We have been in our home twenty-five years.  We spend a lot of time looking out the windows at the wildlife.  I knew there were two species out there that I hadn’t seen, but this was my year to see them!

We have been seeing robins through out the winter!  About fifteen years ago I attended an Empty Nester breakfast with my mother, (I know…that sounds odd.  🙂  She lived with us.)  There was a speaker following the breakfast, who talked about local birds, and she said that we have robins year round.  I’m sure I made a face when she said that, because I had NEVER seen a robin in the winter.  Well, the woman was right.  I have no idea what they are eating, bur we have seen robins all through the winter, despite the fact that it’s been one of the worst winters on record.  Mother and DH and I used to have a race to see who was the first to sight a robin in the spring,  Little did we know that our birding skills were sadly lacking.

The second species that I have finally seen is coyote.  I’ve heard them, and seen them a mile away.  I’ve heard neighbors talking about being afraid for their small children and dogs, but I’d never seen one on our land.  In the last six weeks I’ve seen at least three.  The first looked pretty bad.  It’s fur looked torn, and it was emaciated.  No doubt anything it was used to eating was hibernating, and feet of snow weren’t making things any easier.

I saw a second trotting through north of the house, on an east to west route.  It looked as though it planned to cut through all the back yards as it hunted.  The third was a healthy looking young adult, sitting at the base of a choke cherry shrub quietly watching for any bird activity at the feeder.  We had a freak day of rain, following six weeks of arctic freeze and about 60 inches of snow.  The coyote was sitting quietly in the downpour, hoping for a bit of breakfast.  When he saw me watching him, he moved off to the north.  This winter has been really tough for anything that doesn’t have shelter.

Robins and coyotes.  I wonder what else we will see before we move?

5 thoughts on “Visitors

  1. I got an education on robins from the local Audubon Society when I sent in pictures and behavior of my seeing Eastern Towees during the winter bird count. They looked a bit off from robins, were flocked, and they were attacking my crabapple tree (attacking the fruits left on it actually), so in looking at my bird books, I concluded they were Towhees.

    The reply from the AS was that those were robins and they will eat fruits during the winter. I’m still not totally convinced as the 2 species look very similar, and to my eye they did not look quite like robins (hence my looking in the bird books), but have to bow to the bird experts instead of my trifling knowledge (plus, Cop Car had questioned my sanity and said they looked like robins to her – case closed right there). Anyway, you now know what they survive on during winter.

    • I’m sure I would have made the same mistake, given all you described of the situation, Bogie. Given that I was SO SURE robins weren’t around in the winter, I’d have tried to force the description for another bird to fit what I was seeing. It’s good that we have experts who question our sanity now and then. 🙂

      Thanks for the info on what the robins eat.

  2. Setting the record straight: The only times I’ve questioned Bogie’s sanity are the times when she has acted/been too much like her mother!

    Bogie is spot-on, however, when it comes to robins eating berries. Berries are not their favored foods; but, berries allow survival through the winter.

    P.S. Do recall that Bogie helped me in correctly identifying a bird in a photo that I had posted as a female rose-breasted grosbeak, rather than the female house finch that I had taken the bird to be!!!

  3. (skipping the sanity issue…)

    I need to look at my bird books. I wouldn’t have guessed that a female rose-breasted grosbeak would look anything like a house finch at least in size. We are overrun by the house finches, but rarely get to see grosbeaks, so I have just have of the information I need to make that call.

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