Good morning to all of you! So glad to see you here with Muffin and I again this morning! It is a cloudy morning and a bit milder than it has been, though it still felt cold out there when I was out feeding the birds earlier. Something has happened to my birds the last couple of days. Well, the grosbeaks anyway. There are maybe 15 to 20 each of the pine and evening grosbeaks now. That is a big drop in numbers from what I had last week! Still lots of the smaller birds though. Especially those redpolls.
Watching them yesterday they had filled all the feeders and they were literally all over the snow outside, like watching a multitude of ants crawling around on the ground. Plus they were on the roof of the house next door and in the trees as well. I am sure there must be close to 200 of them now, too hard to count them accurately, but I can get past 150 before they fly up into the trees. But there is always more than what I count. There are a couple of possibilities for the drop in numbers. One could be that shrike who seems to enjoy hanging around here.
But the shrike generally goes for the smaller birds when they are plentiful, but they will take grosbeaks too, even though pine grosbeaks are the same size. Then there is the neighbors dog who comes running onto the deck barking at the birds and scares them away. That could also be the problem. Birds don’t like that. According to some studies done, dogs can be more of a problem than cats, just because of the noise factor of barking, which birds do not like. Cats, being more of a hunter, come in quietly, might catch a bird and then leave the area quickly.
It is a more predator/prey relationship which the birds are used to and can live with. But a large dog bounding toward them barking, well, that just scares them. I am not against dogs by the way, I like dogs. I admit that I like cats better, but I still like dogs. Kind of like squirrels and chipmunks. I like squirrels, but I like chipmunks better. Oh well. There is a male pine grosbeak sitting in the tree outside my window right now, very much fluffed out! All the birds are fluffed out these days, trying to keep themselves warm.
The trees are all covered in frost this morning. It would be so picture perfect if the sun was shining and the sky nice and blue. Frosty trees do not show up nearly as nice against a cloudy background. We are supposed to get another 4 inches of snow today. We have not had any larger snowfalls this winter, but we are getting a lot of small ones, and it adds up. Looks like it will be a very late spring this year, takes a long time to melt so much snow. Oh well. Time for more coffee, thanks for reading today! Have a great day and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2022 Steve McLeod.