Friday, January 05, 2007

All I really need to know I learned at my bird feeder

It's snowing again, and the bird feeder on my back deck is one of the busiest places in Woodland Park. As I sit at my computer, I can watch the feeder. Here's what I've learned:

+ Down is a great insulator. These finches and chickadees have plumped up to softball size in the snow.

+ Sometimes, you can find treasures in somebody else's castoffs. The most successful birds are the ones who perch on the floor under the feeder, waiting for seeds to rain down on them.

+ The big man doesn't always win. Scrub jays have a hard time perching on the feeder, where their tiniest relatives are at ease.

+ Several small meals are better than one large gorge-fest. (OK, hundreds of small meals.)

+ Black and white is an especially effective outfit in the snow - easy to see, jaunty, even.


Biker Betty said...

My favorites in the winter time are the Junco's. We get the grey & white and the beige & white. Where I live we usually only get the finch's, sparrow's, & junco's. Oh, and we do feed the squirrels and they don't cause any problems.

Also, I found for identifing bird the "Birds of Colorado - Field Guide" book to be the easiest to use. You look for birds by color and then they are listed smallest to biggest. I love it! It's great for novices like me.

Zen said...

For those that might not know, the bird at Deb's feeder is a Dark Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis).

As Betty mentioned, Stan Tekiela's "Birds of Colorado" Field Guide is an excellent, very handy, very useable photo field guide.

For the very best illustrative field guides, check out the work of David Sibley at

For those who prefer a software solution, be sure to check out Thayer's "Birds of Colorado", a most excellent software package that includes 287 bird species found in Colorado. You'll find photos, videos, recordings of BIRD SONGS for each species, range maps and more.

Here are some links to check out as well...