IT’S SOOO COLD AND THE BIRDS WERE HUNGRY! – Marilyn Armstrong

The meteorologists said it was going to get super cold and it got super cold! I woke up early this morning. My back and I were having an unfortunate relationship. There was no point in fighting to sleep anymore.

I wasn’t going to sleep. I couldn’t find any comfortable position, so I gave up and got up.

It wasn’t all bad, though.

Our frozen woods

The early birds were up — the ones I usually miss because I’m asleep when they are around.

A Junco and the Cardinal

I finally got pictures of the Cardinal. I’ve seen him often but hadn’t gotten any recent shots of him. Cardinals seem to be early feeders and they move around a lot. He is easy to see, though — the brightest, reddest bird in New England!

Air battle – two juncos fighting over the feeder. Why when there’s more than enough room for both?
One more little battle. After that, they settled down. I think the boys don’t like each other. They are okay with other birds, not other male Juncos.

There were also a bunch of lady Cardinals lurking around, but they were too shy to come to the feeder and though they settled briefly on the railing, I couldn’t get them in focus fast enough. They are, in their own way, as pretty as the scarlet males. Bright green with a red tail and other markings. Otherwise, they look identical to their more loudly dressed boyfriends.

Cardinals are hard to miss in the winter!
Chickadee coming in for a landing!

Meanwhile, every branch in my woods was covered by a thin, shiny layer of ice. The woods were as shiny as a diamond. If I went outside to shoot it (and I’d probably wind up with frostbite as a result AND all the birds would fly away), the pictures would be better. I had to settle from shots through the glass, but I think you can see the gleaming branches.

Another bright red boy! You’ll never see two red ones together. They are very territorial and if they stray into the other one’s area, they fight in the air, like WW I fighter planes.
Shining like diamonds

Lots of shots of birds today. They were quite feisty about who got the feeder this morning, but they settled down after a while.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

20 thoughts on “IT’S SOOO COLD AND THE BIRDS WERE HUNGRY! – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. What a glorious, colourful surprise you serve here! I especially love the whirring chickadee and the pearly sparkling branches in the early morning light. The cardinals are SO special and these are one sort we never ever see. In fact in France where I live (still) now I seem to have less and less birds over the winter. It might be all the neighbours’ cats or they have different flight paths to earlier years or I don’t know….

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    1. Domestic cats kill millions of garden birds every year and are actually responsible for the disappearance of many birds garden birds. It’s why most people keep their cats inside a. The can and why they recommend you at least keep a bell on your cat. The cats can’t help themselves. That’s their natural way of hunting, but it’s not good for the birds. A lot of birds that were common in gardens are gone. Between the poisons we use for weeds and cats, we’re just killing them.

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      1. You try to explain that to all the neighbours here…. Me as a clear dog fan needn’t be convinced. I have come across at least two of these cats who felt at one or two occasions ‘outsmarted’ by me and they both came back several times over the weeks to make their business in front of our stairs up to the front door…. They ARE clever, one has to give it to them. And little bells on them would be the biggest NO NO to any cat owner. I should know I’m the odd one out of my family who prefers dogs to cats! One of my siblings has four….

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      2. This is the hardest layer of ice on snow in recent memory. I pounded the ice/snow outside our front door, just to pave a path for our dogs. It was darn hard, not your usual shovel stuff. I worked on the car today, managing just to clear part of the hood. I didn’t want to damage the car so I was careful with the pounding. Hopefully, the temp will rise a bit, we’ll get some rain and I can clear the car off. I did warm it up and rock it back and forth. Seemed okay. This is an impressively HARD ice/snow storm. Trudging up and down our long driveway was a chore. I’m beat!

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  2. I’ve been thinking of the Northeast people recently. The cold spell is real but without it your photos would likely be less stunning. Birds can be so photogenic when they stay long enough for the photographer to shoot their portrait. Stay warm up there!

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    1. We are indoors until the thaw they on Wed-Thurs. Garry couldn’t get the gate open. It’s iced shut. Tomorrow, he’ll have to get up to the car and at least turn it on and let it run or a while. It was 8 below zero this morning and didn’t break zero all day, which breaks the previous record. But by Wednesday it’ll be 40+ degrees — and pouring rain through Thursday.

      You think there’s some climate change maybe?

      The birds were very peppy this morning. And HUNGRY. I think the seeds were frozen so they had to really chip them out of the feeder.

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  3. So birds will actually fight over the feeder as well. I guess the difference between birds and squirrels is that you will NEVER see two squirrels sharing the same feeder. The fight will always continue until the submissive one retreats…

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