Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birds on ice

Yesterday brought yet another snow/sleet/ice/rain event to my cabin. This one, for once, produced somewhat more snow than ice—until sunset, that is. Then a bit of rain fell, which instantly soaked into the snow and then immediately turned everything to ice when the temperature dropped below freezing. This morning, I don’t have a skating rink, I have a glacier. It’s that bad.

When I’ve said in the past how much I like winter, I meant the old winters, when actual snow fell. These new climate-change / global-warming winters that bring more ice than snow are for the birds. And I doubt they like this very much.

My feeders were busy during this latest precipitation event, and I saw more birds than I have all winter. Until yesterday, I never saw more than one goldfinch at a time at the feeders, and I suspected I was seeing the same goldfinch not multiple goldfinch that appeared one after the other. Yesterday, I had plenty of them, and with them came several pine siskins—the first of the season at my feeders.

What I found most interesting is that the siskins and the goldfinch happily fed together at the feeders. Both species appeared to arrive and leave at once, as though they are all hanging out together when they are not at my feeders, too. I also observed that both are exactly the same size, at least to my eye. I don’t think I’ve seen them side by side like this before, so that wasn’t something I’d been able to observe before.


Dana and Daisy said...

Hi Carolyn. Thank you for your well wishes. I'm getting a little news from friends who are able to email. One is going to try to go by my cabin if he can get there.

The trees have really taken a hard hit and I hear it is impossible to visualize the damage. Workers are having to "hack their way through the mess" to get to job sites to start clearing.

I know as a fellow forest enthusiast, you can understand the concerns.

Carolyn H said...

Dana: As someone who's had lots of ice damage around the cabin, i know your worries. Fortunately, I didn't have any large trees come down--that usually takes wind. I've had lots of large branches broken off, though. It's noisy to be in the woods when they are breaking. One hit the roof last night, though I think it was more ice than branch--enough to set the dogs to barkking, though.

Carolyn h.

Cathy said...

I too am getting of this snow/ice combo. Yesterday I got learn how to use the snowblower, my arms are still sore for that. I think spring is about 50 or 49 days away?

CountryDreaming said...

2009 seems to be the "Year of the Pine Siskins." It's fascinating how so many are showing up in all different parts of the country. They are such beautiful birds, and I love your pictures of them and the Goldfinches.

Take care with all that ice.

Carolyn H said...

CD: It's funny. Last year I had redpolls and purple finch but no siskins. This year I don't have the redpolls or the purple finch, but the siskins are here!

Thanks for visiting
Carolyn h.