The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Continuing snow, cold produce bang-up bird action at feeders


January 13, 2018

Submitted photo

NORTHWOODS BIRD watchers should look for pine grosbeaks at any fruit sources, gritting on roadways, eating tree buds and seeds, or visiting backyard feeders, according to Ryan Brady, who snapped the photo.

An upside to the cold and snow that has arrived on the Gogebic Range is it has brought backyard bird feeders to life.

As the snow piles up and temperatures again plummet, the birds have not been bashful in seeking food sources.

Pine siskins have been plentiful in many regions, mixed with some common redpolls, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologist Ryan Brady, in Ashland.

"Pine grosbeaks have been showing fairly well across the Northwoods. Snowy owls remain widespread, with sightings in all but nine of Wisconsin's 72 counties," Brady said in the DNR's weekly report issued on Thursday.

Woodpeckers have also been crashing the feeder scene, including the common downy, hairy, red-bellied, and pileated varieties, but also showing up are an occasional red-headed, northern flicker and yellow-bellied sapsucker.

During Thursday's snowstorm, one bird spotter in Saxon reported seeing five woodpeckers, all pecking away at the same area of a poplar tree.

"Suet, nuts, black oil sunflower seeds, and thistle/nyjer are great offerings for our winter birds this time of year," Brady said.

The colder weather should have bald eagles concentrating at any open water sources, although many remain away from water to feed on carrion elsewhere.

A few golden eagles have been spotted in their typical winter haunts in the high country of the Driftless Area across western Wisconsin.

-Ralph Ansami


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