Twelve Days of Christmas: #2

Two Turtle Doves

By Anita Van Hal

Repost from Dec. 14, 2014: Winter Bird Notes 

By Debra Knapke

The choice of the turtle dove for the second day of Christmas is significant. Turtle doves form very strong pair-bonds which, I believe, is the basis for their association with love. The turtle dove has two broods a season and two eggs in each brood. Its gentle “turr turr” is a double song. For this bird, good things come in pairs!

The male cardinal immediately catches your eye, but this also makes him more visible to predators.  There is a price for beauty.

We see the same pattern in many of our native birds, especially cardinals. I’ve watched pairs face off for the suet and seeds we offer in the winter.

Pardon a moment’s rant: I have to take issue with those that say the female is drab compared to the male; I think her coloring is more complex and subtly nuanced. Along with the feeders, my garden is populated with plants that support wildlife. The birds love the fruits of spicebush, chokeberries, rose hips, and the seeds from purple coneflower, native grasses and more. All I need is a water source that stays ice-free in the winter; maybe this year.

‘Wishing you love in this giving season!downey woodpecker on suet crop



2 responses to “Twelve Days of Christmas: #2

  1. Kathryn Kallmes

    Hi Deb,

    I love these images! I’m going to print all of your posts and gift them to friends. They are wonderful for gardeners and birders alike!

    Kate Kallmes,

  2. davidanorris

    I love these images. Cardinals really stand out in the snow!! Beautiful.

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