Open Range: Chickadees, finches, warblers, more find comfort during cold

Lyndel Meikle

Alexander Deedy

The horse, motorcycle and ice-skating wrecks I had in my youth finally caught up with me, and I am now the somewhat wobbly owner of a new knee.

My only concern was that I wouldn’t be able to get out to fill the feeders for the chickadees and siskins while I recuperated. I solved that by clamping a tray to a south windowsill and sprinkling birdseed on it. There was a convenient hole in the window screen so I could fill the tray from indoors.

Then the bottom suddenly dropped out of the thermometer, and my education began. As soon as it was light, I opened the window to fill the tray, and discovered what almost looked like a muffin tin of tiny birds. They covered the tray, shaking in the cold, frost on their heads and shoulders.

As the sky lightened, I found they were warblers. Here and there amid the couple of dozen warblers were finches, looking surprisingly large and headless. I’ve never seen a wild bird with its head tucked so far down

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