Friday April 5, 2013 Redpolls and Siskins still here and hungry

Seward Sporadic Bird Report

Sunrise 7:09 am, sunset 8:52 pm, length of day 13 hours 43 minutes. Tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 29 seconds longer.

Clear and cold this past week with temperatures dropping well below freezing at night, and rising slowly to the high 30s in the day. Lots of snow and ice remains, but the edges are melting back (or sublimating) and brown grass peeks through in places. A slow melt would help reduce flooding; we just have to be patient. Snow is in the forecast for the next few days, just to touch up those edges.

I didn't want to do it, but after being out of sunflower seeds for two days, I couldn't stand it. The COMMON REDPOLLS and PINE SISKINS are still here and hungry; there is no replacement natural food with winter standing firm. First I bought a 5# bag of chicken scratch, which is mostly cracked corn, for an experiment. The scratch food is about the same price, around a $1 per pound. It's a bit smaller so much of it fell through the hardware screen birdfeeder, but at least uneaten seed won't germinate.  The birds briefly considered this new, yellow food spilled over the ground and scattered on the snow bank, and then ate it up.

I really, really didn't want to, but the next day I bought yet another 40# bag of black oil sunflower seeds and refilled the feeder. If the cold weather continues, it will all be gone before the bears find it. If not, I will store it in a cool, dry place to use next winter. Meanwhile, I'm thrilled to hear the noisy chatter and watch these entertaining little finches again.

I spotted a BRAMBLING this morning with the Redpolls. The AMERICAN TREE, WHITE-CROWNED, FOX, SONG, and LINCOLN SPARROWS and a bounty of JUNCOS and VARIED THRUSHES are still here.

My yard still looks and sounds like Winter, but that's OK with me!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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