Monday, November 12, 2012

At last!

It's no secret, I love a good snow.  Last evening we had our first - kinda - sorta - almost.

It was more a freezing rain event, but, the end result was something white on some surfaces.

One thing it definitely did (besides make my husband grumble as he was trying to get the sheet of ice off the truck windshield) was encourage the birds to visit my feeder. 

An array of singing sparrows, gold finches in their winter drab green coats, a yellow breasted woodpecker and the resident blue jays all decided today was the day to eat sunflower seeds.

I often hear criticism of the big blue jays such as they're bullies and mean to other birds.  Because of their size and sturdy bill, they do "rule the roost" when they want to feed.  Here's something else I've noticed:  They are early morning feeders and sweep their bill across the seeds prior to picking just the right one (or several.)  This breaks up any ice and snow.  It's like sending in the BIG snow blower.  They then proceed to scatter seeds on the ground while doing the sweep.  This allows the ground feeding birds to have their lunch later in the day.  Doves are especially thankful.

The blue jays retreat after their early morning breakfast leaving the feeder to the little birds.  The seed has been shuffled, ice crunched and the perch is cleaned from their big landing gear.  They may insist on being first, but, without their feeding routine, it would be much more difficult for the other birds.

In nature everything has a purpose and most balance with others.  Besides don't you just love the beautiful blue reflection of the jay's feathers in the winter?  A perfect winter contrast.    


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