“Bird” Feeder Survey, December 2018

In the snow belt, harsh winter weather and snow cover trigger aggressive feeding by resident wildlife. Bird counts and squirrel activity at artificial feeding stations reach an annual peak, a phenomenon that is most apparent in the midst of a snow storm. At various times throughout the day, chaos reigns as dozens of birds and mammals converge at feeders, providing wonderful opportunities for “wildlife watching” …and photography.

Chickadee and Downy Woodpecker feeding on a block of suet and grain.

Red-breasted Nuthatch at rest near feeders on a frigid winter morning

Blue Jay evaluating its feeding options

A pleasantly plump Gray Squirrel eating …. because it can!

White-breasted Nuthatch, an upside-down favorite

Red Squirrel digging for grain under a layer of fresh snow

Squirrels are notorious for their creative gymnastics around elevated “bird” feeders

Perhaps our most popular winter resident, cardinal sightings are down this year, and we don’t know why

Woodpeckers (Hairy and Red-bellied) squabbling over access to a suet block.

The Tufted Titmouse is expanding its range northward, influenced by artificial feeding and global warming

Photos by NB Hunter. © All rights reserved.

The Tail End of Winter 2018

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Northern Cardinal at the feeders in a snow storm

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Abandoned farm buildings and an active hunting shelter

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Deer foraging in the corn stubble, a common scene in late afternoon

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A matriarch defending her discovery of waste grain

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Doe and fawn foraging in a sheltered willow bottom

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Mature Bald Eagle, just before dark, in the rain

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The resident Red Squirrel with a not-so-red tail

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Thinking of warmer days, fake bugs drifting drag-free, and hungry trout

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Roots of a centuries-old maple tree, undercut by spring water

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.