Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Work is for the Birds!

I has been a couple of weeks since I put a few different bird feeders up outside our office window at the hospital. A window feeder is also in the patient treatment area. Traffic was slow at first, but now we have a steady stream of feathered visitors, (and no house sparrows!) The window feeders are very popular with the birds and patients. Earlier this week we watched a Cardinal, three Nuthatches, a Downy Woodpecker, a Dove, Chickadees and Juncos feeding at the same time. A few minutes with the birds really does decrease workplace stress!

Today I saw a new bird sitting beneath the feeders, one I have never seen before. I took some pictures through the window with my pocket camera to be sure of the ID. The female Pine Grosbeak stayed for much of the morning. I did not see a male but will be watching when I can to see if he is out there too.

The sun shone most of the day which was a welcome change from the stormy weather we have had for several days. In the summer, I can always manage to take a patient out for a walk, but that is impossible when it is cold and icy, even if the sun is out. The days are shortening quickly and it is getting more difficult to enjoy a few minutes of daylight. I managed to take Dakota for a short walk as the sun was setting. He is feeling frisky and healthy again and loves the snowy fields.

It was so cold though, that he started limping with snow-packed paws and had to come home. Melissa, a local blogger wrote yesterday about our early winter,

My theory is, we're getting winter over with early this year instead of letting it drag out until March....

I have to hope Melissa is right. Winter is here six weeks earlier than last year and maybe she will leave with her cold winds, snow and ice by the end of February.


  1. I'd love to see a cardinal...sadly we don't get them in BC.

  2. It is amazing how quickly those birds will find your feeder when it has been empty for a while! But when you fall a little behind in filling it in the morning, the chickadees are always to first to let you know!

  3. I'm also amazed how fast the birds find feeders! I put the bird seed etc under entertainment expenses ... they are just so entertaining, so fun to watch.

    We got our much longed for snow ... the forecast was wrong! What else is new? A good 15 cm. Can't wait until the days start getting longer!

  4. Hi Ruth - I saw a bird today with markings like a robin but cream colored chest and light golden head and back. Have never seen one before. Any ideas?

  5. K&M- In my grandmother's day, there were no Cardinals in S. Ont either. There range has gradually moved north. They are stunning birds.

    Monarch- My hospital feeders are not emptying quickly because I have foiled the squirrels and there are no house sparrows. Those rascals are putting me in the poor house at home.

    CS- It is worthwhile to see the joy a little bird can bring to a patient. We are getting more snow tonight and the temps are -18C this morning. That is very cold for Dec here.

    JeanMac- Your new name threw me for a moment yesterday ;-)
    I am not sure where you live, and don't know if you have the same birds we do. Robins are from the thrush family and there are several other thrushes, one of which may be your bird. We still have a few brave (or foolish) robins in the brush near the river.

  6. What an array of birds to balance the cold and dark of your Canadian winter. It's been near 70 degrees in Denver which the sparrows and finches seems to enjoy. Wonder if I had a better eye or one less cat if I'd see a wider variety of birds here.

  7. Hi...I'm running behind keeping up with the ones who want to be added to the Over 50 blogger blog roll. My computer broke this week and I've been busy getting a new one set up.

    First, before I add your blog to the blogroll I need you to add a link with either the graphic given or the blogroll javascript I've made available on the main blogroll site.

    When you have that added to your sidebar, I will then add you to the blogroll [and I need to know which blog you're wanting added to the blogroll]

  8. I would have a hard time getting back to my office with window feeders at work :o) We will be hanging several feeders on campus next week and I'm already too eager to watch :o)

    Dakota looks great, Ruth. Snow does invigorate dogs but we also need to be careful of ice cold. My dogs have bare bellies and a few inches of snow isn't very good for them!

    I would enjoy watching the patients ooo and ahhh over the birds. What a treat it is for them.

  9. Femail Doc- I thought Denver was colder that that because of your altitude! I have never noticed as many varieties of winter birds as this year.

    Hootin'Annie- I will try and get to that this weekend. Busy days this month for all!

    Mary- The feeders are VERY distracting for me. I have not been taking my better camera to work as the temptation to take photos would be overwhelming. Your little dogs would not do well in our snow. We had to shovel a path for Dakota in the yard as well. The salt on the sidewalks bothers his feet as well as the ice, but I don't think he would take to doggie boots.

  10. Hi Ruth,
    You're so fortunate to have an office at work with windows. Glad you got birdies at your feeders so quickly.

    My hounds don't mind the snow much, but with their short fur, they get cold pretty quick. We can't walk them up the street anymore because there's so much salt on it now. I think they'd rather run around in the yard anyway.

  11. It was mild and virtually snow-less until mid-January here last winter.

  12. A Pine Grosbeak is a great bird around here.I want to put the feeders back up at my workplace.A bear came and ripped the feeder apart 3 times in October.

  13. RuthieJ- Yes, the salt bothers our dog's feet more than the ice. The snow drifts get deep in our yard and I try to take the dog on trails that are a little packed down, but not salted.

    AC- Yes, we had snow at the beginning of Dec last year which melted quickly, and then nothing until mid-January. It doesn't look as if our Dec snow is melting this year.

    Larry! You work where bears rip down feeders?! We had a bear sighting in the neighbourhood around the hospital two winters ago but he was digging in the garbage of a pizza joint. That is extremely rare though.

  14. Anonymous5:15 am GMT-5

    Of course, I'm excited by this "early" winter and hope it DOES last through March. But that's just me...


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