Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Not black and white or sepia

Winter has been very persistent here since its late arrival with almost daily snowfalls in small but accumulating amounts. Today was overcast and foggy and the overnight snow clung to even the tiniest branches on the lilac bush. I went out into the yard with Dakota to fill the bird feeders. The little grey and brown sparrows, chickadees and juncos patiently waited for their food, especially for the fresh mixture of peanut butter suet. I haven't even seen a cardinal colour the yard for several weeks. The undrifted snow is almost up to the top of our deck and the landscape is colourless except for a few wizened red mountain ash berries.

I caught this visitor in the camera lens and wonder if it is a Boreal Chickadee. I cannot find an exact matching photo in my Birds of Ontario book, but it would be my closest guess. Please correct me if I am wrong.

A highlight on this dull day came in the mail from Amazon. I ordered the book several weeks ago and almost had forgotten about it. Music of the Birds, A Celebration of Bird Song by Lang Elliot is a delight! The photographs are spectacular and the text , never too technical, is sprinkled with quotations from poets and writers who were inspired by music of the birds. A CD of bird songs is included. I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves birds. Be sure to check out the link above for picture and sound samples.
Snow is in the forecast for the rest of the week and spring is not peeking around our corner yet. The odd sunny day is a gift, but I will get my dose of colour and sunshine from my new book and CD.


  1. Thanks for the link, Ruth! After listening for the bewds, I would enjoy this and can learn from it.

    You know, I realize you are in snow country, but I'm hoping it ends for you soon. The thaw will be wet and messy but at least warm sun will be on your back.

  2. Yes - you have mud season to look forward to!

    I think your visitor is the rare male boreal house sparrow.


    Maybe his bib isn't ready for spring yet and that's why you don't recognize him.

  3. What a lovely book! I wish I'd added that to my birthday wish list now. :c) Hang on Ruth... spring is coming!

  4. I love that book Ruth! I was lucky to find it at a used book store. We have hermit thrushes at Hasty Brook in summer so I was especially excited to hear the tracks where Lang Elliot slows the song down so one can hear the tiny details of their magnificent song.

    (sneaky house sparrow!)

  5. Mary- We usually get one good thaw mid-winter but it didn't happen this year. The birds are singing in the morning now. They know winter is leaving.

    Laura- Muddy March...for sure! I bought new rubber boots for my walks and am itching to try them out.

    Jayne- I love your spring previews. You will enjoy the book, I am sure.

    Lynne- I have to get into the CD. I heard so many birds in the woods today that I could not identify by sound. Hopefully that will change soon.
    Definitely a sparrow, his features exaggerated by zoom and gloom! The dark beak threw me off.
    Sparrows confuse me terribly!


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