Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter birds need seeds

Common visitors to my feeders in winter are the mourning doves, goldfinches,  and sparrows. They feed from the ground, though I've seen a mourning dove hanging on for dear life to a small feeder or get itself trapped inside a hopper feeder when it's frightened and can't figure out how to escape...a friend of mine calls them Norma Jeans, after the reputation Marilyn Monroe had for being a ditzy blonde - so untrue. She was smart as a whip about her career, not personally perhaps. However the mourning doves truly are not the brightest of the avian population. But lovely soft, beautifully-feathered creatures indeed.

This group of red polls (Common and Hoary I think from the photograph taken by a friend - Sue Dickens) shows how important feeders are to most seed and berry eating birds in winter. When there is lots of snow - like right now where I live - their normal supply of food is buried. They then rely on Mountain Ash, (the Rowan,) other berry bushes and trees and on people to put out seeds. Pounds of seeds, tons even - at least that's what it seems like

Red polls are adventurous birds and travel in flocks. They don't seem to stay long, only one to three weeks in any given location, but they certainly add to the  landscape with their burgundy heads, pink breasts and white underwings. Such fun to watch.

Hope you find something fun to watch or do today - it's one of those good to be alive days.


  1. Great post on feeding the wintering birds! I would love to see the Redpolls. I do see a lot of mourning doves.

  2. That one shot look like a bunch of baby seals laying on top of one another, I have never seen birds all concentrated together like that. Great post! You just know so much about everything :)