Today, it's cold (30s) and mostly cloudy--good for writing a post.
Yesterday, the wind was so strong and the temperature was dropping so quickly that I did my nature watching, the easy way, by looking out the windows.
This Carolina Chickadee is using the branch to open up a sunflower seed. The Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees are supposed to interbreed in this region so I identify ours by their song which is definitely that of the Carolina Chickadee. They also seem quite a bit smaller than those I have seen up north in New York. I had read that maybe that's just an adaptation to cold.
The Red-bellied Woodpecker rules at the suet feeder. Even the Blue Jay won't challenge this bird--guess he's afraid of that long beak.
Here's one I caught in flight.
Here you can see a little bit of the red belly which gives the woodpecker its name.
A few years ago, I was able to observe some Red-bellied Woodpeckers in southern Florida (near Ft. Meyers) about this time of year. They seemed quite a bit smaller than the ones we have here. Similar to the Chickadees, the woodpeckers up north are larger to adapt to the cold. The larger the bird, the easier they can keep their bodies warm. But, I guess there is a trade-off--they must eat more food to keep warm. Of course, that doesn't seem to be a problem around here because I keep the suet feeders full all winter.