Saturday, January 23, 2016

purples today

Raspberry butt?

The ice and snow of the past four days have left the nature center closed and opened and then closed again. And me somewhat housebound to write and do what I have done since I was 8- or 9-years-old, load up the seed feeders and sit back and watch. It's 1 p.m. and 23 degrees outside, what else can I do? The milk sitting in the refrigerator is warmer.

I've had the normal cadre of backyard birds: chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, jays, downies, red-bellies, white throats, juncos, doves and, surprisingly, more towhees than I expected, which leads me to believe that a lot more is going on in the bushes than I realize. 

Eventually, I just started throwing the mixed seed out on the deck itself, turning it into one giant platform feeder. Pow! That worked. It's now like Cracker Barrel when the tour buses stop.

And, I have been hoping that all the bird activity would catch the attention of one of my favorite winter visitors: purple finches. I do not see them that often; it has been at least two years.

Initially, I got oodles of goldfinches and several house finches, but late this morning a few purples found my buffet. If I had been in charge of their naming, I would have opted for raspberry butt.

I keep hearing that the erratic pine siskins are also in the area, but they have yet to find me. Perhaps, I need a neon sign.

And, if I could lure in a fox sparrow, my work here would be done.

Oh, the joy!

Male cardinals get all the attention but the females have panache.

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