Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday morning

Early in the morning I went out to fill the bird feeders. After a bitter cold night the birds will need to eat. As I brought out the seed, a nuthatch landed very close to me. I stood still and watched. The nuthatch is usually so pert and debonaire, but up close, this one looked bedraggled and cold, and seemed strangely oblivious to my presence.

I worried about that nuthatch the rest of the morning, looking for him at the kitchen window once in a while. I did see a nuthatch at the feeder, but from a distance couldn't tell if it was the same one. To tell one nuthatch from another is easy only for a nuthatch in love.

Later I walked out in the snow with the camera, half expecting to find a small frozen body on the ground. On a  freezing cold January night, the line between survival and death becomes very thin for so small a creature. There was no sign of the nuthatch, and after my fingers got too cold to work the camera, I came inside to stand in front of the fire and stare out the window as the snow began to fall once again from the gray winter sky.


  1. What are you feeding them? When I lived in Hedly in the winter I put out nothing but sunflower seed because of the oil in them.Used to have a lot of small birds at the feeder.Of course the occasional hawk would get one for dinner.

  2. We feed mostly millet and black-oil sunflower. We have mourning doves who like the millet and the juncos and sparrows eat it as well. The nuthatches and chickadees prefer the sunflower. We also put out suet blocks and that brings in the woodpeckers.

    Yesterday I walked out on the deck and there was a hawk sitting in the tree above the feeders. Everybody has to eat, I guess.


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