I just got in the house a little while ago just before dark after shoveling snow and cleaning under my bird feeders for the third time today. It’s Tuesday, March 5th, and we’ve had about 8-9 inches of snow today. It seems like its been snowing every other day for the last month and a half. I’m getting tired and sore from shoveling, but I’m not complaining after the drought conditions we experienced last summer where I live on the Lower Wisconsin River, a few miles below Sauk City and the Prairie du Sac Dam. It wasn’t cold out with the temperature in the upper 20’s, but after shoveling snow for a while I had sweated thru 3 layers including a down jacket.
I was out early clearing snow under my feeders and in a few open areas for the ground feeding birds. They were busy scratching thru the first snow in the morning for anything they could find to eat. They were waiting for me to fill the feeders and cover the clear spots with black oil sunflower seeds. I also use other seeds like niger (expensive, as are all seeds). Some seed gets wasted by the squirrels, but they must eat too. I try to prevent them from getting too much because no matter what they still get there share. There’s loads of finches in Wisconsin because of some food problems in Canada. Every bird species seems to have their own feeding times, but when it snows heavy things get wild in the backyard. If you feed birds, you have to keep the feeders full and can’t just feed them when you feel like it. The birds will depend on you to feed them in snowy and cold times.
Today, I had the normal visitors, finches, cardinal, juncos, woodpeckers, mourning doves, blue jays, sparrows, wrens, and even crows. I went thru almost 25 pounds of feed today! The cardinals are always the first to feed in the morning and the last at just before dark. There was 16 cardinals feeding when I came inside before dark. As I was taking off my wet clothes inside, I had an eagle fly by on its way down river toward Ferry Bluff. Most eagles have left the area to their northern nesting grounds or left this area to start moving north. There are a few eagles who have nested and stayed year-round, but I know of just a few local nests. This was a record winter for the roosting counts by the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council with over 400 eagles counted on one Sunday afternoon at 10 different roost sites.
Last year at this time, we were already fishing for walleyes and saugers on the Wisconsin River. I saw a few boats out on Sunday and it looked like they were catching small walleyes and saugers. It’s going to warm up some and be sunny for a few days before more snow and rain this coming weekend. The spring walleye fishing is just a few days away because there are walleyes that have migrated up the river all winter and last fall. It just has to warm up some. I’ll start taking some video and let you know how the fishing is very soon. It’s time to feed Katie and myself. See ya!