Birds of Wintertide
Heading into the “Holiday Season” will surely be bringing more of that wintery weather- some of which we have already seen this year. The cool fall months and winter bring certain images to my mind from my past.
One that sticks out in particular is looking out of the front door and seeing the collection of winter birds helping themselves to the buffet of seeds that were offered. It was enjoyable for me to see the Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Finches interact with one another and drive others away from a perch when room became cramped. This latter job tended to be the Blue Jay’s responsibility. This leads me to suggest taking some time out of your sure-to-be-busy holiday schedule to view these aviators, whether you are home or away.
It is during this season (when the trees start to become more and more bare) that we are given the perfect opportunity to observe these resilient animals. The vast differences in landscapes – from creekside to open fields – offered here at The Parklands will lead to all sorts of species variety during a day of bird watching. Click here to learn about birds spotted in Beckley Creek and Pope Lick Parks – simply type in Beckley Creek or Pope Lick in the locations search tab and see what other birders have been seeing.
This simple winter outdoor activity is a great means of getting the family out of the house to explore. There are also several different birding societies and clubs that plan ventures during different times of the year and can offer insight and experience into the practice. Who knows maybe you can create a scavenger hunt to track down the over 100 different species of birds that hang around all winter!
I am sure there will be plenty of days in the future months where the shear chill of the weather will keep you away from wanting to track down birds. This does not have to be where the ability to watch ends. Just as I did growing up, you can also watch from the comfort of your warm house by providing some bird feeders outside a nearby door and/or window to watch visiting birds fly in and out of your yard.
There are a lot of great ideas out there to make cheap, beautiful bird feeders out of everyday objects. I took the liberty of listing just a few of the them that I found that show you how to make your own:
http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/bwdsite/learn/top10/winter-bird-feeding.phpJared Smith is is an Interpretive Ranger at The Parklands. He grew up on the western side of the bluegrass state in Hopkins County in the small town of Manitou situated amongst the trees and fields nearby. Jared found himself in Louisville after transferring to the University of Louisville, where he received a degree in Elementary Education. Upon graduation he chose to combine his love of the outdoors with education, to teach informally about nature and conservation efforts to help preserve it. When not at the park Jared enjoys getting to spend time out exploring, whether that means venturing off for a hike or bike ride. Come visit him in the PNC Achievement Center for Education and Interpretation during open hours.