Yesterday was an eventful day: the weather became decidedly winterish with several inches of snow in just a few hours, and my feeders -- once I cleared the snow and stirred up the seed to be more accessible -- became a popular hangout for house sparrows, house finches, and dark eyed juncos. This is the first time the juncos have visited this season, and I quickly put out a few handfuls of millet (one of their favorites) along the edge of the patio where the snow couldn't reach. Several of them discovered it and enjoyed a less blizzard-y dining experience, while others perched happily on the platform feeder to partake of the black oil sunflower seeds.
Too often, we relish the birds of spring and summer -- when their colors are brightest and their songs most joyful -- without realizing that bird populations are dynamic all year round. We must be ever vigilant to ensure all our backyard visitors can enjoy fresh and delicious seeds, appropriate shelter, clean water, and protection from the elements when necessary, no matter what the weather may be.