Winter Entertainment

Although reading books (and listening to audiobooks) is the favorite entertainment at our house, Byron and I are also avid birdwatchers. We have always enjoyed watching the birds that frequent our yard, no matter where we have lived. However, watching birds has become a major entertainment since we have been mostly housebound in the last few months while continuing our Covid precautions because of Byron’s impaired immune system, and because of our recent snowy and icy weather.

A few months ago, with our daughter’s help, we expanded our bird feeding station, added new platforms and a suet holder, bought a 40-lb box of Audubon bird seed at Costco, and put our binoculars and our favorite bird book in the drawer by the kitchen window. The birdwatching entertainment has been endless!

I’ve been keeping a list of the birds we’ve identified. There are two other birds that don’t show up at the feeders, but that we know are keeping close tabs on the entertainment below (the Great Horned Owl which we hear often in the early morning, and the Cooper’s Hawk that has taken two of our scrub jays in the last few years). And of course I must mentioned the squirrels that add even more drama and entertainment out our kitchen window.

Here’s a collage of the winter birds we’ve had visit our yard recently and keep us highly entertained by their endless antics. (Photos from the internet)

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.
~ Robert Wilson Lynd

8 thoughts on “Winter Entertainment

    1. Robin Post author

      Frances, our bully boys are the starlings that have showed up this winter. We haven’t seen many of them at the feeders before. We’ll hope that they don’t take over completely, like your crows and pigeons!

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  1. Lesley

    Since moving to Oregon, I have enjoyed seeing a whole new variety of birds such as the Varied Thrush and Rufus-Sided Towhee. I also love seeing the sweet little Nuthatches and Juncos. Do you not have Chickadees? One bird that I miss here is the Cardinal. We used to get a lot of them at our feeders in Nebraska.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Les, we always have lots of chickadees at the feeders, but I haven’t seen them during this extended cold period. I don’t think they migrate, but maybe they found someplace a little warmer for awhile? I’ll watch for them!

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  2. Nan

    I so loved reading this. Mostly very different birds from ours way across the country. I looked up purple finches and house finches.
    “Range: While these finches’ ranges do overlap, knowing the ranges for each species can help with identification. House finches are found in the continental United States and along the Canadian border year-round, and they do not typically migrate. Purple finches prefer a more northern range from Canada’s boreal forests in the summer to the continental United States in the winter, but they are absent from the western plains and Rocky Mountain regions. Year-round purple finch populations can be found along the Pacific coast, in the northeastern United States, and in the Great Lakes region. These areas are where the most confusion between these species is likely to occur.”
    They say it is hard to tell the difference but there are small things that are different. I have always thought ours were what is so wrongly called “purple” finch. It is our state bird, and I have never read of a “house” finch.
    Haven’t seen a mourning dove this year, but am most fond of them. Our main ones this particular winter – chickadees, blue jays, and the beloved turkeys and deer, with occasional gold and purple finches.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Nan, what interesting information! There’s so much to learn about the birds that we see out our window. We are definitely novice bird watchers, but I’ll never tire of the watching and the learning!

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  3. Diane

    How beautiful and such entertainment. I loved having bird feeders in the rear of our condo but, we can no longer have them as they attracted a few bears and bobcats. The last 2 rows of birds are pretty plentiful here in New England. We also have the house finch flicker and lots of Cardinals, Blue Jays, Robins, woodpeckers and yellow chickadees as well.

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