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What are birds eating in the snow? (1 Viewer)

sirensynapse

New member
Germany
Birds are outside hopping around on the surface of fresh snow, eating something, and I can't figure out what it is. I highly doubt there are any seeds falling from plants/trees there, so I guess it must be insects, but it's been well below freezing for days, and is still just below freezing. Are there insects which show up when it's so cold? I've seen them plenty of times on the surface of snow on milder days, but never when it's so bitterly cold.
Any ideas?
 
Last edited:

Andy Bright

Administrator
Staff member
England
Hi and welcome to birdforum, It's possible that they have resorted to eating snow for water if all available water sources are frozen. Do you put out water for the birds? make sure it's not frozen up.
 

sirensynapse

New member
Germany
Hi, thanks. I thought about that, but they look more like they're actively hunting/spotting something specific, not just sitting in one place eating snow. I do put water out occasionally but they never seemed to drink it so I quit doing it lately. I'll put some out again just in case. Probably all water here is indeed solid now.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi sirensynapse and a warm welcome from me too.

I can't think of much else than what Andy has suggested, except, that it's been pretty windy here and there may be seeds that have been blown in (it depends what birds have been attracted in I guess. I have quite an assortment, as I've been throwing seeds down onto the snow.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I hope to hear about all the birds you see when out and about.
 

sirensynapse

New member
Germany
Thanks delia. My mom is a huge birder and I used to live right next to cornell's lab of ornithology, but I'm just a bird appreciator/feeder. :) Maybe some seeds blew in...that seems logical.
 

Carpathian Ed

Well-known member
It depends on the bird species. The tits like their thrown out crumbs while siskins, linnets and other finches seem to prefer seeds from standing dried plants (like siesel). Jays like our compost heap and dishwater throw out.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I've always wondered that too :) and I'm just going to jump in here and wish you a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)
We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like ;)
 

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