Sweet Suet in the Snow

The snow comes down like the rain we had a couple of weeks ago – steadily, relentlessly, non-stop. The third day now, and still, it keeps coming. I want to call it a white-out, but it’s more gray than white.

002Up in the firs, it collects for a while, giving the trees a look of Christmas. That would be fine, except for two things: we’re waiting for spring, and the avalanches of snow whooshing down from the branches when the wet clumps become too heavy are dangerous for any little animals underneath them.

??????????Three days and nights of snow has accumulated on the roof of the birdfeeder. Even the birdbath is looking more like a wedding cake than a place to splash around in.


Alighting on the roof, the flicker is surprised to sink into the snow.


“Didn’t I see some suet here last time I visited? Ahh…there it is. Now to get up there. Jump, turn, grab onto something, and chow down.”


“Time to get some more suet out here, Anneli. This piece is almost small enough to fall through the grid again.”

013“And sure enough, here comes company – the nuthatches, one on each side of the feeder. Got to eat faster. I don’t care if anyone sees me gobble my food. It’s survival of the fattest.”


And yes, Anneli braved the weather and the avalanches, and put another package of sweet suet in the empty wire grid.

54 thoughts on “Sweet Suet in the Snow

  1. Guess what? My yard looks exactly like yours..minus the adorable birds. Bellingham got a foot of snow in 2 days. Many tree branches are broken due to weight. Wish I had picked up suet for our poor little ones. You are a thoughtful “bird minder” Anneli.


    • Dawn, your comment came through with my profile picture (and name – which I’ve changed). When I used your computer last week, I signed on to this site. Guess I messed things up for you and your own profile. We’ll have to fix that.


  2. Beautiful photos of the birds and the snow, Anneli! I am glad to see the birds to the north of me are also being fed and cared for. Don’t forget to put out some fresh water for them too. 🙂 I am on my way outside to check the feeders again. Poor little birds. Thanks for sharing your pictures.


  3. Wow – so much snow. I remember those half-dreary, half-dreamy days of laying by the heat register in front of the living room window watching wildlife scamper to and from my mother’s bird feeders – leaving three-towed tracks in the hollow fluff. Nice. Hang in there. Just another month or so, right?


    • Shouldn’t be that long for us. This snow should never have happened. This is the WET Coast. Rain, rain, rain! I don’t know who sent this snow, but it doesn’t belong to us. After three days of steady snowfall, it should be turning to rain tomorrow. Then spring can come any time. But yes, it is a LOT!


  4. What a sweetheart you are to help them out. The snow is beautiful, but I’m sure they’re as ready for spring as their human counterparts. I’d forgotten about snow falling from trees – funny how a sentence or two can bring back a world of experience.


  5. I love to look at the picturesque photos of snow, and the birds and animals keeping alive in the cold, BUT, and its a big one, give me the heat and sunshine of Africa anytime… scenes like these would keep me in bed, from which I’d never stray until the sun shines… love your photos…


    • Flickers are really fun to watch too, the way they chase each other around the trunks of trees, and their various calls, and picking at bugs deep in the ground or in a rotten stump. One of my favourite birds.


  6. This Flicker is a beautiful bird. Our woodpecker has about the same colours on him, just in different places. You- and your camera are taking beautiful pictures! I am going outside now (still in my nightgown) and feed the birds.


  7. Fantastic photos Anneli. I love the birds in my garden too. My favourite is a really old wise crow I call ‘hook beak’. He/she is just so clever, brilliant to watch. She watches from my picnic bench, never gets into squabbles with the younger birds but paces around the edge with her wings folded neatly across her back and waits for the others to get spooked and fly off – then just stays and fills up. If the bread is too dry, she takes it over to a bucket and soaks it for a few minutes. Marvellous.


    • I know crows are really smart. Unfortunately, around here they kill off all the baby birds so they aren’t my favourites, but if you never see that side of them I can see how you would think they were great to watch. They are definitely survivors!


    • It’s very unusual. All this snow should have been up on the skihill this winter. They had a terrible season with very little snow until now. I guess they’ll get some business now in time for spring break. But you’re right, we don’t usually get such huge dumps of snow and I had already been turning over the soil for my garden when everything came to a grinding halt.


  8. Great pix Anneli. We don’t have flickers here and they’re lovely birds, I love the dash of red! I’m back in Scotland now with the sun shining and (almost) warm, but missing the stark beauty of a Canadian winter. Hang in there; it’ll soon be over.


    • I like to know they have something to eat when life is hard on them, but I get my reward when I can see them up close. Today we have our first glimpse of blue sky in four or five days, and the temperature is up to 2 degrees already. The birds will be happy when the snow is gone.


  9. Your photography is really wonderful, especially of animals. I thought of your post from the other day this morning when I was at the vet with my oldest cat and put on a youtube video of birds for him to watch :). He thanks you.


    • Technically, I have a lot to learn, but I have fun trying to capture moments. I don’t like posed pictures at all, so when I can catch birds and other animals being themselves, that makes me happy. Glad you could keep your cat entertained. I remember one of our cats, years ago watching a robin in a TV ad. When the robin flew from the branch, the cat ran behind the TV to see where the bird had gone. I had to laugh at his innocence.


    • You can see how the spots help the flicker to blend in, in the photo where he’s on the ground. And yes, finally the snow has stopped after dumping more than a foot of snow, and now we have thick fog. Somewhere up there is a blue sky.


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