Thursday, January 4, 2007

Feeding the Birds

5 degrees, partly cloudy
About two-and-a-half feet of snow on the ground, 3-5 inches new

We started throwing seeds out a few weeks ago--mostly for the pheasants. The chickadees and nuthatches are not ground-feeders and are content with hanging feeders and the fat we put out for them. The gray jays have always found the cat food on the front porch very much to their liking.

But the last week or so has seen a huge influx of finches to our yard. Siskins and redpolls are crawling over the snow like so many ants, squabbling and fluttering and seemingly burning up more calories with their dust-ups than they gain from the seeds. They are, however, great fun to watch and the cats are much entertained.

A few juncos and even the long-absent grosbeaks have shown up as well. Despite their size, the grosbeaks seem shy and are easily frightened off by the smaller finches. They are beautiful to look at and to listen to. I wish I could keep birds but I suspect the ones I would like to keep aren't ones that do well in captivity.