Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Mild Winter January 10, 2012

Filed under: Birding,Midwest,Winter — Paula B @ 1:08 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT complaining about our great weather! It’s really been a different winter–unseasonably warm and mild. Last fall I joined Project FeederWatch to count my backyard birds for Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I don’t have near the birds at my feeders that I usually do this time of year. I suppose with no snow they are able to find quite a bit of natural food without my help.

With the lack of snow, my hubby and I have enjoyed being able to walk outside, taking strolls through the trails of a nearby county park. I love listening for the birds and then trying to spot them.

On one trip we heard a brown creeper. It’s high-pitched, “seee” sound had us searching to spot it. And that we did; up very high on the side of a tree. They are very tiny and creep along the trunks of trees in search of insects, similar to that of a nuthatch. They are only in the central to southern parts of Minnesota in the winter and prefer dense, wooded areas. It was great to see since it would be unlikely to visit our yard.

brown creeper | | paula bonelli

© respective owner at

During our hikes we saw plenty of evidence that the woods were inhabited by woodpeckers.

tree trunk with woodpecker holes | | paula bonelli

© Paula Bonelli

We saw several downys and a hairy woodpecker. I was really excited when I spotted my first pileated woodpecker! Wow—what an awesome bird. I have been waiting so long to spot one. They are much larger than our backyard varieties. So cool!

pileated woodpecker | | paula bonelli

© respective owner at

What changes have you noticed in your birds this year?

Read more with these related posts: Nuthatch | Downy Woodpecker Video


5 Responses to “Mild Winter”

  1. Hi Paula, nice to hear your voice again! We have lots of woodpeckers here, and usually some pileated ones. They have such an usual song, more like a tropical jungle bird. And I love the way they ratchet themselves up a tree – unique birds!

    • Paula B Says:

      Thx, Lynn! Good to be back in to a routine. I’m going to have to visit Cornell’s site to hear their call (pileated). We saw one, but I don’t remember much about the sound. I was just SO excited to spot one. How wonderful you have them in your garden!

  2. […] taking my binocs. I recently spotted a bird I’ve been trying to catch for some time—the Pileated Woodpecker. And ever since hearing Barred owls camping last summer and seeing one near a road in December, […]

  3. Would love to spy one!

    • Paula B Says:

      Went on a hike today to watch for owls and the pileated woodpecker. I’d like to get some good pics, but didn’t see either.

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