Posted by Jane N on

The January Blizzard of 2015 dropped a good 30in of snow in our area. The morning after the storm I was sitting at the kitchen table in my PJ's having breakfast watching the flocks of birds at the feeders. This has been an irruptive year for Pine Siskins and I've been lucky enough to have a small flock visiting my feeders. These little birds live in the boreal forests of the North but will travel South on years their food source is poor. Beth had asked if I could possibly get a picture of them as she had never seen Pine Siskins and wanted to get a better idea of what to look for. They are very similar to Winter plumage American Goldfinch and often mixed in with them in flocks. So I had the camera on the table waiting for the opportunity to get a good picture.

I have three different style feeders and two suet holders on a pole to accommodate different birds and their preferred style of feeding. It was a mob scene out there. I had a flock of 8 Goldfinch, 6 Pine Siskin, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 2 Hairy Woodpeckers, 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker, 2 White Breasted Nuthatch, 8 Chickadees, 6 Tufted Titmouse, 2 Cardinals and on the ground feeding were about 2 DZ Dark-eyed Juncos, 2 Blue Jays, and 4 Mourning Doves. Birds were flying in and out and swarming the ground below the feeders. It was a feeding frenzy out there!

I was eating my breakfast watching the birds when suddenly a large black blur fly’s in and lands on the feeder pole. It was a Raven looking to scoop up a piece of old bread or two. Immediately the flocks of small birds exploded into a mass exodus of color and feathers in every direction! Even I found myself startled and jumped back in my seat. Unfortunately, one small bird flew into the window in its haste to escape. I heard it clunk against the window and saw it drop down to the ground. I hurriedly opened the window and looked down to check on the little bird. All I could see was a small hole straight down into the deep snow. Oh no! The poor little bird is going to suffocate it can't get out of the deep snow!

Without thinking I run out the back door and grab the snow shovel on the deck. Now I'm in my PJ”s and slippers, the snow is up to my thigh, it's windy and 15 degrees out. Maybe not the best decision but all I thought about was saving that little bird. After the initial shock of plunging into the deep snow, I thought what the hell I'm cold and wet now might as well finish what I started. I made my way to under the window and using the shovel scooped up some snow with the small bird in it. Right away as I lifted it out of the snow it was as if it gasped for air, I brushed the snow away and it gave out a little chirp.

I trudged thru the snow back to the deck and put the shovel down with the bird still sitting on it. I could see that it was a Pine Siskin, I went back into the kitchen and got my camera and took a picture of the bird for Beth. The bird seemed alert and looked at me but it held one wing strangely, I worried it might be broken. I didn't want to leave the poor bird out in the open on the deck where Missy or a Hawk might get it so still in my PJ's and really at this point so cold I'm numb, I took a handful of snow with the bird sitting in it and carried it to the planter box by the gazebo. I brushed away the snow and set the bird among the dried plants safely camouflaged from any predator so it could rest and recover.

First order of business was to get out of my frozen PJ's and into some warm clothes. I went back to the window to check on the Sisken and it was still sitting in the planter. It was moving its head around so that was good news. A 1/2 hour passed and it was still sitting in the planter I was getting worried about it. I had a contingency plan running thru my head, I would go out into the shed and get one of Jeanine’s old bird cages and bring the bird into the house. I thought about where to put it away from Missy and what to feed it and yes I'll admit I was considering names for the little guy. But thankfully the little Pine Siskin flew away on its own!

Now I know you all might wonder when reading my stories if that really happened. Well, I swear it is all Non-Fiction. I present the attached photos as proof.

Happy Birding, Jane

**** disclaimer****
No birds were harmed in this story all thou a crazy bird lady was nearly frozen senseless.

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