As usual, I find it hard to believe that we are nearing the end of another month already. The months just seem to be zipping by. That’s alright though: it means that spring ….. and access to my flowerbeds ….. is getting closer! Right now, I can’t see much but WHITE out there but the Ruffed Grouse don’t seem to mind. 🙂 I’ve had 2 of them visiting my yard in recent weeks. I actually think I have at least 3 coming around but I’ve only ever seen 2 at a time. A friend of mine down the street has seen *5* in her yard!
Below is my resident female Ruffed Grouse. In this photo, she is not happy about the Blue Jays floating around the yard. She is noticeably smaller than the male Grouse (the one on the ground in the photo above).
The next photo is also of my resident female Grouse. She has a favourite perch in my spruce tree. On this day, she was tucked into the tree from 9:30 am until 5:20 pm! That’s when she wandered out for her evening snack before flying off to roost or bury herself in the snow somewhere for the night.
I’ve been having great fun this winter with the Raven in the photo below. This is the yearling Raven …. you can still see the red mouth interior very clearly. And he/she still loves the suet! I think I’m going to be finding all kinds of it on my back lawn come spring. He/she keeps flying away with these big chunks but ends up dropping them in the snow about 10 feet from the feeder. Yesterday, the resident pair of Crows worked at this piece in the snow but I think it got buried too deeply for them to reach. They now have to wait until the snow melts to get at it.
My resident pair of Crows is still visiting daily. Gimpy, the Crow on the left, is the one with the injured leg/foot. The bird is managing quite well with its disability. Its mate is almost always with it. They sometimes spend hours in my pine tree on the left of this photo.
The 3 Gray Jays are still coming around a few times per day although they are not always together now. I believe the mated adult pair below have sent the third one packing to get its own territory. This pair will be leaving any day now to begin this year’s nesting season. Gray Jays are, I believe, the earliest nesters up here, laying their eggs in late February/early March. Pretty impressive!
Such a handsome bird that will officially become Canada’s National Bird this summer!
Blue Jays are in the yard most any time I look outside. If I have the webcam on (which I do 90% of the time!), I can hear all manner of calls & noises from them throughout my neighbourhood. They have quite the repertoire!
The winter finches are in pretty low numbers this season. Pine Grosbeaks are one of the most common species in my yard this winter with numbers near 20 at a time where I would normally see 30 to 40.
Evening Grosbeak numbers in this area are really low this winter. I’m lucky to be able to count 10 at a time where I would normally have well over 50+. I’m hearing that they are being seen in higher numbers around the Chapleau – Cochrane, Ont. areas.
One day, I actually watched this female Evening Grosbeak pick & eat a pine needle. I had no idea that they would eat pine needles!
Redpoll numbers have finally picked up a little for this season but, like the Grosbeaks, they are significantly lower than normal. I’ve had a high count so far of only 35 where I would normally have well over 100 by this time. I’ve heard that many of them stayed in the Arctic this winter instead of migrating down this way.
I’ve seen 3 Hoary Redpolls so far this season. I love seeing them in my Crabapple tree like the photo below ….. they look like little fluffy snowballs!
And that’s it for this month. Maybe …. just maybe …. I’ll have some Juncos or Purple Finches by the time I do up my March post. You never know.
Until then, thanks for reading!