January 15, 2009


I woke up this morning and looked out at our thermometer and saw that it was minus 19 degrees! It was extremely cold and made it hard to stay outside for too long. Despite the very cold conditions the birds were out as usual. The first bird to come to the feeders on this frigid morning was a Hairy Woodpecker. Other interesting birds seen include an American Robin and a few Snow Buntings which I found with some Horned Larks in a field near my house.
Let's not forget the Sharp-shinned Hawk that made an attack on one of the birds in our yard. I came upon a site where he had recently made a kill and in the picture below you can see the mess that they make. Feathers were everywhere and there were lots of marks in the snow where it's wings and body touched the ground. They almost look like "bird snow angels" (more like snow devils in his case).Just nearby I found the bird that it took down. It was a big bird so whatever it was it must have been hard to get under control.
The hawk itself was not far from its kill. I managed to get some decent photos of him from the road without spooking it.

The high for the day was only minus 3 degrees, which is the first time we've had sub-zero high in four years. Despite the cold the birds were out and struggling to survive on this very cold day.

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