A Very Happy Bird Day!
A couple of weeks ago I treated myself to a few new Duncraft bird feeders. I got them home, filled them with seed, and waited for the birds to come. I waited, and waited, and waited. After ten minutes, I gave up in despair of ever seeing a bird at my feeders. I’m not very patient, even though I know (and tell our customers) that it can take a few weeks for birds to start visiting a new feeder. You can imagine my excitement on Christmas Day when I saw a hairy woodpecker and 3 downy woodpeckers investigating my Duncraft Suet Sanctuary filled with Nutty Treat Suet Cakes. That was the best present I could have asked for!
Yesterday, my husband was very excited to report that my feeders were covered with birds but he wasn’t sure what kind. “Maybe some sort of sparrowy things,” he thought. Sparrowy? This morning, I was just ready to head out to work and the birds were back. To my absolute delight, the sparrowy birds turned out to be a flock of about 25 common redpolls. They zipped in and out through the mesh of the Suet Sanctuary and the Duncraft Metal Safe Haven and had a quick nosh before quickly heading on to their next stop. The next time they come through I’ll look more carefully to see if I can spot a hoary redpoll or a few pine siskins in the flock.
Redpolls breed in subarctic forests and open tundra and then head south to winter in Canada and the northern United States, Great Britain and northern Europe. Their favored foods are the seeds from birch, alder, willow and weeds. Redpolls are one of the smallest birds to winter in the far north, and they have adapted ingeniously to survival in their harsh northern climate. The redpoll has a small pouch in the neck called an esophageal diverticulum. The birds gather seeds and store them in this pouch. Then they fly off to a sheltered spot where they can husk and eat the seeds, protected from icy winds and predators. The pouch holds enough food to get the bird through the night, even at temperatures as low as -81 degrees Fahrenheit.
Life in the North can have its drawbacks but it’s hard to complain when you think of the amazing wildlife we get to enjoy. It would be wonderful to hear stories from our readers around the country – what kinds of birds are you seeing in New Mexico or Florida or Minnesota? Please share your reports of your winter visitors! You can simply leave a comment in the field below the blog, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Make every day a Happy Bird Day!