This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6
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Friday, January 10, 2014

The Little Ones..........

Do you wonder how the small birds survive when the weather is so cold. Here in Northern Michigan it has been in the minus degrees this past week. Wind chills bring it further down. I didnt see birds at my feeders for about 3 days and not often in the surrounding days. Then the temperatures went up a bit, the sun came out and all my birds were back. We have 2 pair of Cardinals this year. Both females reappeared. So how do they survive?
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The small birds have an easier time because they flock together. There are often gangs of little ones all together at my feeders. Nuthatch, Tufted Titmice, Chickadees and Buntings. I even saw some finches today. (Pictures of those another day)
So how do they do it.? A birds body is a wonderful creation. OK I know a lot do not believe in God. I do. I see this as a master plan. Birds have a higher body temperature than we do. They make use of the sun by turning their back to the sun, it heats a larger area that way (clever aye?) they can fluff feathers to trap warmth in them and heat their inner core. Their feet have scales so that helps them to lower the temperature on them to a different temperature to the body and the scales minimize heat loss.
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At nighttime the flocks of small birds will find a place to roost. They like pine trees, up close to the trunk, better yet if its been in the sun during the day. Those places retain some warmth and they can snuggle up together. I wonder who chooses who is on the outside? My son Jason has a bush near his bedroom and the Sparrows roost in it. What a noise at sunup and sundown as they quarrel and chatter getting settled in or getting up.
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They can fluff up and sit on one leg so as to warm the other, or put a head under a wing all to keep warm. Bigger birds do the same tricks. I just happen to love the small ones. I feel so bad for them when its so icy and cold. The Chickadees always seem so happy. They call and chat to each other and generally make a racket. They are not afraid either. Unlike the bigger birds they don't scare easy.
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Starlings are always being chased off and so I imagine that's why they are so scared easy. I like them. Pretty birds and so boisterous . They have to eat too and they will eat the meat and bread and scraps that the small ones will not.
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Still these cocky small fella's win my heart
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You can be a big part in the survival of the birds in winter. If its possible have water that does not freeze. Put out food for different kinds of birds. Even meat scraps will feed Crows and Starlings while the sunflower seed are loved by most. Small seeds for tiny birds and corn for squirrels. They will often use old bird houses for shelter and bushes, old wood piles and stacks of twigs. Make your garden a sanctuary and encourage all living things to survive. Besides it fun to watch them all.


The Country Nest said...

Nice post. I have often wondered where birds go at night. It is cold here in New England too. The suet has gone fast along with the seed.

Judy said...

Lovely post, now I am going to my backyard with some rice, water and bread...Thank you...

Magic Love Crow said...

Great post my friend! I am like you! I have old pieces of wood around. I feed the animals. I love them ;o) It wouldn't be the same without them! Thanks for the beautiful pictures and the great information! I so love my chickadees ;o) They are so cute! Big Hugs ;o)

Merlesworld said...

Little birds are the best, I love the way they move all the quick sharp turns.

Candy S said...

It was nearly 40 degrees here in Ohio today. The birds were having the greatest time at the feeders. There was such a ruckus that you could hear them in the house with the doors closed.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love the starling's winter clothes. Love all your bird pictures.