For the Birds: Good times, bad times …

Photo by Chris Bosak — A northern cardinal and red-bellied woodpecker share a feeding station in New England.

For those who feed birds, it seems that there are slow times, busy times, and routine times.

It can be disconcerting and frustrating during the slow times. You glance out of the window hoping to see a few birds to lift your spirits or to just appreciate a bit of nature during the day, and nothing is there. It can be worrisome because the thought often arises as to whether or not the lack of birds indicates that something is wrong with bird populations.

Populations of many bird species, of course, are indeed in decline. But a slow period at the feeder is typically not an indication of a broader concern. There are certain times of the year when birdfeeders go through a slow period. Seasonal fluctuations are normal. We are perhaps going through one of those fluctuations now as I’ve received a few emails recently wondering why the birds have suddenly stopped visiting. 

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The day after the storm, take 1

Photo by Chris Bosak A song sparrow perches on a fence post the day after a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

Here are a few photos from the calm after the storm. It’s still bitterly cold in New England, but the sun is shining brightly.

Photo by Chris Bosak A song sparrow perches on a fence post the day after a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.
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Storm photos, take 5

Photo by Chris Bosak A blue jay stands on a fence post during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

Here are a few leftover photos from yesterday’s storm.

Photo by Chris Bosak A white-throated sparrow perches on a branch following a snowfall in New England, January 2022.
Photo by Chris Bosak A blue jay stands on a fence post during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

Storm photos, take 4

Photo by Chris Bosak A junco perches on a branch during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

A montage of snowy bird photos wouldn’t be complete without a junco, so here you go. Also, a blue jay as a bonus.

Photo by Chris Bosak A blue jay stands on a fence post during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

Storm photos, take 3

Photo by Chris Bosak A Carolina wren looks for food on the ground during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

I’m going to call this bird “old reliable” because it comes to the feeder every day, regardless of the weather.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Carolina wren looks for food on the ground during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

Storm photos, take 2

Photo by Chris Bosak A song sparrow perches on a fence post during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

Here’s a tribute to the sparrows that brighten our winter days, all taken during the Jan. 29 storm.

Photo by Chris Bosak A white-throated sparrow looks for food on the ground during a snowstorm in New England, January 2022.
Photo by Chris Bosak A song sparrow perches on a fence post during a snow storm in New England, Jan. 2022.

Storm photos, take 1

Photo by Chris Bosak A red-bellied woodpecker perches on a fence during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

Well, you all had to have seen this coming. Here is round one of the January 29, 2022, snowstorm photos. Like any great bout, this will likely go several rounds.

Photo by Chris Bosak A red-bellied woodpecker perches on a fence during a snowstorm in New England, Jan. 2022.

For the Birds: Winter strategies for birds

Photo by Chris Bosak A northern mockingbird perches on a branch following a snowfall in New England, January 2022.

Single-digit temperatures and heavy snow always make me think of the birds that tough out New England winters.

There are many birds that, instead of taking a risky migration journey, opt to stay here and take their chances with the cold. We see these birds at our feeders and in our woods every day. Whether a bird migrates or stays put, there are inherent risks and rewards.

Birds that migrate face an arduous journey fraught with obstacles, including but certainly not limited to tall buildings, wind turbines, cell towers, dangerous weather, exhaustion and destruction of their wintering grounds. Once they get to their destination, however, they are rewarded with abundant food and warm temperatures. Of course, they have to make the trip all over again in the spring.

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More snow photos ahead of the storm

Photo by Chris Bosak A junco perches on a branch after a snowfall in New England, January 2022.

Here’s a post similar to yesterday’s but featuring only the junco, one of New England’s favorite “snow birds.” Here’s yesterday’s post in case you missed it.

Photo by Chris Bosak A junco perches on a branch after a snowfall in New England, January 2022.
Photo by Chris Bosak A junco perches on a branch after a snowfall in New England, January 2022.
Photo by Chris Bosak A junco perches on a branch after a snowfall in New England, January 2022.
Photo by Chris Bosak A junco perches on a branch after a snowfall in New England, January 2022.

A few bird photos ahead of the storm

Photo by Chris Bosak A mourning dove perches on a wire during a snowfall in New England, Jan. 2022.

As of Thursday morning, the forecast calls for some snow throughout New England. Will it be a fierce Nor’easter that will drop a foot or more of snow or a relatively calm storm with an inch or two? That much remains to be seen as different models are predicting different outcomes. Like always, we’ll wait and see. In the meantime, here are a few snowy bird photos as we await the storm.

Photo by Chris Bosak A blue jay stands tall during a New England snowfall last week.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Carolina wren perches on a branch following a snowfall in New England, Jan. 2022.