Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snowed In

  Snow is not all that common here in my part of VA; however, every few years a storm comes through that seems to make up for its absence. Such a storm passed through this past weekend that dumped several inches of the white stuff. I'm not complaining, I enjoy the snow and my daughter, like most other children, couldn't hardly wait to get out in it. She woke up and immediately headed to the window to look out - she wasn't disappointed. It was like Christmas morning to her! We enjoyed our time out playing in it.


With ample warning a few days prior, I was ready. The house was stocked with plenty of food, I managed to unburied my snow shovel from the shed and placed it by the front door, and most importantly, filled the bird feeders.

This little bird below wasn't that interested in the feeders as much as he was in the potted plant on my front porch. This little song sparrow spent quite a bit of time scratching in the potting soil eating what looked like little cone seeds that had falling off the miniature cedar shrub planted in the pot.


I took these photos through the front storm door while he hopped and scratched through the soil, paying very little attention to me.


Song sparrows like open habitat, including marsh edges, overgrown fields, backyards, and along forest edges. I'll occasionally see them at my feeders more often in winter than any other time. According to the range maps, I live at the dividing line where their winter range starts and their year-round range ends. I mostly see them in winter but have spotted them in my area in summer too. They live up to their name in being one of the most persistent singers throughout the spring and summer months.

If you have snow out where you live be sure to get out and feed the birds. These can be tough times for wildlife and a little bird seed would be a nice welcome to a hungry song bird...and have fun in the snow while your at it!

Be sure to visit Birdfreak's Bird Photography Weekly #75 for more great bird photos.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Red from the Rooftop

 One of the last birds spotted before the New Year came in was this red-shouldered hawk.


I was in my front yard working in the flower beds when this big guy showed up on my rooftop. I slowly slipped inside the house to grab my camera, expecting him to be gone when I returned, but lucky for me he was still there. He/she seemed to be more occupied on something else than what I was doing so I quickly snapped off a couple photos before the big guy flew away.

Red-shoulders will often visit backyard bird feeders to prey on small birds feeding there, especially in winter. They will drop on prey from a perch location. This one seemed to be doing just that. He was eyeing my backyard bird feeders hoping to snatch an easy meal for sure. Fortunately for the birds feeding below it flew off without a meal this time.

On a separate note, I want to apologize, especially to my regular readers for going AWOL and not not posting for a couple months. Now that we are through the holiday season and it's too cold to spend lots of time outdoors I will be posting more regularly again. I haven't visited many of your blogs either, so I have lots of good reading to catch up on!

In the meantime, be sure to visit Birdfreak's Bird Photography Weekly #72 for more bird photos.