Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bird- Cicles !

Just Kidding!

No, their little feet are not frozen into the ice.

Poor little thirsty finches.
I forgot to put the heater in the birdbath and
with temperatures in the low 20's it froze solid.
These small Goldfinches were looking for something
to drink and since it was completely frozen they were catching the
snowflakes that were settling on the ice to get water.

It was cute to watch them catching the snowflakes
but I felt sorry for the little things.

I snapped these pictures and then went right
a way to get the heater out so they could have
water to drink and bath in instead of ice.

In the Summer the male finch is bright yellow
and the female is an olive drab yellow.
As the weather gets colder in the Fall the
bright yellow Goldfinches feathers start to
molt and they turn gray, with just touches
of yellow. In the Spring the feathers will
molt back to yellow for breeding season.
For years I thought the Goldfinches just migrated
in the winter, until I started taking pictures and
realized that they were not migrating but
changing colors.

The red cardinals do not molt and change their
colors in the Fall and Winter.
I wonder why the Goldfinch do?
Is it because they are smaller?
They would not show up any brighter against
the winter trees and snow than the cardinal's.
Since I have no great knowledge of birds it
is a mystery to me.Maybe there is no great mystery
and it all has to do with breeding seasons.


GardenJoy4Me said...

These are great pictures of the little ones .. I wonder too about water sources for them .. we have those amazing Goldfinches late Spring until Autumn .. they are gorgeous little birds : )

Anonymous said...

I know it is important to provide water for them in the winter. I'm going to invest in a heater to keep the water from freezing this year. Great shots!

Thanks For 2 Day said...

These photos are adorable! I also have a heater in a birdbath, which I put out about 2 weeks ago. That started drawing all the birds back to my yard. They need the water and love anyone who keeps it fresh and liquid (not iced)! Jan

Gisele Schoene said...

Nice pictures, especially the bird-cicle! You are very lucky for having so many nice birds around. They make the winter a bit less cold.

spookydragonfly said...

I just love the finches! I just took photos yesterday of a Titmouse eating snow. I can't have a birdbath due to my cats. Your close up of the finch is perfect!

Susan Tomlinson said...

That's an interesting question about molting, Lona. Maybe, since the males don't need the bright breeding colors all year 'round, they molt to get the drab colors to be less visible to predators during the rest of the year...

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

GardenJoy4Me, Perennialgardener, Thanks For 2 Day; yes , the little gems need their water and I usually do not let it freeze. Getting old and forgetful ;D.

Gesele; I just love to watch the birds in the winter.It can be very interesting and comical at times.

Spookydragonfly: We got about 3 inches of that white stuff. Yes, your cats would catch the birds drinking.

Susan: The breeding idea must have something to do with it.

Girl's ; I had to refill the birdbath this morning. They had it about all splashed out. Makes me shiver just thinking about taking a bath out in the freezing cold and snow.

Anonymous said...

Poor little birdies with their cold tootsies! You are such a nice host to warm up their water.