Saturday, December 19, 2009

Seeds in the Snow

Well I don't need to visit to know "It's Fucking Cold and Snowing," out. ... and now I just herd thunder. That's kind of creepy, but okay. Either that or a plow truck just crashed into something. Anyhow... okay I'm told "Thunder Snow" is nature's way to saying we're getting 3 inches of snow in the hour... Moving on,

Winter can seem like fun and games, and sure enough they are, but there are a certain few out there who are less fortunate.

I'm talking of course about the birds. Notice the full bird feeder. It's that way because the snow has clogged up where the seed comes out. Assuming I'm a forgetful person, or otherwise can't unclog the feeder every hour, what are the birds to do?

Not a whole lot really. Yes thanks to me being a laze gardener there are plenty of food sources still around my yard. Dead seed heads shouldn't be removed until late winter, or early spring, so we're talking around March. Plants like Liatris, Coneflower, Coreopsis (Tickseed), Goldenrod, Rudbeckia, Sunflowers, and others of course, all leave their seeds up where birds can get them.

Currently there's 5 inches of snow on the ground. Had I cleaned up the garden when the plants died back in the fall the seed heads would have been laid in a pile out in the compost bit, or discarded to prevent plants from growing in unwanted places. They'd be unavailable under the snow or otherwise discarded.

What little snow that does collect on the plant can simply be pecked away by most birds.

Like berry plants, some seeds are prized more than others. I hope to plant more berries for this purpose and to add some winter color, but until then I post about the seeds. (As a side note the berries that were on the Coral Honeysuckle are already gone.)

Here's why sunflowers point down. The birds that feed from them though only get to eat what the Goldfinches left behind.

Upon turning the corner I spooked a little Junco which was feeding on Liatris seeds next to the house. Sorry it's a little out of focus.

My one regret is having planted so much next to the house. This makes birdwatching difficult because I'm always spooking what's out there. I'm sure that will change though.

Probably the only plus to having a bird feeder is the concentrated traffic of birds it creates. When you have the seeds nicely sorted and still attached to their parent plant the birds don't gather as much. They can pick and choose, but at least they have the convenience and don't need to rely on us.