Today’s rain swirled on a bitterly cold wind. Given the conditions, I can’t blame the birds for seeking an easy source of food.
(I would love a little help identifying the sparrow above. Is it a song sparrow?)
I can’t blame the birds because I was seeking my own easy fare. The weather was simply too miserable for a walk, or even for a long stroll around the yard. So I stayed indoors and took photos through the kitchen window.
The doves and robins looked so cold that I wanted to invite them to join me.
The cardinals seemed less affected by the cold.
They had more troublesome things on their minds. It started with a small flock of red-winged blackbirds.
Cowbirds appeared next, as if responding to an alert about freshly filled feeders.
The cardinal female tried to claim her share of the seed, but the flock ignored her fretful complaints and fluttering attempts to land among them.
She even tried eating on the ground, where she was forced to dodge between and around a milling crowd of larger birds.
After a few desperate mouthfuls, the cardinal gave up and moved on.
The flock stayed for another half-hour or so, growing more and more nervous as the feeder’s contents dwindled. They stampeded into flight over and over again, then returned for a few more minutes of ravenous feeding.
Finally, there came a time when they burst into the air on a loud flurry of wings and did not return. I saw them twice more, passing overhead as they visited other yards, but they were finished in our yard for the day.
I was puzzled by their retreat, because the feeder wasn’t completely empty. I wondered if they might have seen a hawk or cat, but the only thing left in the yard was this squirrel.
Is it possible that they left because of the squirrel?
Perhaps they were simply bored, or the feeder ran too low to make their continued efforts worthwhile. Or maybe they tired of my lurking presence in the kitchen window and my clicking, whirring camera…