"Mr. Jewel" relaxing on a snowy twig
Ollie and Mollie watching "Mrs. Jewel" take a drink
"Mrs. Jewel" relaxing on the feeder
"Mr. Jewel" taking a drink
No....I'm not talking about the human kind who migrate to warmer climates during the winter. We are talking real live Snow Birds.
Today has been an exciting day at my house. I woke up early this morning...very early. The temperature was below freezing last night, so I knew I needed to be up before dawn to take care of "The Jewels" - my resident Anna's Hummingbird family. These adorable little gems stay here year round which means my hummingbird feeders are up twelve months out of the year. When the temps get down to around 25 degrees F. their sugar syrup will freeze so on cold mornings I sometimes have to change their feeders so these little wonders can eat the moment they wake up.
As the sun rose we were treated to a light dusting of fresh snow. By mid afternoon the big fluffy flakes were really flying and there was about two inches of snow blanketing the landscape. (In Seattle, this is enough snow to cripple an entire city and trigger round-the-clock newscasts about "The Big Storm." Think sliding buses, stranded motorists and kids sledding on what's left of the muddy, snowy grass at the local park.)
My two inside birds - Ollie and Mollie - absolutely love snowy days. They sing and hop around their cage more than usual and fly about the house in a state of joy. (Yes, they are allowed to fly free in the house but rarely leave the room their cage is in.) I'm sure it helps that more wild birds and squirrels show up at the backyard feeding station on snowy days......which they can see from their cage. Ollie and Mollie get the biggest kick out of the hummingbirds who visit the feeder right outside their window. They flap their wings in a hilarious attempt to imitate their tiny friends. Silly Parakeets!
This afternoon I snapped a few photos as Mr. and Mrs. Jewel were happily zooming about the yard. Watching them sit on snowy branches preening their feathers in the middle of a micro-blizzard is a fascinating experience. It's a wonder how creatures so small can weather a storm that leaves humans huddling around woodstoves dressed in layers. Next time I feel like whining about the weather I'll remember the Jewels and be more grateful for my own food and shelter resources.