Winter's Visitor:
a Pheasant Friend
by J. Chapple

This past fall we had a visitor hanging around the outskirts of the yard, and across the street. The visitor was first discovered by our dog who thinks she is part pointer (she once pointed at a garden snake). Well, winter arrived and we would see the visitor’s footprints traveling through the yard. We didn’t need the dog. The footprints led to our bird feeding station.
She started picking up after the messy eaters sitting above by eating the dropped food from the bird feeders. Something the other ground feeding birds did not like. The precocious visitor became so friendly she decided to knock on our back door.

We surmised that she wanted a special handout although we did not think of her as being homeless. She tried to look pretty seductive as some females will do; grooming herself before we came to the door.

Although we didn’t answer the door directly she did communicate that the bird feeders were too small for her to land on and feast. So, a wildlife feeder was to be in her future.

Every day we see her feeding from her requested restaurant. But, she has to share with the Mourning doves. The crows do not like her at all. Today she spent the entire afternoon roosting in a pruned barberry bush, sitting on top of two feet of snow. This bush is right outside one of our 3'x 6' windows. She is not afraid of our presence and we watched her pass the sunny weather snoozing no more than three feet away.

Article and Photographs Submitted by Jeff Chapple, Canajoharie, NY

Bird Fact: In the spring, with warmer weather melting the February snow, you will probably see Robins invading you lawn. This is said to be the first sign of Spring. Did you know these same Robins have been around all Winter. They don't migrate. In the Winter they flock together and retreat to wooded and densely thicketed areas and feed off wild berries and such. I have been watching a  flock all Winter in the woods near our property. They stick very close together and always travel in the flock. In the Spring the flock will disperse and the birds will nest and scout your lawn for worms.