Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lotsa Rosy-Finches

I wish I could adequately capture an image of the numbers of Rosy-Finches that visit my yard. It's got to be well past 200 now, and they visit every single time it snows.
The other day, we got less than an inch of snow, but the Rosies came. Sure, they only stayed a couple hours in the morning...but they showed; like clockwork.

I have read that during breeding season these birds develop a special 'pocket' where they can store extra food. In the high places of the tundra where they breed, they must search far and wide; going great distances, to and fro, looking for food. But apparently those pockets are not 'year 'round' attributes.
Still, it seems they may come a distance as they seldom arrive all that early here...perhaps an hour after daylight. And they don't stay nearly as long as the Juncos, who will feed till nearly dark.
I have also read that, because of their limited exposure to people on their breeding grounds, they are fairly comfortable with people in close proximity. I've noticed that while I'm tossing seed or re-filling feeders, they will land within a step or two of where I'm standing. If I quit moving, they will land by the hundreds; feeding right in front of me.
It is the most astounding sound when they all take off at once. I wonder where they go at night.


Bosque Bill said...

That is so cool! Love the photos.

Beverly said...

Isn't it awesome? I'm telling ya, I feel blessed. LOL In order to keep them from digging up the yard, I actually put the seed in different spots; those pictures are the birds in one of three places they feed!

I wish the pics were better. I rather liked the new ones of the Lewis's...and the one of the Blue Jay wasn't bad; but the rest? Bah! Though, I suppose they do give one a hint of what it's like in my yard. LOL

Thanks, Bill...you're a pal!

dAwN said...

Thats amazing!

R said...

We have yellow finches that do this same thing. They are smaller and way more hesitant with people but when the snow comes (which isn't often here in the south) they are fighting over the feeders so much that we have to throw some on the ground. And I often wonder where they go at night.

Beverly said...

Ya know R,

I hear a lot of people say they don't want to feed birds because maybe they'll upset their migratory patterns. The truth is, habitat is so fractured (think both climate change AND wall-to-wall lawn), any help we can give birds is a plus.

Perhaps the very best thing is to plant native plants (easier to care for and they take far less water) that offer both food and shelter, but additional feeding of Black-oil Sunflower seeds can make the difference of life or death in the wintertime for the greatest variety of birds.

Oh, and while Niger/Nyger seed is awfully expensive...Purina makes a product called 'Finches' Feast' that is half thistle and the rest a mix of canary seed (same shape) and tiny sunflower seed chips. It easily fits though any finch-feeder and is about half the price. I get it at my local feed store. ($20/20#)

I'm like you...I toss a bit on the ground, with some Black-oil Sunflower seeds, too. I suppose that's why 500+ Rosies visit now! Sheeshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh