Saturday, January 09, 2010

Go Away Winter!

We moved my bird feeder out into the center of the yard and E. wrapped a sheet of flashing around the post for me. The feeder was a couple of feet from a tree before, and there was smaller shrubbery and weeds growing around the bottom of the tree. The sqirrels would jump from the tree to the feeder and clean it out in a short time! Our three cats were able to hide in there and ambush my birds too! Now, since we have moved it away from the tree and added flashing to the post the feeder is mounted on, the squirrels don't raid the feeder by climbing up the post, the raccoons don't climb the post and eat the suet cakes, then carry the suet feeder away as they have done in the past, and the cats can't hide and sneak up on the birds any more!

It seems that the birds have been eating the sunflower seed and the suet cakes at a much faster rate than in previous years. They suck down the seeds so fast that I have to refill it daily and sometimes twice a day! These are the same feeders that I have had for the last few years. It also seems that there are a lot more birds too. Why is that? Last years birds came back and brought all their 'inlaws' and 'outlaws' back with them!? Hmm-mm. Colder weather? Thursday, I looked out of my kitchen window and saw this. The horses , Solomon, Katie and Maddie, were all standing out in the snow storm. As cold as it was, they looked pretty comfortable. No one was shivering. (It was 18 degrees!) I have a tendency to want to baby them. If I'm cold and uncomfortable, aren't they too? No? But I left them outside. They do have a run-in shed that they can get in if they want to. Sometimes they do, sometimes not. It took them about 4 or 5 years to use it though. I don't know why. A couple of hours after this photo was taken, after they each had a blanket of snow on them, they did go back to the shed!
Here is a photo of an unusual bird that I spotted at my feeder on December 30. I looked it up in my bird book but didn't see it in there. I emailed this photo to the 'birder' lady that writes a 'bird' column in our Sunday paper every week. She wasn't sure either so emailed the photo to someone else that she said is THE BIRD PERSON of Indiana. He emailed her back and said it is a Pine Warbler and is only the 11th time that people have reported back an overwintering pine warbler in Indiana! He asked for my name and location to put in his database and commended me for the photo as documentation that it was actually seen here! This bird was at my feeder for over a week, until we got all this snow. I haven't seen it since, so I guess it moved on to warmer weather. She also asked permission to use my photo in this Sundays edition of the paper. Said she was going to do her column on 'winter oddities' and wanted to include this bird! I'll have to keep my eyes open for more 'oddities' !
Click photos to view them larger.