Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A little wren...
There’s nothing like a good snowstorm to fill the feeders with birds and empty them of food. Birds eat like sharks in a feeding frenzy during snowstorms. For me, it’s a good time to see lots of birds and to look for new birds.
This storm brought out large numbers of juncos and titmice, chickadees of both species, more cardinals than I knew were around and lots more. I did not see any unusual species. I believe a reason for that is that it’s still very early winter, and some of the more unusual winter birds may simply not have arrived. Or so I tell myself.
In other words, I didn’t have any purple finch, pine siskins or grosbeaks, let alone the rarer redpolls. After all, until two days ago it was still fall, and kind of a normal fall at that, so even those northern species that might be inclined to head south at some point this year might not have gotten their bags packed to actually begin the trip.
Perhaps my best sighting—and don’t hold your breath for it—was the first appearance of two Carolina wrens at the same time. I’ve always assumed that I had two of them, but they never appeared together before. I was also glad to see them for another reason. These little wrens tend to burrow in cavities near the ground, and heavy snowstorms can bury and kill them. They are also, apparently, sensitive to extremes of temperature. After a 20 inch storm in the mid-90’s, I didn’t see Carolina wrens again for several years. So I’m glad these two are staying someplace that can at least make it through a foot-deep snow with higher drifts.