWNSNBP did way too much shoveling today - the slush was too much for the snowblower and our driveway is 3-4 times the length of an average driveway, and he makes me worry.   Unfortunately they're predicting another storm Sunday into Monday so we'll have to see how that goes.


  1. I love being able to share a glimpse at the amazing wildlife in your backyard! My craft room has the best view in the house - right out to the feeders in the backyard! Our daily visitors include magpies, crows, blue jays, flickers, a downy, sparrows, bushtits,'s amazing I get anything done in the craft room! :) Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures!!!!!

  2. Beautiful pictures . . . they actually make me miss snow and winter a little. Tell your husband to be careful with that shoveling. Our school mascot is a Blue Jay - I especially like those photos. Have a good day Lorraine . . .

  3. The snow scene, last photo - is amazing, so beautiful. I loved seeing the birds too - especially the woodpeckers. We didn't used to have them at all in Ireland (they're in the UK); recently they seem to be moving west and are seen from time to time, but not yet by me.
    I'm sure it's quite nice to have a compulsory home day - apart from the weather-related worries.

  4. we HAVE TO put our feeders up, i sooooo miss watching the birds, especially in the snow! can't believe we've been here nearly a year & still not done it.

    we HAVE bought a snowblower, tho, as of last night; one of only *4* left at home depot. i was hoping such a purchase would prevent it from snowing EVER AGAIN, but apparently we're gonna get socked tonight and tomorrow. yikes. keep warm, missus, and tell the chickadees i say hi! <3 <3 <3

  5. Wonderful winter shots! I love the birds!


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