Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snowed In!

 Snow here in SE Virginia is somewhat of a hit and miss affair - mostly a miss. We normally get a dusting to an inch here and there with most of the big stuff just missing us. This month has been a bit unusual as we’ve had a couple inches already, so the prediction of a few inches the day after Christmas wasn't really that big of a deal. However, those few inches turned into 14 plus inches at my house. That's a BIG deal here! The last time the region got more than a foot of snow was over 20 years ago. No complaints here though. My wife is a teacher and my daughter is a six year old tom-boy, so snow days are like bonus holidays in our household.

My daughter couldn't wait to get out in it. She took two steps onto our back deck and just fell out in the snow.


While the snow is fun and games for us, it's a tough survival for the birds and other wildlife.
An abundance of Red-Wing Blackbirds are perched in the cypress trees waiting for me to re-fill the bird feeders. They can clean out a feeder in a hurry.


When the blackbirds aren't hogging the feeders a few of the smaller birds manage to slip in and get a snack, like this house finch.


Here’s one of my favorite visitors, the pine warbler.


My bird bath heater went kaput on me last year so I had to manually brush the snow off and fill it with warm water.




Providing a source of fresh water for backyard birds during the winter months can be a very beneficial, often attracting more birds than the seed in your feeders. I’ve read that many birds will eat snow in order to get sufficient water in the winter when their normal water sources are frozen, but open water is their preferred choice.

Take some time to feed and water your backyard birds during these tough winter conditions, and then sit back and get ready for some wild winter entertainment!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and continues to enjoy the rest of the holidays! Hopefully I can take advantage of this ‘inside time’ and catch up on some blogging.


Ginny said...

I love the pine warblers, but haven't seen them at my feeders. Great tip for keeping the bird baths clean and full during the winter months. I'll be going home today to clean the snow out and fill mine!

April Lorier said...

Come on, Alan! Flop down on that cold snow and make a snow angel! Remember how much fun that was when you were a child? :-D

Kerri Farley said...

That's a bunch of snow! I LOVE pine warblers :) and of course house finches too!!

A Belated Merry Christmas to you!!

Arija said...

Love your candidates sitting in line for the soup kitchen to reopen. Adorable little birds that sneak their share as well.

An unexpectedly deep snowfall is always great when you have a warm, well provisioned house.

When my son was your daughters age, he was so excited when the first snow fell, that he raced out in a short sleeved shirt, short shorts and sandals and had a ball!

A Happy New Year to you and your family and birds as well!

Les said...

The snow was certainly incredible. At my parents we watched the red wings also, but they were tag teaming the feeder with a flock of grackles. The snow geese were also abundant overhead.

Happy new year to you!

Unknown said...

We moved out here to the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwest Virginia, where my wife was born and raised, 6 years ago. Before that I lived most of the previous 50 years in and around Virginia Beach so I know what a devastating effect that much snow has on Tidewater. Mom still lives in the Beach and said she had 14 inches in her yard and Va. Beach Blvd. was shut down. Last time that happened, as far as I remember, was during the blizzard of '80. The circus wasn't at Scope when this storm rolled in, was it?

Alan Pulley said...

Hey Ginny, I really like the pine warblers to. Hopefully you'll get one this winter at your feeders!

April, I actually did flop down in the snow. My daughter made me, ha ha!

Kerri, thanks! It is a lot of snow for us! We usually don't get that much at one time. Have a great New Year!

Arija, your son's reaction to snow is very similiar to mt daughters. I have to admit that I love it to. I don't know what it is about the snow that brings the "kid" out in us.

Les, hope you & your family had a wonderful Christmas! I hope to get a chance to visit the ES this winter; would love to see the snow geese.

Rocket Man, you of all people know what a little snow can do to this area. I remember those storms here in the early 80's too! As far as I know the circus wasnt in town this time, ha ha!

iwong123 said...

I like birds.So this blog is very interesting.I am very happy.