Winter Birds

Pine GrosbeakRight after going out in the snow to refill the feeders, I saw two pine grosbeaks, which I haven't seen previously this winter. Also, large numbers of redpolls have been coming to the thistle feeders. Then there are the usual chickadees, nuthatches, & woodpeckers. Having the birds flying around outside helps make the long winters in this part of the world a bit more animated. I'm often struck with amazement at how the birds survive the sub-zero nights & windy days. Having multiple feeders gets me outdoors to freeze my hands, of course, but it gives me a more direct connection with that sense of liveliness the birds bring with them, animating the winter landscape as well as my emotional landscape, if one can speak sensibly of such a thing.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.