Winter is for the birds …

… or maybe not.

I was walking along the perimeter path at Council Point Park a few weeks ago. On that day, the City had neither plowed, nor salted, the walking path, even though they’ve been good about doing so the past few years. Thankfully, the big dump truck that collects trash from the bins along the path, had left tire marks that effectively smashed down the 9.2 inches/23 cms of snow we gleaned from Winter Storm Landon. While I traipsed along, mindful of the possible icy patches lurking beneath the snow, I deposited seeds and peanuts for my furry and feathered friends, who immediately started chowing down.

There was only one other diehard walker I encountered that morning. The weather, always a common topic of conversation among walkers, brought grumbling and his declaration that “Winter is for the birds!” I agreed and tucked that thought away to use for a blog title some day.

After we parted, I dwelled on that statement, because if you took those words literally, that would be a misnomer for sure. I mused that, after all, how unlikely would any Michigan bird embrace Winter, unless it had a guaranteed food source, like a backyard bird feeder or suet at its disposal? A heated birdbath would really sweeten the pot. Winter sure isn’t an opportunity for a bird like a woodpecker to grab a grub or two simply by shimmying up the tree and I’m pretty sure, even the hardiest Robin who hangs around the Mitten State during the Winter months, would find it near impossible to rustle up a worm from the snowy grass. Berries are long gone too – nope, it is NOT a time of joy for our feathered friends.

The 2022 Great Backyard Bird Count.

This past weekend, February 18th through 21st, was/is the 25th annual “Great Backyard Bird Count”, a four-day event in which anyone, (not just birders), is encouraged to report the birds seen in a 15-minute period on any one of the four days.

My wings have been clipped for weeks thanks to an ice-covered driveway that has made it treacherous to even back the car out of the garage, so any bird-viewing venture was to be done on foot.

My plan to participate was simple – instead of reporting on the Sparrows that take shelter in my backyard, tucking themselves into bushes, or huddling together on the back windowsills, my intended mission was to report on the birds at Council Point Park, specifically at the Weeping Mulberry Memorial Tree that I’ve coined The Safe Haven Tree.

However, this was still another plan best left in my head, not committed to action. Friday morning (the 18th) I spent shoveling out still another Winter dumping of ice-laden snow – this time it was 6.8 inches/17 cms. Saturday morning, we had single-digit wind chills and blowing and drifting of new snow. Sunday did not look promising either, so I resorted to Plan “B” i.e. my backyard.

Yes, I had set my sights on other songbirds, but I also wanted to participate in this event, so I shuffled to the backyard, camera in hand, tapping my foot while awaiting Sparrows. Now, not to disparage Sparrows, those salt-of-the-Earth brown birdies that seem to weather the elements year-around, (but are actually bullies that take over the nesting habitats of wrens and other small birds), but yes, they were my second choice. It was brutally cold and blustery and alas, I could not will the Sparrows to put in an appearance, so I needed a Plan “C” to get ‘er done.

Thus Plan “C” was implemented – you will read about Plan “C” at the TAIL end of this post.

I came inside, had some coffee to warm up, then went through my photo files to collect bird photos from 2021 to create this post.

Eyes on the Prize.

There is often a flurry of activity of “The Feathered Faithful” at the Safe Haven Tree after I stop to dole out sunflower seeds and peanuts beneath the canopy of branches that hopefully act as a deterrent against the dreaded Hawks that cruise overhead. I like to think that my feathered and furry friends are able to dine without fear of becoming the prey of those raptors.

I usually spread seeds and peanuts, then back out from the cramped space beneath the tree and stand and observe from the path. Almost immediately I see birds flitting to the ground upon my exit.

Since I began leaving food for my Park pals under the tree, this makeshift feeder now welcomes not only Blue Jays and Cardinals, but also Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees and Purple Finches. Downy Woodpeckers and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers also show up to dine.

