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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Frozen Feathers

Just before the cold wave hit
(or the balmy summer break to my friends in western states and Canada) we had a little ice storm. Here in the valley the ice wasn't stupendous, but it sure made a mess. What a job the boss has had keeping up the driveway!

Anyhow, when the Mourning Doves came in to the feeder that morning I noticed one that had a badly damaged tail. It had down feathers all clumped up and pulled out and stuck to it, and its big tail feathers were half pulled out and an awful mess.

At first I blamed the Cooper's Hawk that landed on Liz's car hood the other day...while she was sitting in it...Tufted Titmouse in its talons and hunger in its eyes. (I haven't seen her yet, but I know she's around. Every now and then all the birds either flee or freeze, hoping to escape her attentions. I don't blame them.)

Then I realized that several of the doves had similar damage, although none of them quite as severe, and all of them had ice all over their tails.

They must have frozen to the branches as they roosted and the ice formed. They seemed fine though and the same number has come in for the cracked corn every day since, but I wonder how many birds and other creatures were less fortunate.

It's just below zero this morning, a veritable heat wave for many of my friends, but I am going to add an extra cup of corn and sunflower seeds to the feeder this morning, as soon as it is light enough for me to see the ice, and stay inside when I can.

Stay warm, dear friends, stay warm. 


Shirley said...

I sure hope it warms up a bit for you. Ice storms are so dangerous.
The west coast is supposed to be getting another "atmospheric river" which means more flooding and danger for the coastal lowlands already hit hard not too long ago. There are many dairy farms and poultry farms that have already lost livestock and feed,and the road crews are still trying to repair washouts and mudslides from the last one. What a tough winter this is so far.

Terry and Linda said...

Oh! Gosh! That is terrible. You need a January warm up SOON!

threecollie said...

Shirley, Guess we will be waiting a while for a warm up. Cold today, stormy tomorrow. That's January I guess. Sad to read about the farms out west. They already face more challenges than most people can imagine. Horrific weather on top of it is awful!

Linda, I am ready, but I guess the weather isn't. lol