Prepping For Snow

This guy was in front of me when I was walking home from the YWCA...I think he is having a rougher day than me.

Knowing that we are going to get socked with another 8 - 14 inches of snow, I decided to make a break for it and went for an hour's worth of digiscoping. One thing I appreciate where I live is that eagles are only a 15 minute drive away. I headed for the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge to practice taking photos at their feeders.

The peanut feeder was getting the most action with a steady stream of nuthatches (above) and woodpeckers attacking it from every angle. Birds love peanuts out of the shell, almost as much as sunflower.

Of course, where there are peanuts there can be starlings. They love nuts out of the shell too.

This guy was really quite striking with our pre-snow gray background. I got quite a few photos until a hairy woodpecker shooed him away.

There were some tray feeders at the feeding station and it was fun to watch this female cardinal feeding along side an American tree sparrow. One interesting behavior was from a male cardinal. He would fly up to the tray feeder, take a sunflower seed and fly back to the woods to eat it--much the same way a chickadee grabs seed at feeders. Normally, cardinals will stay at the feeder to eat their fill, keeping a watchful eye out for potential danger. I have seen quite a few Cooper's hawks and sharp-shins at this feeding station, I wonder if the male cardinal developed this feeding technique to avoid hawk predation or if he's just a freak?

Well, round one of the big snow has gotten off to a late start. The snow was supposed to start by noon and give us three inches before 6pm. Thankfully, for the evening rush hour the snow didn't start in earnest until after 6pm. The worst is supposed to be tomorrow with blizzard like conditions. Should be interesting.