[Tweeters] Winter Birds in Snow

Qinglin Ma qinglineric at gmail.com
Wed Jan 15 15:57:06 PST 2020

It started to snow since Jan. 13. We have had about 9 inches. Surprisingly
there have been lots of bird activities around the feeders including some
rare visitors. I took this opportunity to take photos of the visitors. Most
photos were taken from my office through a dirty window. The focus was not
as good as I would like it be. The Red-breasted Nuthatch came but it was
too quick to get a photo.

I offer several kinds of food: dried meal worm, black sunflower seed, suet
cake and mixed dried nuts. Most of the feeders were hung from a pole. I did
put some mixed nuts and black sunflower seeds on the ground so that ground
feeders such as towhee, junco and squirrel can get to it more conveniently.
It was interesting to observe who likes what kind of food the best:
Junco: feed on anything. Likes suet the best.
Townsend' Warbler: dried meal worm and suet
Bewick's Wren: suet
Varied Thrush: suet and meal worm
Song Sparrow: black sunflower seed

When Flicker shows up on the suite feeder, many birds appear immediately to
stand underneath the feeder to wait for any crumbs. I call them ground
cleaning crew. They are composed of Junco, Towhee, Varied Thrush, and Song
Sparrow. They keep the ground clean so that no rat food left.

During the feeding frenzies, suddenly a Sharp-shinned Hawk appeared from
nowhere. Everyone was scattered into bushes. The hawk landed on a large
tree and looked around for a minute. Then, it dove down to the ground. It
flew off immediately after that. Not sure what it caught because I did not
see him carrying anything. After he left, I saw the Townsend's Warbler and
Varied Thrush again. Hopefully it was just one of the Juncos among many.

>From my office window I noticed some movement on a pine tree in the

neighbor's yard. Using binocular it turned out to be a Red-breasted
Sapsucker drilling wells. He has kept coming so far and stays there for

The birds kept me company when I was cooped up in the house.

Enjoy the birds in snow.


Qinglin Ma
Kirkland, WA
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