Mother Nature's Proclivities

March is supposed to be "in like a lion and out like a lamb".  On Sunday, we had a balmy 73 degree day -- a perfect tease for spring-like weather-- only to be reminded that Mother Nature's entitled to her weather proclivities. 

Monday brought plunging temperatures, sleet, then snow. Richmond, VA came just one degree shy of beating a long-standing March 3 low temperature.  It is cold.

We've been putting sweet corn out for the deer.  They are enjoying it.  Hopefully it is enough to get one or two by during this acornless winter. (As from the few tracks, it appears that the 'they' is a duo or less).  Nevertheless, deer found this small patch of food. 

Female Red-winged Black Bird | Dick Daniels
Did you know that acorns are called a mast crop, with 'mast' being the bounty of trees and shrubs that feed wildlife? 

Yesterday, I spied a red winged black bird on the feeder  There were some grackles and other blackbirds in addition to this bird to the left milling below the feeder and on the plywood surface that we used to help keep a clear surface for feeding.  I spent some time looking for what type of bird it was. She is a female red-winged blackird.   I was glad to finally figure it out.

All of the birds are displaying good manners.  Patiently waiting turns on the feeders, and not being aggressive on the ground feeding.  I just came back in (I took a brief feeding interlude for both myself and the birds!) from sprinkling more black oil seed on the ground a filling the feeders with same.  Earlier, I made a concoction of Crisco, peanut butter and millet seed mix.  I put it on the deck rail and on a plastic yellow, shallow rimmed 'platter' that the birds seem to like.  They ate every morsel from yesterday.

In weather such as this, the margin of difference between surviving these cold temperature is measured in calories.  If you are interested in bird metabolism, you can find an interesting read here.

Help balance the metabolic out v. calorie in scales for the birds in your area.


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