When I saw this chickadee at the feeder today my heart jumped. They left over a week ago – where they went is a mystery. My list of theories is short and sparse. The top theory is that they were scared away by a hawk. I saw evidence of a struggle at the feeder recently. Little goldfinch feathers were all over the snow. There weren’t any prints or any other physical evidence that made me think a cat or other animal killed the bird. The idea of a hawk coming to my feeder shook me up a bit because I am also concerned for the chickens. I watch the sky quite a bit, both here in our village and on the outskirts, and I have never seen a hawk here. I see them a mile down the road, but not in the village.

I’ve kept the feeders filled and the birdbath heated in hopes of enticing them to come back. Our count days this week for Project Feederwatch were depressing: over two 5-hour periods we saw a maximum of 3 mourning doves. Then today the chickadees and the goldfinches came back. Not many, but they will surely bring their bird friends in the next several days.

It is cold again, the kind of cold that burns my hands when I take a minute to fill the bird feeders or collect eggs from the hen house. There is a snow storm coming to southern New England and New York City, and we wish it would come here to upstate New York. There is a layer of snow on the ground but we are hungry for some good snow!

Have a great night.


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