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December 19, 2009 [LINK / comment]
How do birds survive a blizzard?
If you think about what little protection they get from their feathers, it really is a miracle that wild birds manage to live through deep freezes and major snowstorms that cover up their regular food sources. Nowadays birds that live near populated areas can count on "handouts" to get by during the bleakest days of winter, but what about a few hundred years ago? Back then, not many humans had enough spare money or time to provide food for birds, so the idea probably didn't even occur to them. Anyway, the simple answer to "How do those birds survive this weather?" is high-caloric intake.
Needless to say, we have had plenty of bird traffic out back today, with nearly two feet of snow on the ground -- and more is falling! Besides Cardinals (a male is shown here), we have had many Juncos, a few White-throated sparrows, as well as one each of House finch, Mourning dove, Song sparrow, House sparrow, Blue jay, and Red-bellied woodpecker. No Chickadees or Titmice, however. The suet feeder fell off the hook hanging from the tree, and is now buried beneath the snow. While shoveling the snow this afternoon, I spotted a single Turkey vulture flying around, but I doubt that it was able to find much road-kill food in these white-out conditions. This photo is a zoomed-in vertical version of a photo that I posted on Facebook earlier today:
A male Cardinal gets much-needed sustenance at the feeder out back, while the snow keeps falling. Roll the mouse over this photo to see some indoor "snow birds."
The classic "snow bird" that migrates to these parts from the northern latitudes and upper altitudes every autumn: a Dark-eyed Junco. (Taken Nov. 27)
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 19 Dec 2009, 4: 27 PM
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January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
May 3, 2009 (Very) Big Spring Day, 2009
June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
June 16, 2009 Home runs in New Yankee Stadium
June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
October 16, 2009 Health care polemics heat up
November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
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