[Tweeters] Yard Birds - VARIED THRUSH and Winterberry

johntubbs at comcast.net johntubbs at comcast.net
Sun Dec 2 16:51:24 PST 2007

Hi All,

Snoqualmie, particularly up on the ridge where we live, got clobbered pretty good by the snowstorm yesterday - we woke up this morning to about 10 inches of snow. I went out and placed some seed to make sure it was available despite the snow, and soon had 44 Dark-eyed Juncos flitting about. The other usual suspect species came and went during the morning and then the snow changed to rain and by this afternoon most of the garden shrubs were snow-free, though the ground was (is) still covered with a few inches. Late afternoon, I looked out and saw a beautiful male VARIED THRUSH sitting on a branch in a small deciduous tree - the first one I've seen this winter, and not a common bird in the back yard. Shortly thereafter, he was joined by two additional Varied Thrushes, again uncharacteristically out in the open on branches. I figured the snow had sent them out of their normal seclusion looking for additional food sources. Turns out this must have been the case - there are!
newly-planted Winterberry shrubs (Ilex verticilata) in our woodland garden, which still have berries on and each bird picked a bush, flew into it and proceeded to devour the small berries. It was nice to see that the bird-friendly plants we put in provided some cold-weather chow for these birds.

John Tubbs
Snoqualmie, WA
johntubbs at comcast.net

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