The Blue Jays are boisterous and screech to their brethren to alert the arrival of treats, then boldly swoop down, often in front of the squirrels to snatch a peanut. They are not intimidated by my presence in the least, as evident from the close-ups.

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal are not as brave, often waiting politely in the branches until the others have gone and I include myself as one of those others. I don’t take it personally, but getting a picture of the other birds is tricky sometimes and only done several paces away from them. No Mister and Missus Cardinal in this post, but there was some activity with a seed bell I placed beneath the tree, which they promptly knocked over.

This Cardinal eyed the seed bell and a caption could be “go big or go home!”

Were they in cahoots to eat the seed bell?

I laughed at the smaller bird acting as a lookout. Hmm – I wonder what was in it for him/her?

Chickadees often blitz to the ground for a seed, then back up to a branch before I get a chance to get a photo, so I was lucky this day, although I was too far away to get a clear close-up.

I took suet trays several times, including pecan suet that is favored by Woodpeckers. That was fun as I lured a Downy Woodpecker who shall be named Dempsey going forward. Here is Dempsey shimmying up and around the trunk of the tree, occasionally peeking around to check my whereabouts.

As far as I can tell, the only Red-bellied Woodpecker at this Park is a male I’ve dubbed Rex. Rex swoops over, lands on a branch, then promptly drops to the ground to nibble on suet or snag a peanut.

Male Northern Cardinal.

Did you look closely at that beautiful Cardinal pictured up top? If so, you probably could have called me out for tricking you, because this male Cardinal with its vibrant plumage, black “mask” and distinctive crest, one of the most-recognizable birds in North America, is NOT a real bird.

Wait, what? Are you going to scroll to the top and check it out now?

Over the years, at our house Cardinals were a popular Christmas decoration with tree ornaments, plates – even holiday mugs collected through the years.

The header image is one such Christmas ornament, a National Audubon Society Cardinal, designed to be clipped onto a Christmas tree bough, where it nestles life-like in the branches. But sadly, after purchasing this Cardinal ornament, although this porcelain bird is not heavy, it sagged down the branches of our miniature tree and could not be positioned any way without toppling over sideways. Similarly, clipping the Cardinal ornament onto a wreath did not work well either, so it remained in the box, year after year, until I took it outside, clipped it onto the branch of a snowy Nana Hinoki Cypress bush. Voila, a Winter bird for my post!

Were you fooled? Do you need proof it is not a real bird? Here is the big reveal … the tail and Audubon authenticity stamp.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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96 Responses to Winter is for the birds …

  1. bekitschig says:

    The fist one looks like a Christmas ornament. It’s real, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. peggy says:

    I said to myself on your first picture this does not look like a real bird. Ah ha I was right. Enjoued your feathered friends. I am seeing a lot of Cardinals and Jays down here right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s funny Peggy. I thought it looked pretty lifelike clipped to the bush with the snow around it, but when I saw it on the screen – not so much. You were right. There are a lot of Jays at this Park and they are bold and brazen … not to mention loud.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I was fooled by your fake bird. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Well you would have no reason to think I’d stick a fake bird in a picture! I thought it looked lifelike, though a little small, and figured that tucking it into the snowy branch would make it look real. Glad you liked the post. I wish I could get closer to them, but the Cardinals and Chickadees get nervous.

      Like

      • We see cardinals in trees and bushes around the house, but they rarely come to the deck for seeds.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Are you using black oilers or striped sunflower seeds? They really like the black oilers as they are softer and easier to open. Years ago I had a female Cardinal living in a barberry bush and she/male were raising a family in a nest embedded in the bush. Every night I’d come home from work same time and went in the house and got her a Dixie cup of Safflower seeds … just for her. I poured them on the ground and she’d eat them. I had them at the house and they were friendly, but at the Park, they are reluctant to get too close.

