Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blizzards and Birds

A large winter storm has hit Massachusetts, causing blizzard conditions.  It started snowing yesterday around noon and isn't supposed to let up until tomorrow morning.  School for the kids is cancelled today for the blizzard, and tomorrow so that we can all dig ourselves out.

Downy Woodpecker
We've been out with the snowblower twice, trying to keep up with the storm so we've got a chance of getting our cars out whenever this ends.  The snow was up to my knees and rising.

American Robin
We are lucky to be able to hole up in our nice warm houses.  The birds, on the other hand, still have to venture out for sustenance. 


Even with the wind whipping wildly, the bird feeders have been seeing a steady stream of business, offering an easy source of food.  


The birds also stop for a drink at the new local watering hole - the new heated birdbath I just got last month.  Even in a blizzard, they still enjoy some water.

Tufted Titmouse
A thick rim of ice has formed around the edges, though, due to the storm.

American Goldfinch
Some of the smaller birds have been having a little trouble reaching the water because of the rim of ice, especially the Juncos.  I've noticed a couple of them trying to reach the water, then giving up and swallowing some of the snow on the rim instead.  When I was out earlier I tried to knock off the ice, but to no avail.

Dark-eyed Junco, trying to figure out how to get a drink
Some of the smarter ones, however, have figured out how to use the rock that I keep in the birdbath to their advantage.

Tufted Titmouse
It is now snowing harder than ever with huge, fluffy flakes.  It is beautiful to watch, but I'm glad I'm not out in it!  I imagine that come night the birds will find a tree hollow or birdhouse or maybe some thick evergreen branches to shelter in against the cold.  


And hopefully by tomorrow morning, the storm will be over.

Eastern Bluebird
I hope everyone is staying safe and warm out there!

20 comments:

  1. it looks pretty, and so grateful that you look after your embattled birds!

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    1. I feel for them during the winter. I know last winter they had such a hard time over much of the US due to the cold weather lasting for so long. I try to at least help out the ones in my corner of the woods.

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  2. That is a lot of snow, take care Indie. Beautiful birds, I love the tufted Titmouse!

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    1. The Tufted Titmouse is such a darling little bird, with its 'tuft' of feathers always sticking out. So much fun to watch!

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  3. Fabulous photos! I've chosen not to heat the birdbath, but I might have to re-think that. We have plenty of birds in the garden, but few visitors to the feeders--still trying to figure out why. Predators in the area? Plenty of seeds and berries still available on the plants, trees, and shrubs? Anyway, stay warm and safe, and enjoy the beautiful winter scenes!

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    1. Hopefully it's due to all the food available in the woods! Usually here there's nothing like a snowstorm to bring in the birds. I can always tell when we're going to have bad weather. So far I've enjoyed having the heated birdbath. There's definitely some regulars - the bluebirds come every day!

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  4. You're really helping out the neighborhood birds! We also find that the bird feeders keep busy when the weather is harsh. We don't see American Robins hardly at all during winter, though.

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    1. I don't usually see them in winter except when they are eating all the berries off my hollies. However, at least one of them has discovered my birdbath and comes every day.

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  5. Wow, so much snow!! I think it's great that you have a heated bird bath, and that it works in a blizzard. The birds are thanking you ;)

    Stay warm!!

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    1. I've been impressed with that bird bath. I know it must be working overtime in this weather!

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  6. I always feel so sorry for the birds in winter conditions like this. I'm glad they have a safe haven and a place for dinner at your home. Stay safe!

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    1. In this kind of weather, I even feel sorry for the deer. I do wonder what they do during a blizzard - hole up somewhere, I guess?

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  7. I have that issue here..I put a twig or branch across one side of the bath so that little birds can stand on it. I go and hit the ice off with a brush, but small birds will use the twig to grasp without slipping into the bath from the ice..Michelle

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    1. I'll have to find the right twig that will stretch across and stick out and not get frozen. It was so cold after the blizzard that even the top of the birdbath was freezing, so I had to break it up a couple times. Thankfully the next day the sun was shining and warmed things up enough to break off the ice rim.

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  8. I hope it wasn't as bad as they predicted and everyone is safe and warm....poor birdies but thankfully they found you!

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    1. They got record snowfall in some places, but thankfully not too many lost power, which was the big concern. And all the birds seem to have weathered it through okay, judging by the big flock that is still around my bird feeder :)

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  9. I'm glad you were safe and sound. I worry about the wildlife in storms and keep the feeders full.I have a heated birdbath they love. Love the pic of the bluebird! So cute!

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    1. The bluebirds love the bird bath. When the sun was shining and it warmed up briefly yesterday, one even took a bath! They are so pretty to watch, though very wary of paparazzi :)

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  10. Lovely pics. We heat our birdbath and have placed a small-flag holder across it for the birds to perch on (without the flag of course. The worst of the blizzard missed us, but there is another storm on the way. Stay warm and safe. P. x

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  11. Thank you for taking care of the birds. Stay warm!

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