Friday, February 21, 2014

A Little Thinking on Juncos

It has been a strange winter - very early and fierce in December, then holding back for just a few random storms, but we haven't had much snowfall or bitter cold in over a month. This does not bode well for summer - fire risk and drought are sure to be extreme - but for now, I'm thinking beyond the snow, to the snowbirds.

Some areas are privileged to have visits from dark-eyed juncos year-round, but these small, perky sparrows only seem to visit my deck and feeders when there is snow on the ground. It is amazing how well they match their snowbird nickname - when the snow vanishes, so do they, but if there is just a little dusting of white powder, they will be back, with a vengeance. For now, it seems as though they're gone for the season, and I miss their feathery tracks on the deck, their energetic hopping on the stairs and their voracious appetites for small seeds. It may be months before they reappear, but when they do, I'll happily brave the snow and cold to keep their feeders full.

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