        Like

      • I buy ordinary wild birdseed and have no idea what kind of sunflower seeds are in it. Two neighbors serve gourmet seeds. I’m the fast-food joint. The birds like my homemade suet cakes, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I bought cracked corn because another blogger suggested using it for the birds and squirrels as they liked it and it was cheaper but they didn’t look at it. Go figure! I’m going to get more sunflower seeds (black oilers) next Winter as they seem to be a big draw for the birds and squirrels. Homemade suet cakes – you spoil them!

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      • The birds finished up a suet cake, but I’m not going to put out another until the weather is colder. We got to 60 degrees today!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That is warm! The suet is good for them – protein and fat. My mom once made peanut butter sandwiches for our backyard squirrels and they licked the peanut butter off and threw the bread in the bushes and around the yard! We got to 53 but that is unusual and it came with rain and fog. I hoped to walk this morning, but still glaze ice all over the place. I cannot win for losing with walking … we are getting another 3-6 inches of snow Thursday into Friday.

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      • You must be getting tired of snow. I wouldn’t mind one more white blanket.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am tired of the snow and February in general and at least this snowfall Thursday into Friday will be powdery snow. I’m happy for that as I can get down to the cement. The ice is finally gone in the driveway as is the mount of snowplow snow that has been there so long. Today I took the car to the Park – I had not had it out since January 22nd. We’re getting 3-6 inches, but another station says more like 2-4 inches … hope it is the latter. My friend in NY says they are getting another 4-8 inches of snow on Friday – she was not happy. They have had tons of snow this year and she usually has a service and could find no one this year and her husband has health issues so doesn’t shovel. Yesterday California was colder than we were! We had a one-day warm-up, then 25 degrees colder today than yesterday.

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      • I saw 60 degrees on the car thermometer today! It’s going to get colder in a day or so, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s a bummer – 60 gave you a smile though and put down the car windows. They gave a long-range forecast for us and the weatherman says “real Spring” is a long way off, with a coolish April. At least the snow and ice hopefully will be gone. (Crossing fingers and toes.)

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      • I’ll hope for an early spring for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well I got to the Park again today – I walked two days in a row, a rarity to walk two days in a row this Winter. I was okay about this storm tonight, 3-6 inches, as it was powdery snow – now they are saying a wintry mix in our part of SE Michigan. So, it finally cleared up and was good driving (what little I did) and walking was good at the Park and here we go again. They said we might have a cold April – as long as there is no snow or ice I’ll be happy.

        Like

      • It seems never-ending.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes – by this time of year, you’re ready for the snow to end and warmer weather to appear.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the idea of using the cardinal ornament outside on the snowy evergreen! Methinks you’ve had more than your share of snow and ice this winter. The blue jay and woodpecker pictures are spectacular! I especially love Rex and his facial expressions. He seems very curious and cheerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked that idea Barbara – I thought it would be fun since I couldn’t round up any Sparrows to get a picture. Those were my favorite pictures too – the Jay and Rex are pretty fearless when it comes to peanuts. Rex will sometimes go to the tree stump and inch down the stump, then walk over and grab a peanut, or sometimes he’ll just swoop down from another tree. The male Red-bellied Woodpeckers are beautiful and Rex doesn’t mind hanging out with the squirrels or other birds!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! You didn’t fool me with the first cardinal – it is so fun to see the real ones against the white of snow. Way to pull off the bird-watching with some great photos you’ve taken. I hope the weather changes for us soon – all the cold is getting very old indeed. Stay warm and safe and keep your eye out for signs of Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great pictures as always! I was suspicious of the ornament but knew that you would reveal the truth!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Kate – I love those Blue Jays and Red-bellied Woodpeckers as they stick around and are fearless. The other birds grab and go usually. Ha ha – that cardinal looked a little too perfect! Yep, I revealed it at the TAIL end of the post.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ari says:

    I am so envious of your photos, you always capture these birds so well. I love the Bluejays and Cardinals as we don’t have them in the UK.

