Saturday Snapshot Nov. 8: Those that stay

Not everyone loves hot weather. Sure there are many who migrate to warmer climates, but there are also those who stay here above the 49th Parallel, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

A walk through the woods in the last couple of days allowed me to check out who my winter friends are. I say friends because, for some of them, they would fly straight to me, greeting and calling. Yes, I know, they all want treats. But hey, not many choose to stay. So, for those that do, they deserve a free lunch.

Here are some of my winter pals. We’re in it together, come snow and storm in the coming weeks and months. The Black-capped Chickadee:

Black-capped Chickadee

The White-breasted Nuthatch, like the Chickadees, official greeters whenever I visit:

White-breasted Nuthatch

So, a treat for you all:

Free lunch

Female Downy Woodpecker:

Female Downy Woodpecker

The Red Squirrel:

Red Squirel Breakfast time

Of course, there are those who’d want to strike out on their own:

Male Downy

The elusive Blue Jay. Yes I hear their calls all the time, but very hard to actually get a photo:

The Blue Jay

Here’s a Red-breasted Nuthatch in the evening light:

Red-breasted Nuthatch

But my greatest catch is this. From afar, a gigantic furry ball high on a tree:

Huge Furry Ball

I thot I thaw a pussy cat, but when he turned his head 180 degrees, almost, then I knew what I thaw was a Great Horned Owl! I’ve followed an Owl Family for a few years now, always thought they fly to warmer places in the winter.

Great Horned Owl

Of course, he didn’t care for my free lunch of sunflower seeds. Looks like he’s captured his prey, keeping it close by his side, uh… looks like a squirrel. His look speaks volumes. I know, I should have brought a bigger lunch:

Looking straight ahead

I can see there are lots of winter birding adventures ahead.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.




Here are posts on the Great Horned Owl Family I’ve been stalking every Spring:

The Parents

The Babies

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

47 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot Nov. 8: Those that stay”

  1. Great photos, Arti. Love them all, especially the owl. We have some of the same winter birds here in the Kansas City area. I have trouble getting photos of blue jays, too! They are big, noisy birds, but they sure are camera shy! A blue jay and some male cardinals were sitting on a branch outside my kitchen window. I thought it would make a great colorful photo of red and blue birds, but the blue jay wouldn’t cooperate.


    1. Cathy,

      You know, I’ve never seen a Cardinal. Hope one day when I visit the U.S. East coast I’ll have the chance to see more varieties of birds.


  2. I am amazed. What birds we do have here in suburbia I often don’t see at all; then my daughter takes a walk with me and writes down 20 species she spotted! I’m so glad I found your blog in time to see your bird friends! I’ll be looking in frequently for more gorgeous shots of these elusive creatures.


    1. GretchenJoanna,

      Well, the area where I took these photos is a boreal forest, part of a huge provincial park right close by my home. So you can say I’m very fortunate to be so close to nature.


    1. nikkipolani,

      Nuthatches and the Chickadees, they are so friendly. And yes, I’ve many more photos of the Nuthatches greeting me and actually befriending me. Very animated, like a Disney cartoon. 😉


    1. lostandfoundbooks,

      O then you’ll be greeted unreservedly. Here’s a little role reversal here, the Chickadees are like paparazzi, me a celeb. 😉


  3. Except for the owl, all of these birds come to our backyard feeders. In the winter, we also get cardinal, finch, and sparrow. I think the starlings just come in the summer.

    The past few years, besides the red squirrel, we have also started getting black squirrels. In the summer, we get rabbits.

    Our neighbor just recently got a visit from a raccoon. He has apparently taken up residence in her tree. It’ll be interesting to see if he sticks around.


    1. Allison,

      I’m sure you see some varieties of birds that I’ll never see here. We’re having -20C temp. this week. Don’t think I’ll venture out to the woods any time soon.


  4. This time, it’s the squirrel and the bluejay I most enjoyed. I think it’s probably because I know some of their cousins will be my winter friends, too. I’ve spotted three young squirrels in some acorn laden oaks near where I park. I’m putting out shelled sunflower for them now, just so they’ll know that, when things get rough and the acorns are gone, they’ll be able to find a little something there. Who knows? They might even get a pecan or two!


    1. Linda,

      You won’t believe this… we’re in the midst of a snow warning. Lots of white stuff covering everything now, and the coming week forecast is -20’s C. And it’s not even winter yet. Don’t think I’ll be going out to the woods any time soon.


  5. What great companions you have for the winter. The only one of these birds that I know for sure I’ve seen is the blue jay. I love your owl photos, incredible how they can turn their head. And you’ve got -20 pre winter, and we’ve got 30+ pre summer.


    1. Louise,

      Sorry for the late reply. Yes, I’ve more photos to post this coming Saturday Snapshot. And it’s all white by now. Enjoy your summer! 😉


  6. You must be a patient person to take all those bird shots. And lucky you. Meanwhile we’re hoping to go to Brackendale after Christmas to see the bald eagles gather.. That’s south of Squamish in BC.


    1. Jean,

      Not patient but just love the woods and to have the birds as company. I’ve passed through Squamish once but have not stopped there or gone to Brackendale to see Bald Eagles. That sounds really interesting.


    1. Stefanie,

      Have been looking for another owl (tips from other birders) but no luck. Will post some wintry birding photos this Saturday Snapshot. And I’ve heard about your deep freeze too, but maybe not as bad as the east coast U.S. Keep warm!


  7. Wow — that last photo of the owl — look at the texture on his body — almost like scales, the feathers are so tight and intricate! And thanks for identifying the nuthatch. I’ve observed a bird looking quite similar at Lizzie’s feeder, much like a chickadee with more of a woodpecker-long beak. I tried to find it in my Birds of Michigan book and now I have something more concrete to look for, I think that’s it!

    You are indeed a Bird Whisperer! I’m glad they come to you, knowing you will care for them with your gifts. A lovely exchange, I think — some seed for the permission to catch a beautiful photo!


    1. Jeanie,

      Sorry for the late reply. I’ve forgotten and yes, I loved that! ‘Bird Whisperer!’ But i’m not, still consider myself slightly moved ahead of a novice. This week it’s all snow but with warmer temp., so I ventured out and got more birding photos. Will post this coming Saturday Snapshot. And yes, you’ll see another variety of the nuthatch.


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