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Birdsong

Birds as Barometers?-no pix

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Does anyone here have a thought on bird activity in relation to the weather? My kids (long gone from the nest) still call me to see what my birds are doing if a storm is predicted for the next day. I can easily count 29 pine siskins this morning. A normal high has been 18. A friend called hours before the last snow fell to say she had at least 48 pine siskins at one time. Sure enough, we got the snow. Do you use birds as barometers anyone?

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We noticed yesterday that the chickadees were just going crazy at our feeders (and stayed later in the evening too than normal).

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I generally use all wildlife as barometers. I've noticed up in Ely when I'm driving around and there are tons of deer and birds around, the fishing is fantastic. When I don't see too many deer, the fishing is not quite so good. A loose correlation but it seems to work.

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Squirrels are also a good weather indicator. They fed very early this A.M. and are back in their nests already. There is a real nasty cold front coming in this afternoon.

Mic

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I don't use birds for barometers anymore in these days of electronic online up-to-the-second weather reports/forecasts.

But it's still fun to watch the activity level pick up as the barometer drops with the approaching storm. I was at a feeding station all morning where the chickadees and woodpeckers went non stop. Not a single lull in the action.

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Ken, where'd the tail go on that pine grosbeak in the center? gringrin

There is no one at my feeders, and at the feeding station in the woods this morning there were only feathered creatures, except for one fat red squirrel. frownfrown

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Good question on the tail. Didn't notice that. The wind was whippin' pretty good and it might be hidden somewhere.

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Maybe the wind blew it off. grin

The squirrels were hungry this morning, but the severe wind chill sent them home early. They don't normally leave until the corn is all off the cobs. It's even too nasty for them.

Sorry, I forgot this was about birds.

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Lucky you, Finnbay! The storm kind of blew over here. Blew being the operative word. I had all the 'storm feeders' out--you know the ones. Those you can only put out after the squirrels head for cover? Otherwise they would be called 'squirrel feeders.' But I ended up playing hostess to forty starlings all afternoon. Yay! Other birds came, but not like they normally would.

Was it wet and cold last night? I occasionally have finches lose their tails during ice storms. I think they sit in one place too long and the tail feathers ice up and freeze to their perch. Not the brightest birds in the bush.

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That reminds me of a big blizzard in January 1975 in Grand Forks, N.D. We lived along the woods bordering the Red River and had tons of birds to the feeders.

When the blizzard blew in, my feeders had been cleaned out and I realized I didn't have much sunflower seed left. I popped a whole huge carpload of popcorn and put that out, and in the middle of the blizzard I had starlings everywhere gobbling popcorn like crazy.

That was a pretty funny sight.

Up here it started snowing and blowing in earnest about noon, and in Ely we're approaching a foot of snow blown around by 25 mph gusts, with more snow and wind overnight.

My back is going to be VERY sore by this time tomorrow.

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