    From following your blog, I now always trek into the woods, parks and walking paths with a tub of bird seed and last month managed to get a robin to fly onto my hand to eat the seed. I must have made a good, safe impression. 🙂

    We have been super lucky, over the last few days we have seen a beautiful Goldcrest while walking near our home and a Black Capped Warbler in our garden (I’d never seen either of these in the wild before). And today we saw Mr and Mrs Bullfinch in the green scratch of land 2 mins from our door.

    They were braving the blustery winds (we’ve just had storms!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ari, I am so glad you were inspired to go walking with seeds for the birds – it is so peaceful to watch them. We have a big park, unfortunately not near me, where there is a nature center and people put seeds in their cupped hands and the birds come and eat from their hands. It looks like fun. Your Robins are so cute compared to ours which are big and often mean spirited.

      I’m glad you are getting out more to parks as you resolved a few years ago to do this. To me nature is a balm and we need it in this fast-moving world; you simply need it as you’ve had a rough few years.

      I think the Blue Jays and Cardinals are the prettiest of our birds – they are so vibrant. Even the female Cardinals are pretty with their crest, though they often blend into the branches or leaves as they are olive colored. You are lucky to see those birds – many of our songbirds won’t be back for a while and I don’t always see them at this Park. I’ve heard about your bad storms and saw photos – very scary. The weather everywhere is scary but not as violent as those storms.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        I have tubs of seed in the car, a bag I have in my coat pocket – I don’t like to not have seed now! lol

        Aww I never knew your robin’s were bigger and mean-spirited. Ours can be pretty aggressive with all their war-dancing over territory.

        I went out to feed the birds in my garden yesterday. I had been getting closer to my robins but then they brought their son, and never came back and its now his territory and he’s been a lot more skittish until yesterday.

        He wouldn’t get off the empty feeder and almost launched towards me when he saw the seed tub in my hand. lol

        You are so right, nature is a balm. It always calms me when I’m out in it and it’s lovely when you see people taking their small children out.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It always amazes me how territorial they get. People say that about the hummingbirds – is feeding the hummingbirds a hobby over there as well Ari? I tried it for the first time two years ago – got one hummingbird the last two years and I put up two feeders. A fellow blogger has so many hummingbirds visit his feeder just before nightfall that they are standing in a queue to get at the nectar! And they also are very territorial. That’s funny – he saw the food and came at you – not quite warm enough to forage naturally yet. 🙂 I like seeing the kids enjoying the parks and nature – it is healthier for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        Sadly, we dont have hummingbirds, I believe they are only in the Americas. They are such incredible birds – I follow several people on social media who have feeders and record them. I think I even follow a hummingbird rescue so I get to enjoy videos of these delightfully tiny critters! 🙂

        lol I never realised hummingbirds would be territorial. They look like should be so friendly 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, they are very territorial, trying to knock other hummingbirds off the perches or knocking against them if they are hovering in mid-air trying to feed. Sometimes, with more than one feeder, a male hummingbird will guard “his” feeder and not let anyone near, flitting around it in circles as if to ward off trespassers. It surprised me too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        lol I feel like I must go in search of videos of territorial hummingbirds, they look so friendly! It sounds like they act like our Starlings, where they all appear and spend more time fighting and trying to keep others off the feeder than actually eating!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The Starlings are loud – we have a lot of them here, but I didn’t realize they fought all the time. They are often hidden in the trees. I hunted down a video on Wayne’s WordPress site of the hummingbirds fighting for their spot at the feeder. He has a feeder outside his apartment and in this short video you can see the feeding frenzy – one hummingbird lands on another’s back and they are running into one another. 🙂 Have a look Ari: https://tofinophotography.wordpress.com/2021/04/20/standing-tall/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        Starlings are the birds we have most in our garden. They come in as a cloud and it’s all screechy nonsence and fighting and then woosh! they all rise up together and vanish.

