Carolina Wild Photo (the blog)

Looking Back at the Snow

by on Mar.24, 2017, under Rants, Raves & Ramblings

Male Cardinal and snowflakes Well, it’s late March and finally I feel like there is little threat of any more freezing temperatures. So I decided to look back at the February snow and some of the photos I got of birds while those frozen flakes were coming down. Every year I try to get some new shots of birds in the snow to use for my Christmas cards. Looks like maybe this male Cardinal will be the one I’ll use when Christmas rolls around again.

Female Cardinal in the snow
Then again, I might opt for this female Cardinal image on my holiday card. It’s always hard to choose one, since I can only use one photo. Oh well.

There were a lot of other birds that came during the snow as well. You see, I built a heated birdbath/fountain that’s pretty popular when all other water is frozen.
Female Bluebird in the snow
… Yeah, I said heated birdbath. Birds need water, of course, and when it’s freezing outside they don’t have a lot of options for water. So a free-flowing fountain/birdbath is an irresistible attraction in freezing weather. This year overnight temps got as cold as 3 degrees, and my little fountain kept flowing through it all.

Even my Bluebirds came. In fact, this is the first year I’ve seen them around in the dead of winter. Previously they seemed to disappear in October, and I wouldn’t see them again until March. But they’ve been hanging around this whole winter, so I spoil them with mealworms every day.
Fluffed up Bluejay braving the snow
The Bluejays add a lot of color to a snowy winter day. This one is all fluffed up to keep warm, looking content, stuffed with sunflower seeds and suet. The next Bluejay below seems a bit more tense, ready to bully the other birds away from those sunflower seeds to stuff his own face. But there is plenty to go around for everybody. It seems I go through a 40 lb. bag of sunflower seeds every month, not to mention all the suet, …. oh, and the mealworms too.
Bluejay on the prowl
The snow fell just one day, which gave me only a short window of opportunity to get photos with the snow coming down. It was a frozen, dry snow – the kind that doesn’t stick to limbs like a wet snow does – so it was easily blown away by the wind. You can tell how fine and crystal-like the flakes were on the limb in the photo of the House Finch below.
House Finch male in the snow

Among the other visitors during the snow day was a little Red-breasted Nuthatch that first showed up back during the summer, and has been a regular visitor ever since. I now have 3 kinds of Nuthatches coming around – White-breasted, Brown-headed, and this Red-breasted. This little fellow hardly ever sits still long enough for a photo, so I’m lucky when I can get a shot of him. Red-breasted Nuthatch

There were also some Goldfinches who brought a bit of cheery yellow to the snow day. The one pictured below is all fluffed up keeping warm. There’s not enough room here for all the visitors, which included 4 kinds of woodpeckers, Juncos, various sparrows, and more. But they all took advantage of the fresh running water in my heated birdbath/fountain, which has been a sure-fire hit with my little feathered friends, especially during the otherwise frozen weather this winter. Goldfinch in the snow

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