Monday, January 17, 2011
I spent Saturday and Sunday watching divisional football games and doing apartment chores: dishes, laundry, vacuuming, etc., but kept a watchful eye on my bird feeders – there was especially a lot of activity on Sunday. It's like they knew a snowstorm was coming early Monday morning. Actually, birds have a middle-ear receptor called the vitali organ that can sense minute barometric pressure changes. Birds use it to help them avoid bad weather during migration, so it seems plausible it could also serve to signal when to stock up on more energy because food may be out of reach during an indeterminate period of harsh weather.
One of the first birds I notice in the morning is a cawing American Crow that perches atop the same tree every day at the end of the parking lot. He's a sneaky bird, though, and has thus far evaded my attempts to photograph him. Every time I open my patio door to point my lens out, he flies off. Most of the time I put out fresh birdseed first thing in the morning, but sometimes I do it the evening. When there isn't any birdseed left, I'll often find several Mourning Doves perched on my patio chairs and table, as if they're waiting for me to serve them! There were a few White-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Tree Sparrows and other usual winter birds. Yesterday I had my first Pine Siskin at my apartment feeders - that's number 62!
© 2011 Mike McDowell