Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring? at Springbrook 2013

 Spring migrants have arrived in full force at Springbrook, but they all look a little dazed. There were over 40 Fox Sparrows at a time at the feeders in the past few days scratching the snow back to find seeds near the soil. Usually we might see 6 or 8.

Our extended snowy season this year is making it difficult for many of the migrant birds.  Swallows and flycatchers that depend on insects are having a hard time finding enough to eat.
 This Hermit Thrush was turning leaves over along the edge of the windows finding worms.  There were at least 5 other Hermit Thrushes doing the same thing.
Many people have seen the flocks of Robins flying everywhere.  Some of the Robins are getting innovative as they cannot find open ground to search for worms.

This one spied the suet feeder and decided to try it out.  I think he watched the woodpeckers and thought it looked easy.
 But he discovered his toes are not made for hanging on to the sides of anything, and his body is heavy to hold up.

But after many tries he finally got the "hang" of it, as can be seen below, and has stayed close to the suet feeder for over a week.
He will often fly onto the feeder knocking it around, then fly down to the ground and eat the bits of suet that have fallen off.
 A Barred Owl has noticed the hundreds of birds flocking around the feeders, and watches them closely.

When there are many birds on the ground and close to the windows he will fly at them as can be seen below.  I think his plan or hope is that one will fly into the windows and be stuned for a moment.  Long enough for him to get a meal.  I have not seen it work yet.  But it must have worked once, as he keeps trying.

Many deer come to the feeders looking for food.  They have been living off of fat for many months now and need new green food desperately.  The late snow is slowing that process down.  Within a couple of weeks the does will be having fawns, and will need fresh food.

Forgive this anthropomorphism, but I asked this deer what she thought of this year's spring weather, and the picture below was her response.

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