Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Of Blizzards and Birds

Indiana had our first major snow storm of the winter season today. We were under a blizzard warning but most of the major snow and wind was south of me! We only had about four or five inches of snow and thankfully no one in my family had to venture out!

A few weeks ago I wrote about a new winter bird feeding station for a Lowe's Creative Ideas project. Since we had snow in the forecast, I went outside yesterday and replaced some of the food on the tree. It had been warm and rainy and some of the homemade suet had started molding and smelled sour.  I added more suet dipped pine cones and a few lights and ornaments to the tree. I also washed the tiny clay pots and put plain peanut butter in them.

Usually when it snows the birds gather at my feeders in large numbers and I wanted the tree to be ready for them!
It is beautiful flocked with snow!
  I took the pictures through my sliding glass doors that looked like this most of the day! There was also blowing snow that made getting good pictures even more difficult!

 Even though the pictures are not the best quality, I wanted to show the birds that landed on the tree today. It was such a joy to watch them so close to the house!

 The little chickadees are my favorites and they were in and out of the tree all day!

 I was thrilled when they started eating the peanut butter from the clay pots! I was glad that I took the time to wash and refill them on Christmas day!
 The dark-eyed juncos also frequented the tree once they figured out how to maneuver the branches. They are usually ground feeders. 

 I had several mesh bags saved in the pantry and hung a few of them on the tree with home made suet bars in them.
 The chickadees came to the same spot all day and conveniently feasted on suet and peanut butter!
 Here is a female dark-eyed junco eating seeds from the suet dipped pine cone.

 The chickadees also ate seeds from the pine cones.

 Juncos are very difficult to photograph, especially on cloudy days because their eyes are so hard to capture. I don't like bird pictures if I can't clearly see their eyes so these were heavily photoshopped to lighten them enough to see the eyes.

 Same with the little chickadees and their black caps and dark eyes.

 I put a few more lights on the tree yesterday and finally plugged them in. I couldn't wait to see the lights twinkling in the snow and the sweet little birds on the light covered tree.

 I found out this morning that my sweet and cautious husband had unplugged the lights and brought the extension cord inside. He thought it might be hazardous to have lights on in the snow if the high winds blew the tree over. Better safe than sorry, but I was disappointed that I didn't have the lights on in these pictures of the precious chickadee.

The woodpecker landed on the back side of the tree and was also difficult to capture. I'm hoping once he is comfortable landing on the tree that he will venture to the front side!

The robins were in the yard in large numbers devouring the berries from the Bradford and Cleveland pear trees.

A few months ago I read that cardinals eat pumpkin seeds. I love cardinals, especially in the winter and since seed is so expensive I try to save and be frugal however I can! So, rather than throw the pumpkins in the composter, I busted them open and left them on the ground. It isn't very attractive and several times I have looked out the window and regretted that decision. I no longer do! This is a terrible picture, but it is proof that they will eat the seeds! Hopefully more people will save their fall pumpkins for the cardinals during these snowy winter months when their food supply is more scarce! I'm hoping to catch them eating it again when the weather conditions are more favorable.
 I hope everyone is safe today after the severe weather down south yesterday and the winter storms up north today! It has definitely been an eventful two days of crazy weather!

And I wanted to wish you all a belated...

I hope that you were all blessed to be with those you love!

Also a huge thank you to Shirley from Shirls Garden Watch blog for mentioning Robin's Nesting Place on her blog! Shirl and I both have a fondness and fascination for the birds!


Ruth Hiebert said...

WOW! That outdoor tree is as pretty as any indoor one.The addition of the birds visiting it make it very special.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

What a delightful read this post was! I love birds and your photos were wonderful. I'm so glad you got a shot of the woodpecker as well as the cardinal eating the pumpkin seeds. The clay pots with the peanut butter in them is a fantastic idea... so fantastic I may have to do it as well!

A belated Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

HI Robin, So glad to catch up with you... The bird Christmas tree is an awesome idea. Love it--and enjoyed seeing your pictures of all of the little birds enjoying the food there...

We had mostly rain here --but did get some snow today/tonight... The birds have been flocking to my feeders today also...


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your photos are fab Robin. My bird pictures were through a wet window too. It was so overcast yesterday with the snow coming down. Our area got a good amount of snow. Your bird feeding tree is perfect. It looks lovely in the snow. Merry Christmas to you too.

Jayne said...

I just love your tree, Robin. And I can tell the birds do too! I put suet dipped pine cones out on our pine tree before Christmas and they were dripping in the heat! Think I'll try your little peanut butter trick.

Shirley said...

Hello again, Robin - I was delighted to see your tree again with snow on its branches :-)

A couple of years ago I put silver baubles on a small pine tree here and capturing photos of the birds with snow covered baubles was such fun. However, my tree never looked as pretty as this one - truely a Christmas card picture you have here. Well done!

Hoping you've escaped the snow storms we've see in the news and that you've had a wonderful Christmas with your family. are very welcome for the link - thanks for letting me share you photo :-) With time issues and other stuff this wasn't the post I planned (although I did have fun with it) but I will mention you and link to you again when I do the planned version :-D

JOHN SHORTLAND, Cotswold Hills, England. said...

We've been hearing on our news programmes here in England about the terrible snowstorms that America is suffering at the moment.
Here it is mild, just continual rain and flooding - been like it for months now.

I've never heard of, or seen, a bird feeder Xmas tree and what a fantastic idea it is! It looks absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to get friends to try them out over here - suppose it will have to be 2013 now.

I'm going to try and link this post to my Facebook page in the hope that the Xmas tree idea spreads - hope that's ok with you.

Lovely photos so there's no need to apologise!

Best wishes for 2013. Stay warm!


Kerri Farley said...

A Belated Merry Christmas! and all the BEST for 2012.
LOVE your birdie christmas tree :)