Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wicked Mother Nature

The weather has taken a turn for the worst here in southcentral Pa. I received 12 inches of snow yesterday and the temperature is 15 degrees with a stiff wind this morning.  With woodcock sighted much further north than my location I have to wonder how they survive these cold spells.  Do they "hunker down" under a pine tree or blowdown and try to stay warm and dry? How many days can they go without nourishment while their earthworms are out of reach?  No doubt some will die of exposure or be caught by predators while in their weakened state.  The males will no doubt take the brunt of the brutal weather as they are the first to head north to seek out prime "singing grounds" while the more sensible females move north later to  find a mate and a suitable nesting site.  But Mother Nature dictates that only the strong survive to breed on and that they will as they have done for thousands of years.

Here at the homestead I've been filling the bird feeders every few hours as the flocks of cardinals, titmice, chickadees, bluejays and other's fill up on the black oil sunflower seed that will fuel their bodies through the long cold night.


Somehow this sparrow made it's way into our mudroom, perhaps through the dog door. The Peterson Field Guide identified it as a Song Sparrow. After photos I released it unharmed.

Warmer weather is on it's way next week so perhaps I'll be able to get the setters out a few more times into the woodcock coverts before the nesting season starts.

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