Not a creature was stirring…

The outdoor thermometer said -20 F (-29 C) when I went out to get the newspaper this morning.  No birds and no squirrels at the feeders, nothing is moving in the backyard except the remaining leaves and branches on the trees.  There is a -35 to -40 F windchill today that has closed some schools.  Tough conditions for a California-raised girl to tolerate.

red-bellied woodpecker female

There wasn’t much sunlight to bask in, but Mrs. Red-bellied Woodpecker tried to huddle next to the tree for warmth(?).  This photo was taken yesterday when the temperature was only -3 F.

As I am writing this post, the sun finally hit the feeders and a few brave Juncos ventured out to feed.  So, I guess they get the award for most cold-tolerant birds of the backyard (or the hungriest).  I suspect the chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers stay tucked into their nocturnal roosts and feed off their stored larders in this kind of weather.


In a stiff wind at -20F, this is one tough bird.

16 thoughts on “Not a creature was stirring…

    • Indeed it is. I marvel at how they manage at these temperatures, especially when there really isn’t much food available except at feeders.

    • I totally agree. I was a supposed expert on small birds tolerating cold challenge in my professional years, but being out in this weather is a lot different than studying it from a laboratory perspective. I am usually parked right next to my cozy, gas fireplace in the sun porch, watching the wildlife from my windows.

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