Thursday, February 6, 2020

thankful thursday

There have been many wild birds here every day this Winter: juncoes and chickadees and finches and titmice and nuthatches and cardinals and jays and downy woodpeckers and hairy woodpeckers and red-bellied woodpeckers. There is a small hanging basin for water, and every morning I pop out the disk of ice that has formed and refill the basin from one of the buckets I'm carrying to the goats, so that at least once daily the birds have access to water in a relatively safe spot. (I've also had hawks here this Winter, so the safety is not absolute.)

In addition to a suet feeder and a hanging feeder of mixed seeds, I've also been scattering seed on the snow under the thicket of Kerria japonica and Spirea branches. I began doing it so the juncoes would have plenty of food available instead of waiting for seed to fall from the hanging feeder, but as more and more birds made it clear that they enjoyed this less-exposed dining area, I began putting more seed on the ground. It's been quite remarkable how many birds will gather under and within those shrubs every day. And around the corner, the suet feeder is especially popular with all the woodpeckers.

This morning I happened to look out at the exact right moment to see two new visitors to the suet feeder, each appearing briefly before flying off. 

First the male:

Then the female:

Eastern Bluebirds!

This is only the second time I have seen a bluebird on my property, and it was such a gift to look out at just the right moment to see this pair. I'm sorry the pictures are a bit murky; it was sleeting lightly.

When I went out to scatter seed and fill the wild bird feeder today, I added dried mealworms to the little feeder attached to a window. The titmice and finches visit it now, but maybe the bluebirds will come back and give it a try if they notice the mealworms. Or maybe I'll put up a second suet feeder.
I would love to see bluebirds as regular visitors here.

But even if it's another two years before the third sighting,
I'm so grateful I saw these two today!