        OMG that video was awesome! I have never seen hummingbirds so clustered together and standing on each other. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That is amazing seeing that many birds at one time. I was at a large park once and saw a murmuration of Starlings. There were maybe 100 of them and they moved in “waves” (for lack of a better description) through the sky . It was amazing to see. I knew you’d get a kick out of the hummingbird video Ari. Wayne says it is like that every night as dusk arrives – getting their last sip in before bedtime. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        We had some murmurations of starlings in 2020 over our house. Two or three giant groups of starlings all moving beautifully.

        Went on for 2 weeks, was lovely… except for the constant barrage of bird poop on our cars every day…for 2 weeks! lol It lost some of its magic because of that lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I didn’t realize the murmurations could last so long – that would be incredible to see, but I can sympathize about the constant barrage of bird poop put a damper on that magic. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Anne says:

    You certainly got a marvellous collection of photographs!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ally Bean says:

    A fake bird? What has this blog come to! 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Dave says:

    “The Mitten State” – hadn’t heard that one before but it certainly “fits” Michigan 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. trumstravels says:

    Fooled by your fake bird lol ! I love the woodpeckers, lovely photos and post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pam Lazos says:

    We have so many cardinals and bluejays. I love watching them, Linda, especially during the drab winter months.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Those are my favorite birds Pam. They sure are bright in the blah landscape of Winter. Here in Michigan, we lost a lot of jays and cardinals back in the 80s due to West Nile Virus. One time my mom and I went to visit my grandmother for a long weekend in Summer. I wanted to fill the birdbaths and water the flowers when we got home and discovered a dozen dead jays in the backyard. The DNR had done PSAs for weeks to request if people found dead birds to contact them and they’d pick them up to analyze them – they had all died from West Nile. So the population of those species took a while to get back to what it had been and they are thriving once again.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. that is the first thing I thought Linda, that bird looks odd?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Joni says:

    I thought the top bird looked not quite alive! I’m jealous of your birds, as the only thing I’ve managed to attract to my bird feeder this winter is those small brown sparrows, not too exciting and definitely not colorful! You had a ton of snow. ACG&S was okay last night, but I’m not too disappointed it’s over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I decided to have some fun with that ornament Joni and if it had been a little bit bigger, it might have been more lifelike. That’s all I have in my backyard now that I stopped feeding the birds. When I put out peanuts up until last year, I had a pair of Cardinals coming around. I loved feeding the birds at the house but I worry about mice so I don’t. I used to feed them in the backyard and it wasn’t a worry, but I also couldn’t see the birds unless I went around the back. The Sparrows did some mischief and I had to block their entry as they were building nests. And my neighbor had birdhouses lined up on a shelf on her deck and Wrens had moved in with nesting material and laid eggs – the Sparrows moved in and promptly threw the eggs onto the deck. Marge was amazed to see them do that!

