The birds are back in town. November 5, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in critters, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: backyard birds, feeding birds, winter birds
With all due apologies to Thin Lizzy and “The Boys Are Back in Town,” our friend Ben and Silence Dogood have been enjoying the return of our winter birds here at our cottage home, Hawk’s Haven, located in the precise middle of nowhere, PA. We’d kept up three tube feeders through the summer, enjoying the goldfinches and occasional chickadee who came around to sample our black oil sunflower seeds. But with the advent of truly cold nights, we set out five additional feeders and added mixed birdseed and suet cakes to the black oil sunflower seeds.
This morning, our friend Ben was looking at our cabin feeder through one of the living room windows and one of our tube feeders over the deck bridge, and I realized that the birds were back. There were the titmice, the chickadees, the nuthatches, the house finches. There were still the resident flocks of goldfinches and cardinals, who live here throughout the year, as well as one bold little wren that’s called our backyard home this past year. Not everyone is here yet—the increasing cold will draw juncos and woodpeckers, bluejays, purple finches, and sparrows. We always hope for rose-breasted grosbeaks and cedar waxwings, but have yet to see them. Maybe this year!
Meanwhile, our friend Ben noticed some distinct oddities in our autumn guests. Typically, our titmice are the same size as the black-capped chickadees, but this year, they’re noticeably larger. The black-caps and Carolina chickadees are here together this year so it’s easy to tell them apart, since the Carolinas are considerably smaller than the black-caps. And lo and behold, there was a mockingbird, state bird of our friend Ben’s and Silence’s home state of Tennessee, all puffed up but clearly ready to stick it out here at our Pennsylvania feeders.
Because we’re down to two outdoor cats, we also have a very fat family of squirrels enjoying our cabin feeder. We wish they’d settled for caching our shagbark hickory nuts, butternuts, and black walnuts instead!
Gack, that reminds me, I’d better get out there and refill those feeders. The birds are back in town!