Top Photo: Red-bellied woodpecker peeks out from behind suet.
If you happen to be passing Bird Viewing while on your way to or from Catch the Wind on the Museum’s outdoor loop trail, stop and sit down for a few minutes. Grab one of the very comfortable Adirondack chairs (you won’t want to get up again) and set a while.
You’re very likely to see Carolina chickadee, northern cardinal, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, mourning dove, and pine warbler, among others, year round. In winter, you may see yellow-rumped warbler, ruby-crowned kinglet, white-throated sparrow, maybe a purple finch, and on days with snow cover, a fox sparrow or two.
Now, that’s only a small sampling of what’s possible. You never really know what’s going to show up at a feeder, no matter where it’s located. Colder days tend to bring in more birds as the birds’ need to feed increases as the temps drop. And, with all of those birds concentrated in one area, it’s bound to draw the attention of a hawk, like sharp-shinned or Cooper’s hawk.
So, grab a chair and relax. If the action’s slow, gaze up at the trees, listen to the wind whistle through the pine needles, watch one of the ubiquitous squirrels rummage through the seeds on the ground, but, above all, enjoy the day.
Answer to identity of bird at suet feeder (above Cooper’s hawk): ruby-crowned kinglet