Even when the thermostat reads – 30 celsius the birds continue to amaze me. They look so fragile and vulnerable but they are designed to withstand such a harsh winter. While other birds head south for the winter, these little birds stay and flourish in the northern winter season.
I have noticed that at the bird feeder the rules change when the temperature drops. My suet feeders that usually only have one bird on them at a time suddenly have two or three. Different species of bird who would normally not come to the feeder at the same time now share the feeder dangling in the frosty air. Downy woodpeckers and chickadees, nuthatches and flicker woodpeckers – all doing what they need to do to survive.
As the temperature climbs back up on a Chinook day, the usual rules of engagement return into play. The birds take turns at the feeder and they only eat with their own kind. It is so interesting how in the face of adversity the drive for survival leads to a demonstration of increased communal behaviours.