Good morning everyone! It is cloudy and a bit chilly here this morning. The temp is 14F (-10C), and it is very windy from the northwest, so the temp has been dropping since early morning and is supposed to continue dropping throughout the day. Yesterday we had quite a bit of freezing drizzle, most of the day really, so there is ice on everything again. It was terribly difficult getting the hanging feeders ready for the birds this morning. I should have brought them inside last night. Oh well, they are working now and the birds are feasting.
Just put out some more food for the birds, they had finished the first batch. Yesterday I was outside for a while counting birds. The redpolls are tough to count, there is a lot of them and they fly around a lot. However, I positioned myself in a good spot where I could see all but one spot where they feed, plus all the trees. And I started counting. Finally they actually stayed still for quite a while so I got a good count on them, 127 birds. But there were still a few I could not see along the side of the apartment. So I think it would be safe to say there are about 140 of them.
Good thing they are so small, they do not eat much. So that puts the total bird count at somewhere between 250 to 300 birds. It will vary a bit from day to day though. The numbers of grosbeaks will vary each day, possibly due to visiting other feeders in the area. We also got another 3 inches of snow overnight. So I was busy already shoveling snow off the deck. When I was finished all the birds had arrived for their breakfast, the trees were full, and the feeders were full.
One of my friendly chickadees, I think it was Chester, was sitting on the railing beside me and I was talking to him. Suddenly from out of nowhere a northern shrike came flying in, like a super fast missile. The birds scattered, but the shrike had his eyes on one bird, my little chickadee. The shrike picked him up and nearly flew right into my face. But he got the chickadee and was gone across the street. I sure miss having those blue jays around. I just cannot figure what happened to all those blue jays.
There were 22 of them at the start of winter, now only Baxter and Betty come around and they are not very regular. The blue jays hate shrikes and will keep them away from the feeders, they have been doing that every winter, except this winter. I knew this shrike has been around all winter and because of the large number of birds here, it is a good attraction for this bird. But hopefully he doesn’t stay around too much. These shrikes live in the far north for breeding and only come here during the winter. Normally they leave by mid March. Have a most wonderful Wednesday everyone and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2022 Steve McLeod.