Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Bird Watch January

Although Saskatchewan's winter weather is miserable this year due to the bitter and prolonged cold, we experienced more wildlife at Draper's Acres than we've ever noticed in January.

For instance, on January 4th I spotted this Sharp-shinned Hawk perched at the corner of the shelterbelt where he was looking out over the field and slough. I took a couple pics through the window, but my camera wanted to focus on the bare branches and not on the hawk on the other side of them. I returned to my office and was surprised several minutes later, when he appeared outside my office window where he perched about ten feet from the suet feeder. Smart bird. Yet I was relieved when he left empty-clawed about fifteen minutes later.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Saskatchewan, Canada, January 2018. Source: Anita Mae Draper

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Saskatchewan, Canada, January 2018. Source: Anita Mae Draper

This year we've been blessed with 3 resident Black-capped Chickadees and half a dozen Common Redpolls along with our 18 or so House Sparrows. The sparrows are very territorial and kept setting up guards all around the yard when the chickadees and redpolls first came along, but the newcomers were very persistant.

The favourite food of the House Sparrows seems to be the regular mixed bird seed which they share with each other until it nears the bottom of the feeder. Then they become sparring sparrows.

Sparring House Sparrows, Saskatchewan, Canada, January 2018. Source: Anita Mae Draper

Common Redpolls are an exciting addition to our daily views. Previously, they've stopped by a couple times throughout the winter, but this year we see them in the Siberian Elm shelterbelts, poplars, and apple trees. Once in awhile they'll land near the sparrows, but their favourite feeder is filled with black sunflower-like niger seeds in the middle of the yard.

Common Redpoll, Male, Saskatchewan, CanadaJanuary 2018. Source: Anita Mae Draper
Common Redpoll, Female, Saskatchewan, CanadaJanuary 2018. Source: Anita Mae Draper

The Black-capped Chickadees are a blessing as we love to walk outside and hear the familiar melody of this little winter bird. The chickadee is always on the move, either collecting seeds to hide, or looking for them when the niger feeder is empty. On inclement days it spends time digging bits of peanut from this wire feeder which makes me wonder if he's after the protein or oil content in them.

Black-capped Chickadee and Peanut Feeder, Saskatchewan, CanadaJanuary 2018. Source: Anita Mae Draper
The chickadees don't appear to like the suet feeder, but work at getting seeds out during the warmer days, supposedly when the suet is softer.

Black-billed Magpies are constant throughout the year and will make 2 or 3 nests in our yard during the summer. During the winter we'll see them every so often, but I thought it was wishful thinking to find one checking out the nests on January 16. I managed to get a nice shot as it flew from one nest to the other.

Black-billed Magpie in Flight, Saskatchewan, CanadaJanuary 2018. Source: Anita Mae Draper

This post only includes birds sighted at Draper's Acres during January 2018. Once past our fences, we spotted several owls and a flock of snow buntings as well as deer, moose, and coyotes.

Pins for the above images in this post can be viewed on my Photos: Birds Pinterest board.


  1. Great photos of the birds! Wow!

    1. Hi Elaine. Too funny that you have trouble posting your comments and now I can't find the response although I rec'd email that it posted a week ago. Okay, not funny. :/

      Thanks so much for visiting! I appreciate your support. :)


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