Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Berry Cold Birds

The interesting story this week is the many birds that got caught by the unseasonably cold and snowy weather we're "experiencing". The last laggards of the bird species known as short-distance migrants were still here when the Arctic blast arrived. Short-distance migrants don't head for Florida or more southern climes. They just go as far as they need to, which is why the greater Vancouver area (for example) has a lot of robins in the winter.

Now the stragglers are surviving on mountain ash berries, crabapples, apples, and the berries of the May bush. Most of them will quickly move on if the weather warms up as it's supposed to do in the next several days.

Rocky Morin took this "frozen moment" photo of a male American robin about to swallow a mountain ash berry. Other species spied in the past few days at the mountain ash U-pick are varied thrush, hermit thrush, and Bohemian waxwing.

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