After watching a few snowy college football games yesterday, I figured I’d get us ready for the white stuff by throwing in a few photos from years past. Today is warm and windy in New England, but that can change at any moment …
A snow storm is coming to New England. It makes for one of my favorite times to photograph birds in the backyard and beyond.
If you haven’t already, fill your feeders. You don’t want to wake up to several inches of snow and realize your feeders aren’t filled. Do it now, even in the dark. I just got done with mine. Sunflower seeds, suet cakes, bark butter and peanut nuggets. I also filled a sizable Tupperware container with seeds and brought it inside. That way I can toss some seeds out the window tomorrow at various times as the snow comes down. Many birds will eat seeds off the ground during these storms.
Please send me any photos you get tomorrow (Thursday) during the storm. I’ll post them on this site. It’s not a photo competition; just for fun. Send them to email@example.com.
Thanks and enjoy the storm.
Check out the amazing feathers on this Dark-eyed Junco, seen here eating sunflower seeds the day after last week’s snowstorm.
Here we go again. Another snowstorm is due to hit New England tonight. That mean’s slippery roads and canceled school (if you’re a pessimist) or sled riding and canceled school (if you’re an optimist or kid).
It also means another tough night for our birds. But don’t fret, the birds will be just fine. They’ve been surviving our winters for years and years and will continue to do so.
Here’s my latest For the Birds column about how birds survive winters such as this:
Granted it’s been only three winters since The Hour has moved its offices to East Norwalk along the Norwalk River, but this is clearly the longest the river has been frozen over in that time. Instead of seeing rippling water and the accompanying ducks, geese and swans I usually see, for the last few weeks I’ve looked out the window and seen only a wide, serpentine-like expanse of white. Yes, this winter has been a tough one in New England. Extended freezing temperatures, short thaws (if any at all) and lots of snow. Humans can simply crank up the heat in their cars and homes if they are cold. But what about the birds? How do they survive tough winters like this? Birds and other animals have been surviving harsh winters for eons. True, a small percentage of birds will perish during the winter. This is particularly true of individual birds of a species that typically heads south for the winter. Most Great Blue Herons move south for the winter. Some stick around New England and brave the cold.
The snow always brings a lot of birds to the feeders. The Dec. 14, 2013, snowfall was no exception. Here are a few shots of Downy Woodpeckers in the snow. Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Mourning Doves and Northern Cardinals ate seeds on the ground below. The Downy Woodpeckers owned the suet cake, other than when a much larger female Hairy Woodpecker swooped in to take over.
Send me your snow bird photos at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post them on my “reader submitted” photo page.