Unusual local sightings of Winter Bird Guests


This week I received an exciting and very interesting message, via the Editor of The North Dundas Times, from one of his readers who has seen a mature Bald Eagle, near Inkerman! The lady who saw it has small livestock of her own, which might have been what was attracting it. She obviously knows and loves birds, but having witnessed one such bird, when on Vancouver Island, snatch an unwary hare from the ground, she is naturally worried about her own smaller animals too! The bird didn’t stay for too long, and she hasn’t seen it since, but she did mention that she had seen one last year and it had caused quite a bit of alarm to her livestock on that occasion; but, fortunately, didn’t actually try to catch anything.

On doing some research on Bald Eagles, it is quite well known that they can “winter over” and find sufficient food to survive here. Primarily, they are fish eaters, so require open waters to fish, but, once the waters freezes up, they will search for, and live on, carrion and small animals.

To add to her unusual sighting, we ourselves spotted today, in the early morning crisp, cold sunlight, a lone Robin! It was in our back garden perched in our Japanese Willow tree. Quite the surprise! We haven’t seen it at our feeders, which are at the front of the house, so we are not sure what it is finding to feed on. There are three Crab Apple trees near the Willow, so maybe it is finding some berries that are still edible. Let’s hope so!

As I look out of my basement office window at ground level, my feeders are busy, and the great many ground feeding birds are warily hopping about, grabbing what they can from the seed spilt or “flicked” by the Bluejays, or squirrels, from the hanging ones onto the frozen ground.

I expect your own feeders are keeping you busy, and the visiting or resident birds are appreciating your efforts and providing you with plenty of enjoyment and interest – enjoy and keep safe and well.


John Baldwin


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