My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

More Snow

Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee waiting for seeds

We are getting another 8-12 inches of snow this weekend!! Our local weatherman isn’t calling this a blizzard but I think it feels like a blizzard (with whiteout conditions)! Poor bird feeder birds were anxiously waiting for me to fill my feeders this morning (while I slept in)! Chickadee’s were saying to me “Chick-a-dee dee deee . . . those SEEDS NOW BUDDY!!”

Snowing Outside
Snowing in my back yard!

You know it’s bad when you find the crows feeding on Staghorn Sumac, while this cameraman is point a camera at them!! For some reason, Sumac appears to be a plant that is only eaten whenever there is nothing else to eat. I would love to hear from any of our plant biologist on why this plant takes so long to be picked over by the birds?? Besides the Crows . . . I will find Robins feeding on the Sumac while migrating back North!

American Crow and Sumac
American Crow feeding on Staghorn Sumac

March is the month that both Tundra Swans and Ring-billed Gulls can be found migrating along the Allegheny River. They are heading in a Westerly direction towards the Great Lakes and I would love to learn where “these” birds breeding grounds are. Only difference is that the Ring-billed Gulls are flying individually, as where the Tundra Swans are moving together in one big flock. I was surprised to find this group of Ring-billed Gulls preening their feathers and conserving energy while the snow storm passes over. Typically they stick fairly close to the river but I think this time they got a little lost from the whiteout conditions and ended up here in Allegany. I am more than sure they will be back on track again first thing in the morning to continue their movement to where ever they are heading.

Ring-billed Gulls
Ring-billed Gulls on Red House Lake

This weather is rough for me but I then I start to think about what these critters need to do to make it through the snow storms. Makes me appreciate the house that I live in and being able to store my food in a fridge.

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20 responses

  1. Great post! Poor gulls are like…what the heck! Wonderful Crow pictures!

    8 March 2008 at 11:41 pm

  2. Moe

    Great pictures, as usual. Most of the snow appears to have passed us by…finally!

    9 March 2008 at 12:06 am

  3. You’re getting what we got. 15 inches of crap.
    I’ve thought about planting sumac…if that’s the last resort for birds it might be worthwhile to plant a few.

    9 March 2008 at 12:08 am

  4. Poor birdies! I guess God made them tough for a reason!

    9 March 2008 at 8:38 am

  5. @ YNJ – thanks and was very happy seeing that crow reach over to the Sumac!
    @ Moe – thanks and lets hope this morning it has finally passed!
    @ Susan – LOL, lets hope it melts fast! Do note that it can be considered a type of invasive plant!
    @ Sherry/Zoo – they are alright and it very interesting on what they do to make it through the winter!

    9 March 2008 at 8:46 am

  6. The sumac sure is a lifesaver for birds. We have a mockingbird wintering here and he picks at it all day long just about.

    9 March 2008 at 9:04 am

  7. Wow, gulls on your lake, that is different! Hopefully this storm is done now!

    9 March 2008 at 9:07 am

  8. Don told me he saw Tundra Swans at PI the other day. I feel bad for the birds with all the snow we had. They are feeding like crazy at my feeders. Stay warm.

    9 March 2008 at 9:32 am

  9. You’re right, it’s a tough life as a bird – or as any wild animal. I, too, am grateful for roofs, walls, central heat, indoor plumbing, and restaurants with carry out (sort of like bird feeders, now that I think of it).

    We dodged the big storm, and looks like we’re in for a quiet rest of the weekend. Stay warm!

    9 March 2008 at 9:43 am

  10. See, when I visit northern climes I am always wishing I could live up there. I mean, springs and summers must be awesome. This is until I see photos of snow in March….lol! Then I’m glad I live where I live. Even in Texas it snowed last week. It is beautiful…but man!

    9 March 2008 at 9:56 am

  11. pwrbrdr

    I think it has to do with the tiny hairs on the fruits, they can irritate. I was thinking about that the other day while hoping for a pine grosbeak on the way to work.