      ACG&S was better the last two episodes – I hated the cricket episode. I’m not a fan of the Tricky Wu parts but I felt sad when I thought he was not going to make it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I find the Tricky/Mrs. Pumpfrey part the most annoying. In fact I find all the characters annoying, or at least irritating, but I was discussing with a friend tonight and she loved the whole series?!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I really can’t remember much from the book – in fact I may like to re-read them one day. I still have one here that I didn’t get to, but can’t remember the name. I read them as they were published and that was back in the 70s. But I don’t remember the silliness of the Tricky/Mrs. Pumpfrey nor Tristan – those three characters are the ones I least like. Siegfried is starting to grow on me – he’s not such a stuffed shirt as he was in Season One. I liked it too but years ago I wanted to be a veterinarian, but my math and science grades were not good, so I switched my major. When we watched the show on TV, my mom said to me “I can’t imagine you running out in the middle of the night to deliver an animal.” Me neither – and I’m such a soft-hearted person, I would not have made a good vet or even a vet tech either. I’d be sobbing along with an owner who got a bad diagnosis for their pet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I’m sitting here trying to watch the original series of ACG&S, which a friend told me is on Channel 24 Vision TV on Tues. nights at 10pm, (for comparison, she loved both versions) but after 15 minutes I think I’m going to have to change the channel. I think the casting is even worse! James and the gf look about 35? I googled and it was on from 1978 to 1990, maybe they aged over the decade it was on. And the accents! And they are all talking so quickly. Channel 24 never has good sound no matter how loud you turn it, and so far it’s just been a series of people visiting the vets office and no storyline. I must be spoiled by British television now….Downtown Abbey, Poldark, Grantchester and Doc Martin. I guess I’m not changing the channel as mom says she’s enjoying it…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It’s been so long that I don’t remember the first series or the actors in it – I should look it up on Wikipedia to see if I remember them. I was wishing there were subtitles the other night. Not for James reciting the Auld Lang Syne poem necessarily – but James’ Scottish accent is really hard to understand. I have a difficult time with Mrs. Hall too. That’s funny your mom was enjoying it and you were ready to turn the channel. Did your Mom read the books when they came out in the early 70s? The books as I recall were chapters where each chapter was a separate vet visit and then whatever was going on with the Skeldale House residents at the time. Can you imagine driving in the snow in the Dales how it looked in the opening scene the other night? Was the original series on PBS – I remember seeing a PBS show where they solicited viewers to join for unlimited viewing and perks and it doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago. I didn’t realize it was on for 12 years – time does fly by sometimes though. I sure don’t remember watching it for that long – wonder if we abandoned it due to the accents.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        No mom never read the books, so I’m not sure why she was interested. James was judging some kind of animal show, and he was already married to Helen. Tricky Poo was in it, but Mrs. Pumfrey wasn’t as irritating. The film quality was really poor.
        Mrs. Hall talks as if she has a mouth full of marbles. The old one was on Vision Television which is Channel 24 out of Detroit or Zoomer TV – so it has a lot of old stuff during the week. They play Murder She Wrote and Columbo and stuff ike that.
        But on the weekends it’s Punjabi/Indian programming.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The Mrs. Pumphrey is irritating. I can’t figure out if it’s a regional accent with Mrs. Hall, but marbles in her mouth works for me and I’m glad it’s not just me. I find it difficult when people speak very fast and that’s not something new. Especially if it is something technical. Even listening to the news sometimes, some of the anchors speak extremely fast – I want to say “you’re speaking like you’re off to the races – slow down!” They advertise Peacock TV here and I know they carried the Olympic. Also, have you ever heard of a show that streams called “Curiosity Stream”? It is different science stories, some nature – all interesting and costs $20.00 per year. I’d consider signing up for that – they say $1.67 a month or $20.00 a year. I will wait til I have more time, but their programs sound interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I’m still trying to navigate and get my money’s worth out of Netflix! I know there are lots of shows/movies on there, but it’s hard to find them so many choices come up, but it’s based on My List – they show you stuff similar to what you’ve already viewed. I wish they wouldn’t do that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        And I get frustrated with Amazon Prime sometimes as they do that based on your watch lists. I had the news on and they said Sally Kellerman died. I never saw the M*A*S*H movie, just the TV series. So I thought I’d see if it was there – NO. Not for free anyway. I am on Twitter and they do that … I was following a photographer who went to a Metropark every morning before work and fed the birds from her left palm – she made videos of it. Very calming and enjoyed seeing the birds, but then everyone else who was a birder was in my “feed” – I’m really only on there for weather reports, especially for severe weather. One of the meteorologists gives almost play-by-play for severe weather, i.e. when to take cover, etc. So I stopped following her – I didn’t ask to see that other stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I something weird going on tonight with WP as I see comments people have made appearing as posts on Reader?

