Our mild winter has made life easier than usual for backyard birds, and that’s a good thing. But since it’s not as hard for them to find food when there’s no snow cover, that means our feeders aren’t as busy either. And that’s no fun. (I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with our new cat Dexter, who spends half the day at the window below the feeders ….no, that can’t be it.)
I’m no fan of snow, but I was actually glad when we got a fast three inches on Sunday and our feeders were busy busy busy. Unfortunately, we were drawn away from the windows by another weather-related activity. Several cars slid into the ditches on both sides of our road, just in front of our driveway. (As I’ve mentioned before, we live on a steep hill that turns into a treacherous sliding board in winter.) We spent much of the afternoon using our home as a heating station for the people involved in a six-car fender-bender at the end of our driveway. It took almost four hours for tow trucks to arrive to pull them out. The sheriff’s deputy said there were multiple accidents in our area that day. Poor guy had his hands full, and he’s probably still sore from when he fell hard in the middle of the road trying to walk back down the hill to his car. What a mess.
But all the snow was melted by yesterday, when our temperatures hit 56 degrees. Seriously, it really is June-uary! (I spent yesterday afternoon hunting the Snowy Owl at a local metropark…that story and pictures in my next post.)
I just found out that February is National Bird Feeding Month. We feed the birds year-round, but this is a good month to encourage everyone to put feeders out, even if only for the rest of the winter. The little guys have a hard time finding food until the plants start popping up and the temperature warms up enough for all the insects the birds need to eat. If you’re a first-time bird feeder, you can get some tips and other info from the National Bird Feeding Society.
This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count is also this month, from Feb. 17-20. You can spend as little as 15 minutes counting birds at your feeders, or go to a park and count there for as long as you want. As they say on the website, it’s free, fun, and easy. I love being a citizen scientist, and I’ll bet you will too!