Winter settles in...
Our typical winter species have been busy foraging for food, which may be insects, bark butter, or seeds. A White-breasted Nuthatch and female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker worked opposite each other. A female nuthatch found a bit of bark butter to stash. A Red-bellied Woodpecker probed for insects while Northern Flickers (male has the mustache) and a female Hairy Woodpecker waited for turns at the feeders.
There is one American Robin here every single day, and it claims the bark butter for itself, chasing away any number of other species. This bird also will eat small sunflower chips and probes the ground a bit for insects. Rusty Blackbirds come in and sometimes stop at the bubbler on their way to turn over leaves in the swampy wetland.
Dark-eyed Juncos have been using the salvaged Christmas tree for cover, both at night and during the day. Northern Cardinals and White-throated Sparrows have been seen going in and out of it, too.
It was a nice surprise to find a Song Sparrow also using the tree for shelter. It came out to get a drink and went off to forage.
Pine Siskins have been here every day as well. They are using the feeders, fountain and basin.
On Friday,1-15-21 when it was snowing lightly most of the afternoon, some of the birds were in our Pond Cypress (Taxodium ascendens). The birds were finding something to eat on the slender, pendulous green catkins, or male flowers. This tree is not native to our area, but just south and east of Missouri. It was planted as an Arbor Day tree by the original owners. The Pine Siskin will spend winters even farther south of us, so it must be familiar with this food source. Can you find them in this first photo?
For more on this irruptive finch species: Pine Siskin
Mourning Doves took their naps near the Bubbler. A Tufted Titmouse came in to drink and Northern Cardinals brightened the woodland, waiting in the snow showers for turns at the feeders.
Tired of winter already? The 2020 Native Plant Garden Tour was cancelled, but you can view this video mini-tour by Mitch Leachman of
one of the featured Native Plant Gardens, chock full of ideas. DaveTylka is a consummate teacher and authored the MDC book:
Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People. He shared his garden on a hot July day, enjoy!