This Weather is (Not) For the Birds

Like much of the northern tier of the United States, my little corner of southeast Michigan has been in the deep-deep freeze for nearly a week now. With wind chills between -20 and -25, schools were closed Thursday and Friday, meaning I had a couple days off work. It has been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to sit in front of my living room window with my camera, so I made good use of my two days off. I also spent a lot of time going out in the cold to replenish all the bird food, making sure my feathered friends had plenty of fuel to help keep them warm.

None of these photos are particularly great or striking, but they are examples of my daily visitors these frigid winter days.

One of my favorite photos from Thursday is this lovely blue jay, all fluffed up in the cold.

Fluffy blue jay.

Fluffy blue jay.

This blue jay – though the photo is not as good – looks like he feels the same about the weather as the rest of us. 🙂

A blue jay expressing his sentiments over the weather.

A blue jay expressing his sentiments over the weather.

The cardinals have been a bit sparse since we took out all the brush out front.  I was pleased to see this guy visiting, even if this is not a stellar photo.

Pretty male cardinal.

Pretty male cardinal.

We took our living room Christmas tree (9 ft) out front to provide a bit of cover for the birds over the winter.  The sparrows have been making the most of it!

Sparrows nestling in the Christmas tree.

Sparrows nestling in the Christmas tree.

I always love the little downy woodpeckers.  The smudge/blurry area in this photo is from something on the outside of the window.  I finally got brave enough to go out and try to clean the outside of the glass and guess what — Windex freezes at 20 below zero!!! LOL  Then I really had a heck of a time getting the window clean.

Downy woodpecker.

Downy woodpecker.

This white-breasted nuthatch is for Mr. Tootlepedal.

White-breasted nuthatch.

White-breasted nuthatch.

There were also plenty of goldfinches and house finches.

Male house finch.

Male house finch.

Male goldfinch.

Male goldfinch.

I took more photos on Friday and I am posting a gallery of this lovely little lady (female cardinal) who came for a late-afternoon snack.  Of all the pictures I took over the two days, I’m proudest of these, as I did no post-processing or editing to them at all.  I would love to claim some sort of skill, but for now it is still just dumb luck when I get a few really good photos.  (And compared to the other blogs I follow, these really are nothing, but my facebook friends all oohed and ahhed over them! 🙂  )

Click on any photo in the gallery to see an enlargement.

I have begun my Big Bird List for 2015 and it’s been a slow start due to the weather.  I only have 15 species so far, but to be honest I haven’t been trying very hard.  I have set a modest goal of 100 species for the year.  We have seen several hawks that I have not been able to add to my list due to the inability to identify them with confidence.  I figure I have 11 more months to get 85 more species!

I hope you have enjoyed my winter bird visitors.  God bless and stay warm!!

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8 Responses to This Weather is (Not) For the Birds

  1. Bob Zeller says:

    Hey, I didn’t know you were on FB. I shared this post to my Bob Zeller timeline. What name do you use on FB?

    Like

  2. kathydoremus says:

    The coloring on the female cardinal is lovely. What a lovely way to spend a few days off. 🙂

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    • Indeed! I do so much sitting and watching the birds in the summer, but once I go back to work in the fall, I just don’t have the same amount of time to bird watch leisurely, so it was a real treat to have a couple of days with nothing to do and nowhere to go!

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  3. tootlepedal says:

    You found plenty of colour at a chilly time.

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  4. It’s a fine collection of birds and photos of them, especially the cardinal! I haven’t been out for a walk since Sunday, too busy with work, and too cold for me, although I hate to admit that. 😉 Good luck on reaching 100 species for the year, it should be a cinch if you have time to get out at all once it warms up a bit.

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    • Thanks, Jerry! It’s awful going anywhere in this cold, and you’ve had a lot more snow to go with it over your way! I feel bad for the dogs. They are used to getting walked just about every day, and I haven’t been able to take them out since Tuesday, which was a GIANT chore and not much fun! They are so bored and restless. It’s supposed to warm up a bit tomorrow, so we are hoping to get them out and get some exercise. We are all counting down the days until spring!

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