March Backyard Visitors
Despite the heavy snow cover that remained from the January and February snow storms, I still had the usual critters visit my backyard in Hazle Township, Luzerne County in early March. The snow finally melted, and some new critters started to show up at my feeders the last two weeks in March. The small herd of deer that live on my property continued their nightly visits. I scatter some corn on the ground for them every evening. They had a difficult time walking in the deep snow to feed in early March.
I only throw out a few cups of corn each day since I don’t want them to rely on it as their main source of food. I only want to help supplement the food they find in nature. But I will admit, when the snow was deep I threw out some extra corn . I enjoy watching them approach and have come to know some by their facial expressions. This youngster, I think it must be a buck, is the bravest of the bunch and is always the first to approach my yard.
I could spend all day watching these graceful creatures.
In addition to the deer I see still see a raccoons at night and some rabbits early in the day. And the squirrels show up every day to eat the left over corn and the seed that drops from the bird feeders.
They also had a hard time in the deep snow cover.
This is the eye of one of the squirrels that was enjoying a snack on my deck. I am thinking the eye was looking for the hawks that also live on my property. They were showing up every morning with the ideas of having one of the squirrels for breakfast. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the deer and squirrels. Backyard critters Deer and Squirrels. March 2021.
And of course I have many birds visit my backyard. The largest, the turkeys did not show for most of the Winter. I thought they may have been victims of the cold or hunting season. I was surprised one morning in early March to see the four male turkeys show up in my yard and make themselves at home as though they never left.
I could tell by their features, and actions, that they were the same birds that last visited in November. I have no idea where they were all Winter and what made them come back when they did . But the reason they came back was the corn I put out for the deer. I enjoyed their company for a couple of days, even though the are not the most attractive birds.
In fact I think they resemble their distant relatives, the dinosaurs. And, just as unexpectedly as they showed up, a few days later, they mysteriously left. I am hoping they return again soon.
There were many other birds that showed up at my feeders.
My favorite is this tiny Carolina wren. It often hops on my decks searching for seeds I dropped while filling my feeders.
It’s song is beautiful. It does not sing often in the Winter. I heard it a few time, but I’m looking forward to it’s beauty song in my backyard this Spring.
My second favorite Winter visitor is the red-bellied woodpecker. I love it’s color and watch it on it’s daily visits.
Of course, I love all the birds that visit my feeders. Well almost all of them, I am not a big fan of the starlings or the invasive house sparrow. The house sparrow as least looks pretty, but it has displaced many native bird species.
Other birds that visit include the white-breasted nuthatches. They scamper up and down the trunks of my trees before visiting my feeders.
The very sociable black-capped chickadees often visit the feeders even when I am refilling the seed. I love their songs on my Winter walks.
There are a couple of pairs of, I think downy woodpeckers, that are always visiting my suet feeders. I have a hard time distinguishing the downy and hairy woodpeckers.
The tufted titmice are often perched on my feeders,
as are the many Northern cardinals that live near my backyard, This is the brightly colored male.
The dark-eyed juncos have been constant visitors to my backyard since the fall, but will soon be leaving to their breeding grounds in the north.
I will miss this energetic critters. They are always scampering on the ground feeding on dropped seeds, and, occasionally perching on a tree branch.
The mourning doves also feed on the seed that falls from the feeders, but are usually perched on branches high in the tree tops.
Recently I noticed the arrival of some song sparrows,
and goldfinches. This goldfinch is still in it’s Winter feathers. But it won’t be long now, and the males will change into their bright yellow summer colors.
The house finches has been visiting my feeders all Winter but the males have become a deeper red these past few weeks. I love my Winter visitors to my feeders but I am looking forward to the migratory song birds that will soon return to my backyard. Here is a link to a gallery with some more of the birds that visited my backyard in March. Backyard visitors, birds. March 2021.
“Wild animals are less wild and more human than many humans of this world”