Feeding Birds in the Middle of Winter

In September I posted about bird watching in our neighborhood. Since that time I received a Christmas gift of a new digital SLR camera and I have discovered that I don’t need a powerful zoom lens to get some great shots. I can utilize the 18 MP resolution of the sensor in my camera to enlarge photos by using my computer to enlarge and crop them.

On Feb 7th I stood on my three season porch and took some photos from the doorway using various techniques. I was able to identify more birds from my photos than I have before with a pair of binoculars or the naked eye. Because photographs allow me to study the feathered friends carefully, found more species than I thought I had previously.

I photographed cardinals, sparrows, blue jays, nuthatches, juncos, house finches, and black-capped chickadees in a short time. Of course we have fed these creatures for many years, having figured out how to foil squirrels who would rob the seed. And in the middle of winter it is important to keep the feeder full of a variety of seeds, especially when the ground is covered with snow.

When twenty or birds are on the feeder at once they will scratch like chickens do in the seeds to find a seed they prefer. By doing this some seeds will go to the ground and we see other birds on the ground feasting especially the juncos.

Finally the morning feeding frenzy was interrupted when a small raptor flew over and birds headed for cover. The raptor chased birds this way and that, even into the bare limbs of our lilac trying to make a meal of the birds I am feeding! All in all it was a most enjoyable week of bird watching in Glenarmil.  Below is a far away photo of my unidentified raptor.

About jwelch

Past president, and at-large board member of Glen Armil Neighborhood Association. Recently he served on Davenport Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the SAU Neighborhood Relations Council. Has held many volunteer positions at his church and has been involved as a Library board member in Wisconsin, President of Reedsburg, Wisconsin Little League. Years ago he traveled to Florida for relief work after Hurricane Andrew and also to Grand Forks, ND after flooding on the Red River devastated the community. Jim has been married to his wife Donna since 1971, has two sons and 5 grandchildren. He has lived in Glen Armil neighborhood since 1983. He has been a school teacher and a painting contractor, but now retired.
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