Winter Berry Eaters


by John Baldwin

Sunshine and some more reasonable temperatures have already affected some of our birds’ behaviour, but not before a few surprises have been encountered by at least one of your fellow readers. During the most recent cold bite of winter, they had a flock of about twenty Wild Turkeys appear for a number of days, under their feeders. This was a treat for them, but then they happened to get an even bigger one when a very uncommon visitor appeared on their bush with berries still on it – a Pine Grosbeak!

What an exciting spot by them, as this one just happened to be a lone female of the species, a rarity in itself, since they usually travel in flocks and not very often this far south at all. The more common Grosbeak, the Evening Grosbeak, once very common in our gardens, hasn’t put in many appearances at all in our garden for years now, and the Red Breasted variety we may only get maybe a glimpse of on its passing through here during the Spring migration.

Our lone Robin put in an appearance in our old tree at the front of the house, with a few berry type buds still clinging to it for it to feed on. A female Cardinal was also in the same tree, but, being a seed eater as well as a berry one, doesn’t tend to dwell on the fruit so much, being able to sustain itself from the easier and more readily available feeders.

A warmer day today has already seen a quick decline in our feeder use, so, hopefully, things will continue that way and we can start keeping an eye out for our early Spring visitors, be it on their way through here, or maybe to stay for a few months. We shall see over the next few weeks which it is to be, and so will you, but please enjoy them all whilst staying safe and well.

John Baldwin


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