Today's frigid adventure took me to Prospect Park which is easily within walking distance from my apartment, and in multiple layers and heavy-duty boots, I was totally sweating by time I made it there!
The theme for all the birds today was survival. The last few days have been unbearably cold, and while these birds are fine and well adapted for the cold, the cold has not allowed much to thaw, so finding food can be tough when a layer of snow and ice covers the field, the ice covering the lake spreads and thickens, and of course you have to be smart and conserve your energy if food is hard to find. Almost all the birds I saw today were doing what it takes to survive, and it seems like they know what they are doing! Nature is pretty amazing like that.
|I found my favorite goose with the "eyebrows." Birds stick their beaks under their feathers, because that downy layer is much warmer than outside!|
|Another ring-billed gull takes part in maintaining those amazing feathers!|
|"Eat my dust."|
|While being in pursuit, she dove under and came back up with her prize. While being chased she continued to swallow the fish whole, amazing!|
|Lady merganser keeps it classy, even after her ordeal.|
|A male downy woodpecker chips away the outer bark of the branch, looking for insects that may be waiting below for spring's arrival.|
|The feeders were being taken advantage of by many birds, including this female purple finch.|
|A white throated sparrow looks floofy, fluffing up feathers can help warm a bird up.|
|A few brown-headed cowbirds were near the feeder area, all male. Males have the brown head with a black (and iridescent) body. These birds were directly in the sun and therefore super shiny!|
|The cowbird on the left was singing it whacky sounding song, take a listen and see what I mean.|
|A juvenile mute swan stays warm by floating in the water (which is warmer than the air) and sticking its beak below its feathers.|
|Not a sign of spring, Robins have been here all winter long. I bet though this bird is starting to crave worms and insects more so than the berries it has been surviving on for the winter.|
|A flock of American goldfinch were foraging on sweet gum seedpods.|
|Their little beaks are perfect for picking out the seeds, finches, the poster child of survival.|