Last updated: February 11. 2014 12:45PM - 457 Views
by Sue Hokanson, Quartz Mountain Nature Park

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There was a lot of activity at the bird feeders this past weekend. The cardinals were visiting eight and 10 at a time rather than just their normal two and three. Double or triple the normal numbers resulted in lots of pushing and shoving at the feeders. More cardinals ended up feeding on the ground below the feeders.

There the cardinals were joined by small flocks of finches-primarily goldfinches but I did observe two male house finches mixed in the crowd. The rosy red color of their face and chest makes the male house finch easy to identify. One white-crowned sparrow with the high contrast black and white stripes on its head was also spotted in the scrum.

As were two or three dark-eyed juncos, a couple pine siskins and several other unidentified sparrows. I think there was at least one white-throated sparrow in there but the constant flitting about of the mob of house sparrow made positive identification beyond my current skill level.
In fact, the unusual amount of bird activity caught my eye and that is what clued me into the fact we had freezing fog. At first the ice build-up wasn’t very noticeable but by the end of the day all the twigs and branches were coated with a lot of ice. It does make a lovely scene, ice glimmering on every twig and stem. Now if only the wind didn’t cause everything to sway in & out of focus! My icy tree and grass photos never come out-too much swaying.

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