The dip in temperatures this past weekend prompted us to ready the bird feeders for the winter. We loaded up all of the suet feeders, which I’d only stocked infrequently over the summer, and moved two of our larger seed feeders up onto the back deck. Yes, seed will spill, and squirrels will gather below prompting endless barking by our dogs. But moving these feeders closer to my office window and the back door ensures two things: wonderful winter bird viewing and easier access to the feeders when they need filling. Come January, when it’s below freezing and the snow is thigh deep in the back yard those feeders will be much easier to fill if I can just dash out the back door.
We keep a few feeders further out in the yard, too, of
course. The smaller birds – the chickadees,
nuthatches, finches, sparrows and downy woodpeckers – aren’t shy at all about
coming up close to the house. But some of the other birds are wary. Our
back feeders draw the blue jays, hairy woodpeckers, and red-bellied
woodpeckers, as well as the cardinal pairs who take turns feeding while their
mates stand guard. Refilling those
feeders requires serious winter gear, though – no sprinting out the door in my slippers!
Yesterday’s work has already paid off. The smaller birds have adjusted to their
feeder’s new location and a large hairy woodpecker was just out on the back
suet feeder enjoying a meal. I am
keeping an eye out for the pileated woodpecker I saw last week while walking
the dogs. We’ve never had a pileated at
our feeders, but maybe this one will pay a neighborly visit or two now that we’ve
put out the welcome mat.
The colder temps are inevitable, as is the snow they’re
forecasting for later this week. Lucky for me, visits from hungry winter birds
are inevitable, too. As long as I keep the feeders full, that is.