This interesting weekend began when the temperature was above 50, but you wouldn’t have known it from the Goldfinch and Mourning Dove activity at our feeders. Starting Sunday morning, and continuing through that afternoon, the Goldfinches and the Mourning Doves, in particular, seemed to be queuing at or under the feeders without cease….which makes us think that their ability to sense bad weather coming is better than ours…. they were storing up for the cold and potential snow.
Our species count this week was 13, down several from what was the norm last year. We’ve seen The Brown Creeper only once this year whereas he was a regular visitor last year. Also, Blue Jays just aren’t going to the feeder area when we’re watching (although we know they’re at the front of our house because we can hear them).
And there’s the question of why we’re not seeing bigger numbers of birds (although the Goldfinches and Mourning Doves were good this weekend). But it’s not usual that we see only one White-Throated Sparrow, or two Juncos, or a couple of Carolina Chickadees. Their numbers are off (we saw 16 Juncos one weekend last year, and have seen up to eight White Throats and four Carolina Chickadees).
The weekend proved, once again, how important it is for you to provide water for the birds at your feeder. Without snow, when the Temperature drops like a stone, where do birds turn for water? At our house they know that there’s water on the deck, thanks to the Immersion heater in the bird bath. It’s really nice to be able to see Titmice, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, Goldfinches, House Finches, Juncos and the Carolina Wren all taking their turns at the water when it’s freezing outside.
The coming week sounds more like winter, perhaps there’ll be some of our regular visitors returning. To now, we’ve reported only 20 species seen since the beginning of November. In the 11 years we’ve been watching and reporting to Feeder Watch, we seen 43 species.