Feeder filling at the MBO

Every winter at about this time we take a weekly “shift” at the nearby bird banding station (no public access so we can’t share the location) to fill bird feeders and see what’s about. Today was the first outing of the year and the coldest day with -15C (or -22C with windchill) and powdery snow just deep enough to get in over the tops of our boots. Beautiful morning and it’s so good to back out there and enjoying it … we look forward to this task all summer.

The fine fellow in the featured image above is the winter site guardian and the structure behind him is not the banding station, rather it’s a very important “outstation” that he also looks after.

There are new feeders this season, ones that are not susceptible to squirrel attack and which minimise spilled seed on the ground which probably accounts for the absence of Juncoes and American Tree Sparrows which we usually see there dining off whatever has fallen onto the snow. We will be scattering some seed to attract these little guys on our future visits.

Very big flock of Mourning Doves there when we arrived – usually we only get to see one or two on this site so the flock was unusual.  The checklist can be seen at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50125447

Female Downy Woodpecker

The new feeder array

Male Northern Cardinal

One part of the station

Old wasp nest opened up by predators – hanging on a tree very close to the feeders

Female Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal