Bird Feeder Survey – 28January2016

The number of doves at the feeders is directly proportional to the severity of the winter weather and snow depth. A few visit several times a day, but 20 or 30 might appear in the middle of a blizzard. Ground feeders, doves typically flutter to the ground, a few at a time, from nearby perches on tree branches and overhead wires.


Feeding is fast and furious. Seeds and grain are swallowed whole and stored in an enlarged portion of the esophagus, the crop. This “whole grain” food will be digested later, from the safety of a perch in the trees.


Sparrows and juncos, also ground foragers, swarm the feeding sites throughout the day. They seem to eat more than is physically possible, or necessary for that matter.


American Tree Sparrow


Slate-colored Junco (1 of 2)


Suet blocks, a commercial mix of animal fats and seeds, are a major attraction. Just about everybody pecks at these things at one time or another. Woodpeckers are the primary users, but jays, nuthatches, chickadees, starlings and other species visit them too. Squirrels devour suet blocks in late winter.


Downy Woodpecker


White-breasted Nuthatch


Red-bellied Woodpecker

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.



12 thoughts on “Bird Feeder Survey – 28January2016

    • Glad you liked the images and also found some of the information useful. Artificial feeding, though somewhat controversial, can be both entertaining and educational. I really enjoy the opportunities that it creates for “wildlife watching” and photography in the winter months. If you haven’t done so already, check out Cornell’s “All About Birds” site for everything you need to know about feeding.

  1. Beautiful photos, Nick! These are the same birds we are seeing in our yard this winter. I feed a good Fruit and Nut blend in our hopper feeder, and have a thistle feeder for the finches and pine siskins. We see a lot of white-winged doves and Eurasian collared doves in the winter too.

    • It’s fun to share feeder stories. Sounds like you have a nice variety of visitors. I have one thistle tube feeder and a handful of gold finches use it. I rarely see pine siskins – not sure why – and am not familiar with your dove species. Jealous! We have plenty of winter ahead so I’m hopeful that something out of the ordinary shows up….grosbeaks, siskins, redpolls …all are welcome!! Enjoy.

  2. Thanks for these shots, Nick. We had wide variety of feeders at the previous house where we lived at the edge of a tree farm, with many of the same sort of visitors. Ones I remember with great fondness. Currently on a small fenced city lot it’s been more of a struggle to encourage birds to visit. It’s probably for the best given quite a lot of prowling felines.

    • Thanks Charlie. It warms my heart to know that these snow pix are appreciated elsewhere. It’s snowing now and I’m hoping for the challenge of new/different species at the feeders…would like to continue the feeder theme for at least one more post!

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