You might think winter is a quiet time in the garden, but I have been watching the winter birds through my front window. They only appear each season, but they always appear at the exact same time. Yesterday, this fat woodpecker became enamored with my small stone wall that faces a courtyard on one side, and a planter filled with organic soil on the other.
Birds are fascinating to watch, and I have seen this little guy poking his beak into the ground around the soft, loamy soil surrounding the pond. Lots of goodies to dig for there. But yesterday, this little winter bird spent a lot of time climbing the rough stone on the wall. He eyed each crevice closely, and patiently jabbed his beak into each one. His patience paid off in about every other crevice with a fat white grub, or a beautiful pink worm.
I have noticed that the more organic the soil has become, the more birds and other critters are attracted to our yard. The soil is alive with beneficial bacteria, worms and other live food that is attractive to winter birds. I often see flocks of birds stopping over in our yard to stuff themselves on all the natural food stores available to them. Even though the soil is covered with snow, the birds know where to dig to find what they need.
Today, I’ve been watching at least 10 different types of birds that I only see during the winter season. The garden feels like a big bird circus and I love being one of the observers. They hide in the big blue spruce in the front, or dangle from the tips of the weeping cedar while awaiting their turn at the yellow feeder. Chickadees, woodpeckers, doves, finches, quail and many, many others I can’t name–all enjoying the bounty.
I have never been happier than when the garden became completely organic. As it became more natural, it attracted more wildlife. Two months ago, a chukar spent a week scratching around the backyard. Last year we had pheasant. This morning I’m watching a bluejay happily dig something at the base of one of our big trees. Uh oh, a small woodpecker has horned in on the jays territory! The winter birds are a fun fascination. Can they stay here all winter? You bet!
In sync with nature,