Conditions: Winds 15-20 mph with wind chills approaching -15
We’ve spent the past week or so getting reading for this weekend. By getting ready, I mostly mean bribing birds to alight on one of our feeders long enough to be counted. This is considerably more challenging than one might think.
When I was a student, I always prided myself on my ability to reject peer pressure and social trends. This was no doubt compensation for my inability to catch onto trends—or peers—as they happened. But I remained stalwart in my opposition to those in the flow nevertheless. The same held true for my 20-something life. Then I got married and bought a house (or bought a house and then got married, to be precise) in the upland forest of Central Maine. And that’s where my personal resolve shattered.
People move to places like Waldo County because they want to be close to nature. But, in truth, we want more than that. We want to be able to see nature living close to us. We work hard to crane our necks in the direction of corn fields, to walk quietly through the woods, or (in extreme cases) to follow a juvenile dog on a tour of the landscape. When we’re too lazy for these measures, we lay food traps in the hopes that wildlife comes to us.
The minute Greg and I bought our house, one of my first acts was to hang multiple birdfeeders from the decrepit pole outside our kitchen window. I poured a hearty supply of mixed commercial seed called “Flyer’s Choice” that I selected from the elaborate display at the local hardware store. How could any self-respecting bird turn its nose up at a brand like that? Birds fly, right? So they’ll choose this feed, right?
Throughout that first year, I waited. And waited some more.
Below is our count for the day. We'd love to hear about the birds in your neck of the woods (so to speak). Don't forget to send your tallies, stories, or trendiest bird food our way--we'll keep a list compiled here for the duration of the count!
7 Common redpoll (Carduelis flammea)
5 Black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus)
1 Hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
1 Red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)
1 White-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
1 Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
3 American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
8 Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)