    This morning I had a Golden Eagle adult fly over the yard Tom. It was following 2 adults and 2 immature Bald Eagles that went thru staggered about 4 -5 minutes apart between 9 and 10 in the bright sun. All birds were low so they may have been roosting nearby.

    Might not be a bad day to check the ridges in the park and do some hawk watching?

    9 March 2008 at 10:20 am

  12. Tom- Wonderful winter shots. We had 20.4 inches of snow here in Columbus, setting both the one time storm event and 24 hour snowfall record. I miss black-capped chickadees- We only have Carolinas here in Columbus. Good luck hawk watching.


    9 March 2008 at 10:31 am

  13. Hi Tom,
    I have a large sumac in my backyard and all sorts of birds will eat the seed even with all the feeders full. It does not seem to be a favorite, though.
    I love the way the Cardinals look perched up next to the seed heads.
    This last storm did dump lots of snow in the Northeast. Hope all is okay at your house.
    I am looking at a warm up this coming week, should come your way soon.

    9 March 2008 at 10:47 am

  14. I love these photos–as usual great shots. I don’t know if I should feel lucky or cheated. We didn’t get any snow–just cold weather and wind.

    9 March 2008 at 10:59 am

  15. Snow, snow snow this year! We are only getting an inch today here. Great crow photo!

    We love Young Naturalist J’s new blog and will be checking it out often! Our oldest young birder here wants to start one, but he needs a bit more practice (though he doesn’t think so).

    Keep up the great mentoring Mon@rch, you are great!

    9 March 2008 at 1:09 pm

  16. Marg

    First of all-YAY I can comment!

    Love the crow shot-yes I’ve often seen Robins eating Sumac in March, April-I’d like to know the answer to that too!

    Poor Gulls-better go see if J has uploaded anything new since last time I checked out the Ovenbird (I just love that name!)

    9 March 2008 at 6:04 pm

  17. @ Threecollie – Very cool and we have seen the crows clean these sumac out in no time! Thanks
    @ NatureWoman – We do get them out there but not when it’s ice covered! Thanks
    @ Toni – they are moving through in numbers! Pymatuming had reported over 1000 + swans down there! You should check them out!
    @ Wren – LOL it is great having all this around us with this kind of weather! Thanks
    @ Misti – This for sure was March snow! I know TX has great birds and I am many times loving that is being reported! Thanks
    @ John – very cool and saw your post in the list serv! I was out but didn’t see any goldens! Thanks for the warning though!
    @ Tom – thanks and isn’t that crazy how much you guys got! Hard to tell here with all our blowing snow! But I don’t think we got 20 inches of snow!
    @ Sherry/Q – great to hear the birdies are eating it! We are doing alright with the snow . . others got it worse! Where in this area are you coming? Should drop me an email!
    @ Joan – thanks and feel lucky! I am ready for spring!
    @ Birdfreak – thanks and he’s working hard on it! He’s already talking about what to do for future post.
    @ Marg – I still am not sure why you were having so many problems! No one else reported it to me! Glad you are back though!

    9 March 2008 at 8:32 pm

  18. Lisa at Greenbow

    The poor Crows. I don’t have that kind of sumac in my garden but the Pyracantha is always the last berry to be eaten in our garden. First the birds eat the Beauty Berries, then Hawthorn and Blackberries, Holly berries and last Pyracantha. I often wonder why too. I wish they would leave the beauty berries a little longer. I just love the purple berries. They must be sweet.

    10 March 2008 at 7:01 am

  19. Your crow shots always just amaze me. I have to agree with your premise. I feel a little like a flake when it comes to winter when I realize that tiny little birds survive in the harshest of winters while we’d freeze to death under the same conditions. Really thoughtful post!

    10 March 2008 at 2:55 pm

  20. Grace

    I once saw Eastern Bluebirds eating sumac. I don’t need to plant any–got way too much already.

    11 March 2008 at 12:55 am

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