A Woman's Voice

WINTER ENTERTAINMENT — January 10, 2011 by Judith Lawrence

Posted in A WOMAN'S VOICE by doloresayotte on January 10, 2011
Tags: , , , , ,

A Wo-Man’s Voice 

The wild turkeys appear out of nowhere—ungainly birds with faces that only a mother could love. Sometimes they come in groups of six or seven but, recently, two have come together. I think they are mother and son. The larger groups have one male bird with a number of females around him. If the male starts to strut away, the others all follow, wherever he leads, in their awkward gait.

The two turkeys that come together and apart from the larger flock seem to be mother and son. I say that because the larger bird is not a male and the smaller bird has recently acquired two red knobs on the front of his neck along with the small beginnings of a wattle that can be seen when he puts his head down to feed. He is quite nervous and runs away at the slightest sound or movement from the house whereas the larger bird is not deterred from her task of eating the seed on the ground.

The turkeys are not the only visitors to our bird feeder but they are the largest. Other visitors are much smaller.

One is a little black vole who has dug himself intricate connecting tunnels under the snow from which he appears in darting motions to pick a seed, retreating into his tunnel just as quickly as he came. I watched one morning as he built his tunnels. Though I could not actually see him, he would go under the snow through one hole and come out through another; then he would go back under the snow and later emerge through yet another exit.

Red squirrels are daily visitors also. When the ground seed becomes scarce, there are great chasings and violent battles sometimes with blood drawn. They are also quite the acrobats and will climb up the post, go along the metal chain to the feeder, and hang by their back feet to reach the seed.

The chickadees, nuthatches, and several varieties of finches are regular feeders on the feeder and ground alike. Occasionally we get a racoon visiting—another ground feeder who resorts to acrobatics on the feeder if necessary.

The price of all this entertainment is the cost of the seed and the patience needed to wait for the on-stage appearances. Oh, and did I mention the woodpeckers that come to feed on the suet cakes?

Thank you so much Judith for such an entertaining article and for the wonderful pictures to go with it.  To learn more about Judith, please visit Pilgrim


10 Responses to 'WINTER ENTERTAINMENT — January 10, 2011 by Judith Lawrence'

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  1. Audra Krell said,

    Fabulous, educational and fun article! Love how the red squirrels hang by their feet! Must be funny to see.

    • Judith said,

      Thanks Audra for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the article. These animals are truly entertaining!

  2. hope_rising said,


    What a treasure! I LOVED this post … I used to put out bird feeders, but in the city .. that just brings rats! YIKES! But I so enjoyed your story and your pictures. How lucky are the birds that you put seed out for them in the winter months!

    Enjoy your critters!

    • Judith said,

      Thanks! We would keep putting out seed in the summer too but once the bears wake from their hibernation they come and eat the seed and we’ve had one or two bird feeders destroyed by them, so no more seed for the birds in summer. Though we do put out humming bird feeders, which gives us great joy too.

  3. Kathy Eberly said,

    I really enjoyed this post. We live in the country and I enjoy watching all the “free entertainment” at our house. I sit mesmerized by the hummingbirds in summer and I love to watch the deer and the pheasants that pass by. Thank you again for sharing!

    • Judith said,

      Thanks Kathy. We are indeed lucky to see the Creator’s wonderful variety of animals and birds. We have only ever seen one pheasant at our property. I think it must have belonged to someone and escaped somehow!

  4. Sarah said,

    I love watching birds and small animals. Loved reading this.

    • Judith said,

      Thanks Sarah! Glad you enjoyed the article.

  5. Hi Judith and Dolores –

    Delightful post! My friend has a bird feeder, and it’s a constant source of entertainment for both the kids and adults. They get everything from chickadees to bright red cardinals. Gorgeous!

    Susan 🙂

    • Judith said,

      Thanks Susan! We don’t get cardinals at our feeder. I think they must not like the forest. They probably prefer more built up areas. Its good to hear of other peoples experiences.

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