by Larry Kocian
Birds of different species gather outside this frozen window. They gather around water fountains and various feeders filled with a variety of seeds. On this cold, winter day, they gather in larger numbers as the frigid winds blow and frozen water falls from the sky.
Many birds make your home their homes too. Singing melodies in the trees, reproducing their species, maintaining a balance of insects around your garden. Some of these birds take up residence at your home the entire year. One such bird in the Cardinal. Others migrate to your homes at various times of the year, like the Pine Warbler.
Last year in February, a catastrophic winter event occurred in Texas that brought Arctic-like weather to a place that does not see this type of weather. The Polar Vortex was very intense and unstable, causing cold air to shift unusually far south. In February 2021, several days of Arctic cold and deep snows paralyzed the way of life for all animals and birds. Many animals froze to death in the wild.
I remember venturing outside with our family during that event to find hungry birds. Birds that became unusually friendly to gather food. Many Pine Siskins would land on our shoulders and hands, feeding on seeds that we had to feed them.
Today’s winter event is a very brief taste of that time. Many birds visited the feeders today as the ground is covered with ice and sleet. The following are birds we saw feeding today :
- White-wing Doves
- Tufted Titmouse
- Various Sparrows
- Purple Finches