When I first came down to the kitchen this morning, there was this one, lone junco sitting on the platform you see in the picture above. Only there was snow on the platform, a couple inches deep, and nary a seed to be found.
The bird just kind of watched me through the window, as if he knew I'd be the one shoving my bare feet into boots and scooping up some fresh seed (and peanuts for the squirrels and blue jays) to bring outside. I knocked off the overnight snow onto the ground below and spread out the morning's feast. While I was standing there preparing the birds' breakfast, one other little junco, who apparently hadn't noticed my arrival, swooped in from somewhere and did an abrupt, mid-flight U-turn when he realized there was a human standing there doling out seed. He dropped down to the snow in the yard, eyed me briefly, his little head cocked to one side, then flew off to wait in the cherry tree while I finished.
It didn't take long for word to spread. First there was one junco, and then another, then three, five, and so on. A few sparrows dropped in as well, and eventually a couple of female juncos showed up.
And then, a little later, this guy appeared.
He eyed the platform where the smaller birds gathered, and he seemed to really really want to join them. But for whatever reason, he just couldn't do it. He'd kind of rise up on his toes, poised for lift-off, but then he'd change his mind and settle back down again. Once or twice he flew toward the platform – he could see the peanuts there, which the smaller birds weren't touching – but at the last second he'd turn quickly and fly back to the fence.
I felt bad for him, so I tugged my boots back on and went back outside to scatter some cookie debris (broken bits, trimmings, etc) on the driveway – the flat, nearly snow-less part where the truck had been.
My crow friend and his buddies watched from atop the garage and in the tree behind it, but they took too long to DO something, and several seagulls appeared from nowhere and started gobbling up the goodies.
Eventually one of the crows grew brave enough to join the seagulls, but by that point there really wasn't a whole lot left.
You snooze, you lose, guys. It's survival of the bravest, when the snow is flying.