On a Cold Winter’s Day

The last week has been very, very cold here, -29C (-20F) with a wind chill of below -40 some days.

Today is just cold, no wind, which is nice. Two days ago it was incredibly windy and bitter cold. The wind is hard on the animals, especially the cattle and horses. We have wind-breaks and bales set out to provide a bit of shelter from the wind for the animals, though the wind seems to blow from every direction. Our laying hens and rabbits are spoiled in comparison, living inside an insulated building that keeps them cozy and warm.

Our hens: the brown ones are Isa Browns and the others are White Leghorns,


We have 49 hens and they lay about 40 eggs a day,


My steer, Marco,


Our dog, Lady,


The redpolls and Black-capped Chickadees are quite puffed up, and the Downy Woodpecker who usually comes to the feeders has been absent for the last couple of days, probably due to the wind. When the wind was at its worst, only five Common Redpolls were at the nyjer feeders, but when the wind died down there were 32 Common Redpolls and 2 Hoary Redpolls at the feeders.

A Hoary Redpoll,


I’m cold too, though I’m not spending the night (or even all day) outdoors like the birds and mammals, so I don’t have too much to complain about, but once the cold snap is over (supposedly tomorrow) it will be easier on the animals and more fun to go birding.

Common Redpolls,


The First Bird of the Year

Happy New Year’s Day!

This morning I woke up filled with excitement. A new year and new birds to be seen. The first bird of 2012 was the Common Redpoll. I watched six Redpolls at my feeders for a minute and then two Black-capped Chickadees flew in, and two minutes later nine more redpolls came to the feeders. As I was studying the Redpolls I saw there was a Hoary Redpoll in the flock. A Black-billed Magpie flew past the feeders and frightened the Redpolls away. After only 10 minutes I had already seen four species of birds, a good start to 2012 especially six hours north of the US border in winter.

Common Redpoll,

Black-capped Chickadee,

The Common Redpoll is on the left and the Hoary Redpoll is on the right,

Winter Poll Results

Thank you very much to everyone who voted on my Winter Poll.

The results are in (below), and the Favorite Winter Bird is the Bohemian Waxwing!

Common Redpoll: 2 votes

Pine Grosbeak: 3 votes

Bohemian Waxwing: 4 votes

Other votes: 1 vote for the Northern Cardinal, 1 vote for the King Eider, and 1 vote for Hoary Redpoll.

Thanks very much to all who voted and played along with my winter game! Happy New Year!