The snow storm last week reminds us that it's long way to spring in these parts some years. There's talk of another "event" this weekend but we'll see. What the snow always reminds me of is being up north in the pines. A couple of birds that are real indicators that you are in a different habitat are the Boreal Chickadee and the Pine Grosbeak.
Last time I was up in Sax-Zim Bog I was lucky enough to see these species up close. Using our van as a rolling blind I got to watch these birds at a feeding station. Their colors just popped against the dull background of snow and gray sky.
The most common species for the day was the Pine Grosbeak. Every feeder we looked at and every flock sitting in the tops of the spruces turned out to be grosbeaks. We did see an Evening Grosbeak here and there but they are not nearly as common as they used to be.
Soon we'll be talking about Red-winged Blackbirds and Sandhill Cranes but for now I'll enjoy the winter residents.