Hey, we got our first snowfall of the season earlier this week. Not a lot but enough to make things pretty for a few days. I spent some time the morning of the snow, watching the birds and took a few photos.
For starts, the holly bush.
That is one plant to be added for anyone with a decent sized backyard. Just make sure you get both a male and female plant if you want berries on the female. This bush has fed a few Robins, Cedar Waxwings and once even a Hermit Thrush late in November of 2016. But the one bird that returns to it year after year (for a few years now) is a Northern Mockingbird. We seldom see this species of bird in our backyard outside of the winter months. We participate in Project Feeder Watch for Bird Studies Canada and love being able to add this bird to our count days.
The holly bushes have also provided a great hiding place for the smaller birds when the Hawks come in. I watched a Cooper's Hawk walk circles around the bush one morning, looking for it's next meal. The House Sparrows sat still and eventually the Hawk left to hunt elsewhere.
Last week I was out for a walk and noticed a fallen Sumac tree. I decided to clip some of the branches and bring home the berry buds to place in our backyard. This has been a hit with some of the birds. First it was Starlings, lots of them at times.
More recently the Juncos.
This fall I planted a couple sumacs. I've seen Bluebirds, Robins and Red-bellied Woodpeckers loving the sumac berries during the winter elsewhere so hopefully somewhere down the road, we may encounter some new birds stopping in here. Yes I am aware this plant spreads very fast and I will stay on top of that.
It's funny how many non-birder friends ask me why this Woodpecker is called a Red-bellied and not a Red-headed.
Robin from last winter on a sumac near our home.
We will always have a few bird feeders out back but our goal is make the yard more natural and wildlife friendly. The holly and the sumacs are a great start, especially for our own winter wonderland. Angie blogged about us picking up a free Service Berry tree a few weeks ago.
If you have any suggestions on what else we should add to our yard, what you have planted or grow at your home, feel free to tell me in the comments.
Til next time, keep warm and enjoy what this frosty season has to offer us!