Hello again and welcome to the May Long Weekend!
Spring has been very slow in coming up here. We had a brutal ice storm at the end of April, just when many migrants were arriving. It didn’t get too cold but we received nearly 6″ of ice pellets followed by an inch of freezing rain and then the temperature dropped to nearly -10C. The 6″ of ice pellets froze into a solid block of concrete EVERYwhere. The birds were absolutely desperate for food so word was put out online throughout the entire region: Don’t even bother with feeders, just throw seed out by the handful, as much and as often as you can. That’s what I did for 3 entire days, going through more seed in that week than I did in the entire month of February!
I had quite the assortment of birds in the yard following that storm, including:
It was incredible the number of birds in the yard that week …. well over 200 at a time! I was very glad I still had lots of seed left from the winter so I could continue to put out an assortment for as long as they needed it. I put out black oil sunflower seed, cracked corn, peanut hearts, peanuts in the shell & a blend of safflower, peanuts, sunflower seeds & dried fruit. They sure appreciated it since it was a good 4 days before that ice began to soften!
Spring finally started showing a bit after that storm and some lovely, colorful migrants arrived.
Along with watching all of these recent migrants, my husband and I completed our first-ever American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey last weekend. Like the Owl survey, you don’t watch for these birds, you listen for them after dark. In our 10 scheduled stops, we heard the mating call (peent) of 4 Woodcocks and got buzzed by a Snipe that flew low & loud over our heads …. great fun!
During this upcoming long weekend, I will be completing my annual Great Canadian Birdathon. I have surpassed my goal in donations so I’m sending out a huge thank you to all who donated. Any funds I raise go to Bird Studies Canada for conservation & research. I will post my results next month.
And in ending, in typical fashion for the upcoming May Long Weekend up here, we had another snowstorm today, May 18th! It started with rain, turned to freezing rain & ice pellets, then turned into 4″ of heavy, wet snow. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll see my season’s first Hummingbird today.
Enjoy the ‘first official long weekend of Summer’, stay safe & thanks for reading!