February 5, 2012 by John Rakestraw
As luck would have it, a recent streak of clear sunny days has coincided with my battle with an influenza virus. So rather than traversing the state enjoying birds in the sunshine, I have been stuck on the couch and at my work station watching the birds at the feeder. The feeder has been very busy, however, thanks to a new batch of large clean sunflower hearts and an influx of ravenous finches.
Prior to this week, I had only seen a few Pine Siskins this winter. But now a flock of several dozen are present most of the day.
The American Goldfinches are starting to show some summer color.
One Purple Finch has been joining the fray. I only see them once or twice a year at the feeder.
The resident House Finches have had a hard time finding room at the feeder, and have been waiting until the flock of smaller finches move on for the day.
Two male Varied Thrushes are competing with the squirrels for seeds under the feeder.
With the increased activity, the local Dark-eyed Juncos have given up trying to use the feeder, opting to scratch around the periphery instead.
As always, the Black-capped Chickadees sneak in and grab the occasional seed.
I am hoping the weather holds and my lungs clear so I can go a little farther afield next week.