Are you fascinated by birds, their ability to escape the confines of earth with flight, their marvelous color patterns and not in the least, their song?

Have you complied a life list over the years? What are your favorites among those birds you have seen and heard?

Having watched and studied birds most of my life and compiled a substantial life list from various parts of the country and beyond, I have my favorites amongst the group and they are now prominently displayed on the wall in my great room as seen on the right.

It might even be fun to include your state bird in the center of that group. I am in the process of including all the state birds in my collection. Enter the gallery by clicking on any of the images or on the gallery link above, and see what you like.

Winter in the Berkshires

March 30: Winter this past season has been especially taxing for all of us in the Northeast as I might assume elsewhere in the United States. The severe cold, wind, and a steady dose of snowstorms made life challenging at best. I was able to keep the bird feeders fully stocked as it is critical to do this if you start feeding the birds in the fall. What happens is more members of a bird species will visit your feeders than can be supported on their own in the natural environment. We had our usual residents of chickadees, blue jays, both red and white nuthatches and the downy and hairy woodpecker pairs. I also ended up with at least 14 wild turkeys for most of the season.

My three ranchero Toms were always present, but during the more severe weather, I believe the hens kept to the cover of the woods. I hoped they were finding enough food under the snow to keep alive. (It does seem now that for the most part they survived.) I have a resident family of Common Crows that raise their young here in my neighbor’s old cow pasture every year. They enjoy picking scraps and juicy tidbits off the hay and manure pile by the horse’s shed. The turkeys visit here every day as well. I was able to let my eight chickens and roosters out for some fresh air only seldom as the frigid temperatures and snow blocked their access to the outside world. A heater lamp kept them cozily tucked inside on the coldest of days and nights.

During the second half of the winter months I was glad to see a large flock of redpolls, goldfinches, and pine siskins spend time with us. They would alight in the honeysuckle bush chattering madly together, feed briefly on the sunflower and Niger seed and then on some unseen clue, explode into the air and escape to the tall trees across the road. Moments later, they would return sporadically to once again explode into the air. It was difficult to get pictures of all of them as they are very active little birds, hoping and flitting about.