Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Feed the Birds

Bird prints below the feeders

With the winter snow, our bird feeders have been very active!  One of my favorite things to do is to watch the birds who come to our feeders on our deck.  I think many people don't realize how many birds winter here in Minnesota.  I was surprised at the variety of birds I have seen lately.

The StarTribune recently published an article on the 8 most common birds that are seen in Minnesota during the winter. I was happy to find that all of these birds are visiting our feeders!  It's interesting to watch the different birds as they fight for dominance over this food source.  We have 3 different varieties of woodpeckers visit; they clearly give way to the largest (the red-bellied woodpecker) when that bird arrives at the suet.  Some birds, like the house sparrows and juncos, arrive in flocks, sit in the nearby bush as a staging area, and rush the feeder as a group.  The blue jay is noisy, bossy, and holds court on the floor of the deck while fighting off squirrels who want their share of the seeds that have fallen from above.  Some birds have reached a detente and feed together at the feeders.  These include nuthatches, chickadees, and cardinals.  They are also content to feed when the small downy woodpecker arrives.  It's fascinating how these species have found a way to coexist and share a common food source.

When the winter vista is white and brown, these daily visitors provide constant entertainment and enjoyment..  I often find myself smiling as I watch their antics.  I will continue to do my part in feeding the birds and derive great pleasure in doing so.

Have you found your joy today?

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