Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

December 10, 2009

How Do They Know?

So, Wednesday December 9th, 2009 brought us our first real snow fall of the season. It wasn't the worst one, but it wasn't pretty either. Depending on the area you lived, 5 to 10cm of snow, later rain (lots) or just rain or just snow.

That was the big news of the day; and the day before was warning everyone about the storm rolling in.

I didn't need any sort of news media to tell me something was going to change in the weather. Tuesday afternoon the backyard was so alive with birds and I mean lots of birds! Many species, many numbers of them, and a few species who I've not seen around here for nearly a month. It was all very exciting.

Numbers included 5 Northern Cardinals, 6 Black Capped Chickadees, 2 White Breasted Nuthatches, 2 Red Breasted Nuthatches, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 3 Downy Woodpeckers, 6 American Goldfinches, 4 House Finches, 4 Dark Eyed Juncos, 3 Mourning Doves and countless Sparrows, Starlings and Pigeons. Oh, lastly one Sharp Shinned Hawk showed up looking for a meal too... hoping to snag one well fed bird of sorts.

I know I can Google the answer to this, and maybe I will, but another part of me still enjoys the mystery and wonder of what is around us. So, how do they know? How do they know what the weather is bringing? Sure they don't know exactly, like how much snow, but they sure know when it's on-coming. Tuesday afternoon was testimony to that.

So, regardless to what some out there really think... they aren't just stupid little birds and animals. We can learn from the animals around us... if we only stop, look and listen.

One of the main reasons I still do not have cable television in this house.


socurly said...

I love your take on wildlife! I too acted like the birds on Tuesday. I went the grocery store getting enough essentials just in case, bake something warm and even made some birdcakes for my feathered friends. Oh and I saw a snowy owl in my yard!!!!!

Jo-Anne said...

Rob ... nice sightings. :)

socurly ... Snowy Owls are absolutely gorgeous! It made me feel good/happy to read about you making birdcakes.

Teena in Toronto said...

We had mostly rain.

Rob said...

A Snowy Owl?!?! OH MY! Awesome! I need to see an Owl in the wild this winter... and hope I do.

Nice of you to take time out and make birdcakes. We've thought of that.

It was more snow than rain here, just west of the city. The 401 sucked!

socurly said...

My backyard is not the wild! Though it does have its own silly animal kingdom. The owl was stunning. He screeched and flew away from me. I was speechless! Today the squirrels stole my birdcake. They chased each other for it. Later we watched the same three squirrels climb out of their nest in the maple tree. They must snuggle together!

Angie in TO said...

Would you please post your recipe for birdcakes?

I hope we see an owl in the wild this year too. :)

socurly said...

I make birdcakes by melting a block of vegetable shortening or lard, I add a tablespoon of brown sugar, and a few tablespoons of peanut butter. Sometimes I put chopped fruit, they do not like raisins, shelled peanuts, and then I add some birdseed mix. Sometimes a spoonfull of frozen corn, dried cranberries, a tablespoon of whole wheat flour or white flour. The flour boosts the protein, I read hard boiled eggs or dried insects can be added too. Some put eggshells in too. I just put the eggshells on the ground. It should look like the consistancy of rice crispy squares. You adjust the ingredients so everything is coated with the oily part. I line a pan with platic wrap and enough to fold over the top. Then I pour the mixture into the pan, press it in and cover with plastic and refrigerate or freeze. I cut blocks out when needed.
The birds also really love whole wheat date banana cake I make. I put some out that my kids left on their plate, it was gone in seconds. I know Rob says don't give them baked stuff, but its organic whole wheat, homemade with butter......they always come to the back door at lunch knowing the sandwich crust will get tossed to them. My little guy loves to make mini peanut butter sandwiches for the squirrels.