Friday, February 8, 2013
Flurry of Bird Activity at the Bird Feeder
The threat of major snow was here and little songbirds were all out at the backyard bird feeders. Just like people, they did some last-minute shopping at the grocery store (my bird feeders) to get their munchies to keep going on during and after the storm.
The bird feeder were a very busy place with chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, purple and house finches, cardinals, blue jays, and a big, beautiful red-bellied woodpecker that was always hanging on the edge of the feeder trying to stick its beak into the food. After some quick flying, flopping and bobbing around the feeders, the birds would get a seed or two, then fly off to store the seed or gobble it up. The birds would return moments later to do it all over again, back and forth, until the feeder was bare.
Who knows how much snow we'll get, but for sure the bird feeders helped make things a little easier for the neighborhood's feathered friends. A pile of snow or an ice storm that covers everything with just an inch of snow or ice will increase many species' need for supplemental food. Forest birds including chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and blue jays, will stash food away for times when their regular sources aren't available. Not bad for a creature with a bird brain!
Within the urban-suburban environment of the New York metropolitan region, I have no doubt that bird feeders play an important role for the survival of many kinds of wildlife. In a world where truly natural spaces, undisturbed by people, are scarce and sporadic at best, bird feeders provide an easy meal and an easy way for people to connect with wildlife.