But enough about the weather. What about the birds? Well, surely the two things go hand in hand. For example, the Eastern Towhees and Song Sparrows have been absent from our feeders so far this season, and I'm guessing that is in large part due to the mild weather. Mild weather has meant that lots of bugs are still out and about, thus extending the amount of time these birds can still rely on good "natural" food sources instead of resorting to the seed that we put out for them. These two species (Towhee and Song Sparrow) have made themselves known at our feeders in the past when daytime temps stayed well below 50 degrees, and even more so when snow fell - two conditions that have not been met so far on my FeederWatch days this year.
Other trend notes: Visiting Tufted Titmice are up from last year by a bird or two, and I'm consistently seeing 2 White-breasted Nuthatches each weekend (although I heard as many as 3 at once on several occasions), which has been a rarity in past years. Carolina Wren continues to show up weekly, always brightening my day with its spunky spirit and noisy chittering, chattering, and scolding.
One bird that was absent from the roll call last week was the Red-bellied Woodpecker. I searched high and low both days, and heard some calls far off in the woods, but it never showed up. This week, however, it was very active at the feeders, visiting both the peanut feeder and the suet feeder on numerous occasions. The Red-bellied has become quite adept at plucking whole peanuts from the feeder.
Sizing things up...
Looks like he picked a winner!
A closer view of this feeder beauty.
Tufted Titmice are by far the most frequent visitors to the peanut feeder. They use the little "tails" that are on a lot of the peanuts as a handle. Look at how it's using its toes in the right photo, getting a grip on the nut!
Here's a close-up of using a peanut "tail" as a handle. This little Tufty is in a precarious position, though. I've seen them hanging upside down like this with a nut in their beak, only to lose their grip and drop it. The comical thing about it is that they dive-bomb right down after the nut they just dropped!
Here's the tally of birds counted this past weekend (11/28-11/29):