For readers who do not live in the Pacific Northwest, these photos really were taken in winter, December and January to be specific. Last year, we had an old-fashioned winter, complete with snow and ice. This year, the pussy willows have already gone to seed and people in their yards are checking blooming primroses and budding daffodils.
No matter the temperature, all of the birds in these pictures are winter residents. They add a cheerful presence to days that are often gray and wet. Enjoy!
Chickadees at breakfast
Starlings don’t like to miss out on anything…
nor do the Stellar jays.
This young merlin has his eye on the sparrows at the bird feeder.
Snow geese coming in for a landing.
I’ll take this row, you take that one!
As far as the snow geese know, the farmer planted this field just for them. The young geese, born in Siberia, are the darker ones. They will return to the northern tundra with the rest of the flock come April.
After years of being a protected species, bald eagles are numerous in the Skagit Valley.
Eagle watching a gaggle of snow geese.
The dark spots in the field are bald eagles waiting for rodents. They like to harass the snow geese too, like those flying overhead.
Great blue herons are a year-around bird here. They feed on rodents, frogs, and small fish
Hundreds of regal swans, both trumpeters and the smaller tundra swans, spend winters in the farm fields. The disembodied heads belong to birds foraging in a drainage ditch.
Great blue herons fishing on the tide flats at dusk.
As evening falls, thousands of waterfowl gather to spend the night on the peaceful waters of Samish Bay.