Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snowbound birding

Now that the snow is finally melting, and the Seattle area is mostly back to normal, at least those who have electricity, I thought I'd share some of the photos I took of the birds visiting my backyard. I normally have feeders set up - one for hummingbirds, one seed feeder with the squirrel proof weight triggered guard, and a couple of suet feeders. I supplemented that during the snow with peanuts in the shell (which draws the Stellars Jays and crows), some chopped up apples (which drew the Varied Thrushes) and some of the bird seed tossed on the ground to make it easier for the ground feeding birds, mostly juncos, to find it. My backyard was busy and provided much entertainment for me and my two cats.

The hummingbirds were, as usual, waiting for me when I thawed out their feeder. I really like the contrast here with the piles of snow and the hummingbird hovering over the feeder. I suspect this is because a part of my brain still associates hummingbirds with flowers and warm weather and the contrast is amusing.

The Jays were quick to catch on about the peanuts. They took them away, also quickly, and would then sit waiting in the tree for me to replenish the supply.

My surprise photo this time was this Red-breasted Nuthatch. I usually see them up high, coming in from the surrounding tall conifers to feed at the suet feeder. I'm not sure why this guy was down in a bush just inches from the ground and only a few feet from my backdoor, but I was pleased to see him.

Monday, January 2, 2012

12 steps for going green in 2012

Today's email brought this simple list of 12 things to do to go green in 2012. Any or all of them, whatever can be done easily, will benefit our wallets and our planet. Read the full list here. I'm particularly pleased that the bike share programs I've mentioned earlier made the list. Bicycling to the local mall (about 2/3rds of a mile one way) is on my list of things to do more of this year. I'll increase my exercise level, use my car less and save money that way, and shop local. A great threefer!