My winter of 2021 had been wonderful with the birds. It was the first time I saw so many and I hope that this year, in 2022, I will be lucky enough to have as many birds and even more.
I thought it would be nice if I shared this experience with you, although, unfortunately, I don’t have many photos to show, because at the time, I rarely took photos.
But how could I, having the few experiences I had, attract so many? Well, it was quite simple…
The feeding tray
It wasn’t a fancy tray, or even a planter made for birds. It was simply a blue tray for gardening.
One day I decided to put the feeding tray on my gallery by putting seeds inside because, according to my memories, it was after seeing mourning doves relaxing on the balcony.
The mourning doves, after discovering the feeding tray, had been very happy and even, in a few days, I quickly saw dark-eyed juncos and American tree sparrows arriving.
I was amazed to be able to stand in front of my front door and be able to watch, from my door window, these cute little birds jumping, chirping and eating all together.
So I came every day to watch these birds coming to the feeding plant. I had a goal… to attract a common redpoll! That was my goal this winter.
Every day I watched the birds, sometimes chickadees and blue jays came, sometimes starlings came and intimidated everyone a bit, but often it was beautiful sightings that showed up.
Oh ! And, one day I saw them… common redpolls! But, unfortunately, I hadn’t managed to take a picture of them…
The injured mourning dove
One day, as I was looking at my red maple tree, I noticed a mourning dove in the tree that seemed… strange. I thought it had something on her neck, but I wasn’t sure. Eventually, it did leave but…it was weird.
Some time later, I saw it again, but this time, on my balcony. Indeed… it was injured in the neck! It seemed weak… it condition worried me.
A day later I saw it again and it seemed even weaker. It spent it time in front of the door of my house, trying to get warm. His breathing was much faster than the others. I would have liked to help it… but I knew that if I opened the door, it would fly away.
I had spent the whole day observing the dove and I saw something very cute. Another dove had come to stick against it to comfort it. I had read that often, in a group of birds, when an individual is injured, the others might try to reject it. It was just the opposite that I had just seen and after that I had great respect for doves.
The next day, I saw the doves again but I did not see the injured one. On the other hand, I noticed a dove which had its breathing faster than the others and a tail similar to yesterday’s… I will never be sure but maybe it was the injured dove, who eventually healed.
Normally the pigeons are often in groups. We will rarely see only one pigeon and yet… that’s what happened this winter. I saw, arriving on the balcony, a large pigeon of a dark gray color.
It was the first time I saw a pigeon but I noticed right away that he was alone. In fact, I finally understood that this pigeon had decided to live with the Mourning Doves. And it was so handsome and kind!
I learned with him that pigeons love to play games and dark-eyed juncos too. The pigeon was bringing branches to the balcony and the juncos were having fun picking them up and bringing them to a nest box that I had left lying on the balcony. It was so funny!
Yes, I know, it’s a downy woodpecker image, not a pigeon. Yes, I did not manage to take a picture of a big pigeon...
But one day, I saw the pigeon arrive on the field… with another pigeon! Not long after, he left. I think he had come to say goodbye to me, because afterwards, I didn’t see him again after that day.
end of the winter
Unfortunately, winter does not last forever. The American tree sparrows quickly left the land when winter was over and so did the dark-eyed juncos a few months later. The mourning doves, too, eventually became rare and I had to remove the feeding tray when the chipmunks came out of hibernation.
But it was truly the most beautiful winter of my life and one of the things that made me love birds even more at that time. I know for some it might not be much, but for me in my early days as a birdwatcher it was a magical start and by sharing this experience I hope I can inspire some people to try to do the same during the snowy seasons, because it is not only a personal happiness, but also a great helper for birds during cold seasons.
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