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I hope we aren’t starting the bugginess like before … I hope to get to Reader tonight, but I was late and had a post today, so will test drive one before I leave.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Laurie says:

    So sorry you had to go to Plan C due to the winter weather, Linda. our bird photos are great! I love the little downy woodpecker. Dempsey is a good name for her. She must be finding something to eat during all this cold and snow. By the way…today is 55 degrees and sunny here. I’m enjoying it while it lasts! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Plan C had to work this time Laurie and I had high hopes for going out today as we had a warmish morning but it was treacherous on the sidewalks so I did not – yesterday would have been great in the afternoon but it was 35 mph winds. Sigh – the walking regimen has taken a nose dive and I will have to really get going in earnest in better weather. I worry about my critters too. A totally rainy day tomorrow, then 3-6 inches of snow Thursday – very frustrating!

      The snow drops and crocuses are going to be really late this year.

      Oops – I did not check to distinguish male from female Downies – I see she is missing the red patch. Dempsey works anyway as you said. The Red-bellieds are easy to distinguish males from females. Rex is a handsome fellow isn’t he?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        Rex IS a handsome fellow. I love the chatter and squawks of red-bellieds. We have 2 more warm days on tap, then back to winter. Sigh!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, he is handsome Laurie and he’s not shy which makes it fun when he swoops down with the squirrels or Jays to grab a bite. He sits on the very top of a dead tree which he long ago decimated and makes his squawks. You can hear him all over the Park. I am so bummed to hear that … we are getting 3-6 inches of snow and they’re learning toward the higher number. Sigh indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I do love the Woodpeckers you have in the USA some great shots of them Linda,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Andy – they are not very shy, especially when peanuts or suet are around. I have learned the Downy Woodpecker (we call them “Downies”) is a female as she has no red patch at the back of her head.

      Like

  17. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………when I’m busy getting things done on my List of things to do……………………..I’m missing out on all of the lovely birds that stay in our area all winter long……………………………..so thanks for sharing your pictures at your favorite park(it used to be my favorite park too)………………………………..No I wasn’t fooled by your picture of the Audubon Cardinal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ann Marie – you know your real versus fake birds and not just because you live with one either!! You have to come walk at Council Point Park again one day when the weather gets better (anything would be better than the current icy situation) – maybe this Summer. Glad you liked seeing the birds – no Robins like you saw not long ago. The Robins are probably sorry they stayed here over the Winter.

      Like

  18. Eilene Lyon says:

    Nope. Didn’t fool me with the ornament. Did you count for the Backyard bird count?

    Looks like you got a crossbill with the cardinal in a couple of those shots.

    Keep safe out there with all that ice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad to hear that Eilene. I think it was the eyes that gave it away. No, I never did the Backyard bird count in the end – yesterday was so icy all around the house (re-freeze from Sunday’s ice melt), that I didn’t chance it. I did two counts last year though, February and October. I wondered what that bird was – thank you for identifying it. I can’t say I’ve noticed it there before that morning. I had some Dark-eyed Junco shots, but they were way too small to use. There are about 20 of them and they flock together – they were in the tree, waiting to go to the ground. The ice is so bad, even with the temps at 53 today. That temp is unusual for February, but the ground is too cold, plus it will be cold overnight, so it doesn’t melt. It wasn’t bad when there was snow on top, but now it is just a glaze – the pellets did not help much due to fluctuating temps.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. M. says:

    Is the first bird real ?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I saw that picture and thought, that does not look real. I will scroll to the comments and see if anyone else thought the same thing. Then I finished reading your post and got my answer. Lol We get both of those woodpeckers at our sunflower feeder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Funny how it looked pretty real when we bought it and even when I positioned it in the snow, but then putting it up against the real birds, it is nothing like the beauty of the “real deal” … you are lucky to get both these woodpeckers at your feeders Diane. Do you use a special suet for them? I am thinking that you might even make your own suet.

      Like

  21. Great pics! I don’t know how birds can survive our winters, with their 103 degree body temperatures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Tom – I don’t know how they do it either. I sometimes see the birds huddled together, often on a snowy branch, especially the Cardinals, the harsh wind ruffling their feathers and I feel for them. I didn’t know that about their body temperatures.

      Like

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