There are not too many birds making themselves evident as the weather switches from warm, to cold, to wet, to cold, to colder still, as Fall departs and Winter introduces itself and the few remaining bird migrants head south! Yesterday, the desperate, plaintive calls of a lone Canada Goose reached my ears, as it tried to catch up with two of his clan who didn’t seem to be too happy either! Bigger flocks of them had departed a day earlier, sensing that this isn’t going to be the place to stay for the next few months, as many of our “Canadian Snow Geese” know and sense as well!

With these departures in mind, I was wondering where my weekly inspiration might come from when I spotted, high up in a tree across the road, a bird that isn’t too popular, although quite common throughout the world, and one we don’t get to see in our particular neighbourhood very often – a European Starling. I saw, in a brief glint of sunlight, a flock of six or seven of them. Their beautiful iridescent green summer plumage was not really in evidence, but they still had quite a distinctive look to them. They sat swaying in the breeze for a few minutes and then were gone. It was during that time that I was able to get a couple of photographs of them from my front doorstep, accompanied by our Bluejays, Chickadees, and Mourning Doves as they pecked at the seeds in the front garden feeders or on the ground.

Yesterday, whilst restocking one of my feeders, a Red-breasted Nuthatch joined me, busily moving up and down the tree the feeder is hanging on, awaiting a chance to get a sunflower seed for himself. Quite the treat for me to be that close to him and something to be enjoyed. Maybe you will be able to have the same experiences in your garden even if you don’t have a feeder; just look carefully and you will get to see some of these birds for yourself.

Enjoy and stay safe and well,

John Baldwin


  1. Good day Mr Baldwin
    I’m not much of a birder but I enjoy watching the little guys at my backyard feeder in winter and a quick perusal of your column.
    Curious IF you could help me. Recently dozens upon dozens of ‘crows’ have been squawking in trees in back (Oxford St East). They’ve been making a mess of the vehicles and small downed branches & a lot of feathers!
    I’ve lived here a long time and have NEVER seen anything like it. Any ideas? (I’m really hoping it’s temporary)

  2. Good morning Mark,
    You are not alone in that observation and I’m sorry to say that I don’t have the answer. With the extreme temperatures we have been having they have probably headed into town for more warmth. Also with the icier conditions they are having difficulty getting food, so resort to coming to where there are feeders and maybe “left overs” from pet owners animals. Like I say, I am only an amateur, so can’t give you a definitive answer. We always seem to get 3 or 4 at our feeders ourselves.
    Thanks for the question and good luck with the rest of your bird watching.


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