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Toughing It Out

A collection of photogenic birds braving the Ottawa winter.

As they did two years ago, Common Redpolls have poured into our area this winter, driven by a low supply of their favorite food (birch seeds) in the far north. I've seen them picking at birch catkins at Stony Swamp, which is neat, but the best way to see them for the purpose of photography is at a feeder, where they can become very tame. This was one of a flock of dozens at the Shirley's Bay feeding station.

Hairy Woodpecker

The tundra-breeding (and inaptly named) American Tree Sparrow is one of the very few sparrows that normally winter in Ottawa. Its warm colors brighten the snowy landscape.

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Red-Breasted Nuthatches are spunky little birds, and the ones at Jack Pine Trail are every bit as tame as the chickadees. Sprinkle some seed on a rock or a stump, and you can get some glorious close-ups!

Bohemian Waxwings take a drink from one of the few remaining sources of open water in the city (Rideau River near Hurdman.) When there's no open water to be found, northern birds can get by eating snow.

New Years HaresDon't Mind If I Do


January 6th, 2013 at 1:07 am
Interesting that they all have red tints... also festive!