Please consider the images to be copyrighted and ask permission to use any of them. Thank you, DEClapp
Today was well below freezing and for much of the morning the wind made it feel well below zero. On days like this the birds seem to arrive later than I would have predicted and it is eight in the morning before they really begin to arrive. Then they seem to arrive in a flurry; especially if there are meal worms on the deck rail. They might dribble in if they are only offered cold bird seed. But at about 8:30 it is quite busy with Pine Warblers, Eastern Bluebirds, Black-capped chickadees, Tufted Titmouses, American Goldfinches and a scattering of American Robins and nuthatches, mostly Red-breasted but an occasional White-breasted.
This post is a quick burst of images taken a bit earlier today through a heavy glass, double-paned slider out onto the deck; my excuse for images that many be a bit off. The Eastern Bluebirds are big fans of meal worms as are the Pine Warblers. The Carolina Wrens, chickadees, and titmouse also favor these larval bits. Ordering and providing meal worms is a bit of a task as the birds will eat and eat and you need to order and store these beetle larva and then provide and provide. I can store about 10-20,000 (yup, really) in a plastic box that is about the size needed to store a pair of boots, pretty small really. They don’t need much room and they cannot climb the walls of any plastic container. They are living in, and on, non-medicated chick starter (a chick food crumble) and about five pounds of chick starter (less than $5) will take care of thousands of larva for weeks. I keep them in an unheated garage (maybe getting into the low 40s) and put them on the deck rail on a dinner plate; no napkins or silverware needed. They will not pupate at this temperature for 5-6-7 weeks; and by then they will have become bird food.
The image at the head of this post is a Carolina Wren. A small, hardy, noisy, perky wren that is at the northern edge of its range (especially wintering range) here in New England. The CAWR almost always stay in pairs and are often seen in pairs and is the bird that sneaks into your outbuildings, tool sheds and garages to look for those spiders and other insects that cohabitate with us. They are similar to the Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, and Red-bellied Woodpecker in their recent transition into our more northern environment from their origin locations to the south. We are seeing many more birds and mammals and insects as well as plants moving north as our winters become less challenging. The CAWR is one of the “new” arrivals.