Winter’s Joy

red bellied BB PS (640x399)We are having a cold winter with some snow but the snow is not as deep as last winter. One of the joys of the winter is watching the birds at the feeders. Their color and constant motion add beauty to the cold winter.

bluebird pair 3 (640x373)For feeding we use five main types of food – black oil sunflower seeds, suet, mealworms, thistle (nyger) seeds, and a high quality mixed seed blend. The finches, chickadees, titmice love the sunflower seeds. The ground feeders, such as sparrows, juncos and cardinals like the mixed seeds. If you purchase mixed seeds, get a high quality mix or you will find that your birds waste most of the seed. Suet cakes are for the woodpeckers, nuthatches and a variety of other birds. We spoil our bluebirds (and will probably go bankrupt) with freeze dried mealworms. The thistle is for the finches.

bluebirdandfinch 2 (640x424)Just as important as the bird feed, is fresh water. Even if you don’t feed the birds, a supply of fresh water will draw the birds to your yard. In our area, we have to use an electric warmer in the bird bath in order to keep it ice free.

juncoThe birds also mark the changing of the season. We know winter is on the way when the dark eyed juncos and white throat sparrows appear in the yard. The arrive of spring is heralded by the Eastern phoebe with its very distinctive call and the changing of the goldfinches from their drab winter plumage back to their bright yellow feathers.

Here are some of our visitors this winter. Hope you have a bluebird day!

white throat 5 (640x424)red bellied (640x315)hairy cropped 2 (640x424)goldfinch 2 (640x377)titmouse (640x418)purple finch 2 (640x423)

chickadee BB (640x424)

pileated 2 (640x424)

cardinal PS (640x355)

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