Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Breakfast time or is it day-long brunch?

As I look out to the deck this morning to see what visitors are nearby, this female hairy woodpecker completely ignores me as she buries a seed in the bark.

The tree - a Siberian elm that I allowed to grow from its hedge form to replace an American elm, is obviously dying. It will go in the spring. It's roots have invaded my septic system for one thing, but more important the birds have been using it as storage and have hastened its decline.

However breakfast time seems to be now brunch - birds don't come out of that semi-hibernative state they go into overnight when it's cold. It's closer to 9:30 when the birds hit the feeders, rather than dawn. And I've been so fortunate to see so many around despite the rainy/snowy weather.

My first post on my return to writing this blog was about wishing for snow - well it came true. That night it surprised me with about an inch of wet snow. Then last night more snow, just a touch, but a bit of white to promise a white Christmas. Yesterday it rained and snowed most of the day, but I counted more than 30 American goldfinches either on the deck or in the trees and shrubs nearby. Regular visitors throughout the day are the three pairs of hairy woodpeckers, the many bluejays - I think there are at least four in residence in the blue spruce, and several nuthatches. Downie woodpeckers chased each other on the wall of the drive shed yesterday, seeking more spots to put seeds I assume. They've drilled holes in the north side and I suspect that the south is about to get its turn.

With five feeders out, they are all well attended. Several house sparrows - I counted 25 and gave up as they flitted around - have made homes in the cedar hedge in front and the junipers. Bliss delights in chasing them from tree to shrub to bush and back to tree - it's a game that the birds seem to get as well. Chickadees wait for him to show up underneath their tree and lead him a merry chase.

There have been white crowned sparrows, juncos and American tree sparrows, a family of red-bellied woodpeckers who come in separately, and to my utter delight - a beautiful bright red male cardinal.

Sometimes brunch runs all day long - but by 3:30 or so, all except one or three of the myriad chickadees have gone to find a warm place to sleep. Truly a bird-watcher/lover's paradise. I am so blessed. Hope you enjoy something special today.
The female hairy woodpecker buries another seed, and a blue jay watches from the feeder in the archway. You can easily see that the suet blocks in the little red holder are being devoured. And the birds have taken most of the sunflower seeds on the rail. Enjoy your day!


  1. I loved seeing your collections of bird feeders, being reminded that the bears are likely asleep and I should get mine out tomorrow.

    I really like all woodpeckers. They are amongst the most interesting birds. Their knockity knock knock is the rhythm of the forest. Nice piece Barbara!

  2. Thank you Bill - I forgot to check for comments after I wrote this because Christmas seems to have gotten busier as I've gotten older... or maybe where I live in this small community - people seem to like getting together more.

    as for feeders - there are three more out there as well. But for some reason the woodpeckers like to come to the tree and the railing... hope you got your feeders out and are enjoying birds.