Sunday, January 8, 2017

What is a bird garden?

The garden is frozen. . . . . . . but there is still a welcome extended to all on our front porch.

No human footsteps have appeared on the pathway and up the front steps,
but the birds came to eat and drink. . . . . . and cheer up the ice cold
landscape yesterday, adding color and movement, and a few chirps
now and then when squabbling over a peanut or a place on a feeder.

Today they are back again and bringing life to the garden.
Here are more photos of our visitors taken later in the day yesterday when
 the light was better - but I still didn't venture out on the ice so they were
 taken through the windows.

Garden birds enjoy a wide range of food types. Most species can make 
their own meals on a variety of edibles from many sources. But all species 
require a water source, and that source has incredible drawing power. 
The backyard that offers a steady source of water, along with food and
 shelter, will always attract larger numbers and more species of bird life than
 the backyard that offers only food and shelter.

Male Northern Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinal

Mourning Dove & Pine Siskin

Blue Jay

Male Towhee

Female Towhee

Northern Flicker

Male House Finch

Female House Finch

Carolina Wren

Tufted Titmouse

Female Cardinal & Male House Finch. . . . sharing!

Pine Siskin - snow melting now and enjoying this morning's sunshine.

So, the snow didn't amount to much but the layer of ice remains on the streets this
 morning with temperatures staying below freezing, even plummeting to
 a low of zero degrees Fahrenheit tonight - our coldest night this winter so far.
Hopefully the garden birds will find a safe spot to spend the night, and 
tomorrow we'll be out again defrosting their precious water sources.

Many thanks for your comments on yesterday's wildlife photos.
Stay safe, and toasty warm, if you're in one the of the colder places on the planet!


  1. What a lovely colourful selection of birds in your winter garden Mary - no snow here, I don't know if there is any on the horizon, but strangely I have just seen a blog showing a thick layer of snow in Greece of all places.

  2. It has been so cold for a few nights in my part of the planet (southern Germany; up to -14 Celsius or more) that not too far away from me there have been many broken water pipes and people had to leave their houses. We're not personally affected, but I am sorry for those who are.

    Providing food and water for the birds is a good way of making them welcome in your garden. I have read that during a cold winter's night, a small bird can lose 20 % of its own body weight just by using up all that energy not to freeze to death. That certainly made me put out food and water on the kitchen windowsill!

    Your photos are fantastic. I never manage to take any good animal pictures, not even of species that move a lot slower!

  3. I tossed cracked corn and dog pellets onto the frozen lake this morning and now the starlings are thick in the trees, singing and wondering how to get at that cracked corn. I'll tell you a funny story about the house finch. Many years ago, I had never seen one before. I shut the kids out of my bedroom and crawled stealthily across the floor with camera, sure I had discovered a new species of a sparrow/cardinal cross.

  4. You have a box of chocolates for wildlife in your garden Mary, and even more gorgeous in the wintry conditions! Keep safe and warm during this time xxx

  5. On our TV news last night we saw the snow photos and the effect on transport, even airports closed.

    My favourite is the Tufted Titmouse which I thought was an English bird - do they migrate?
    She looks very small. I must find a good book on your birds as I find them fascinating!
    Yes we mustn't forget the water too - the essence of all life!
    Gorgeous post - what fun looking through your windows.

    Shane ( back to work today ugh!)

  6. All very different from our British birds!

  7. I am pleasantly reminded of the winters in New York when I was trudging out in the snow to put seed in the feeders and pouring it on the steps for squirrels and birds alike.
    They are so tiny and have so little to keep them warm. They need that food !

  8. Oh my they all look sooo cold, but that bluejay looks the coldest--poor thing
    Enjoy the moments, di

  9. Beautiful bird photos! It's been bitter cold here in IL - mostly single digit temps with below zero wind chill factors. Warming up this week into the 20's and 30's, but rain and snow. I have a couple of bird feeders around our property and pine trees line our backyard where the birdies roost all winter. I know the birds need water, but what to do in the freezing temps? If I put water in the bird bath, it will just freeze over right away. And then when it snows, it gets covered anyway. Any suggestions?

  10. Beautiful photos, Mary. The cardinal looks like he is wearing a little blue scarf.

  11. More wonderful bird photos! Lovely! Our world is also covered in ice, so watching from the window too. Haven't even tried to get the newspaper out on my walk. Take care and keep warm.

  12. Fabulous bird pictures - love the ones with the seeds in their mouths. I have a tiny fountain that I put out in the summer - even the hummingbirds love to fly through it - and everyone loves the birdbath through the whole year - even the winter.

  13. Great shots, Mary. I never would have thought you took them through a window.

    You really know your birds. This post was very educational for me. I have a neighbor at the lake who helps me identify birds. Until I started to plant a variety of perennial plants here at home, I never saw much more than robins, sparrows and cardinals. These new plants and plenty of water sources have brought interesting birds (as well as a few hawks) and it's fun to watch them.

    I'm relieved to hear your snow wasn't accumulative. Do you have another storm on the way? We have a warm up coming and we really need it!

    All the best,

    Jane ;-D

  14. Beautiful photos! It is so cold out there!

  15. What stunning bird life you have Mary!
    Keep warm and safe.
    Rose H xx

  16. I have always loved your bird photos. The Morning Dove is my favorite. The woodpecker is beautiful but he looks like he is attacking your house. They love our yellow stucco. We don't see them until Spring and that is a good thing.

  17. Your garden bird photos are stunning, Mary. How welcome the birds must feel. I'm determined to encourage more birds to visit our garden, but we can't have bird feeders because of rats. A birdbath with water is something I'm contemplating, and lots of berry bushes of various sorts.

  18. Yes, very educational indeed. I love all your marvelous bird shots. Do you ever give the birds names? Can't recall.


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