We finally gave up and took in all the seed feeders that we have hanging over our deck. Now we have suet feeders and the water but no seeds of any kind. Fortunately, most of our backyard birds can eat the suet. I grabbed the camera to take a few shots. Unfortunately, after only a few pictures a Cooper's Hawk decided to look for a meal. That always ends the bird watching and photographing for a while.
The Red-bellied Woodpecker is well suited for picking out the suet
The White-breasted Nuthatch, also a member of the woodpecker family has no problem either.
Some of the birds we are missing and will miss until we hang the seeds once more are the Northern Cardinals and the American Goldfinches. Neither of them have the right bills and not the right feet to cling and eat from our suet feeders. The Eastern Towhees cannot eat from the suet feeders either but they don't come to the seed feeders very often anyway. And we will still have the Pileated Woodpeckers, the Wrens, the Tufted Titmice, the Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, the Carolina and Black-capped Chickadees.
So what, you may ask, prompted us to remove all the seed feeders? Two words. Pine Siskins. We have suffered an irruption of Pine Siskins for several weeks now. They have given no indication they are planning to leave. They are noisy and scatter far more seeds than they actually eat. They push the other birds aside and take over the feeders, pushing and shoving each other as well. In short, they are not fun to watch and they keep us from enjoying our resident birds.
Fewer in number, they still drop by for water.
We will leave the feeders down for at least a week until we can assume the dreaded Siskins have moved to better feeding grounds. The cardinals and the goldfinches will return since they live here. And all will be much more peaceful, at least in the bird world outside.
I wish all of you could be enjoying the same weather we have enjoyed for the past three days. You can tell from the first two photographs taken in the trees that the sky is truly Carolina Blue today. Gives me hope that Spring is indeed just around the corner. Yes, we are headed for more bad weather but there will be less of it and it will not last as long. I can manage that.