Things with feathers

Tufted titmouse on Tuesday, after snow.

The best for our guests: black oil sunflower seeds are easier for little birds to crack open and more nutritious than striped sunflower seeds.

Frequent visitors this winter have been chickadees, titmice, mourning doves, nuthatches, and downy woodpeckers (we also have a suet cake hanging nearby). Fewer cardinals, juncos and jays than I remember.

On a recent road trip to Philadelphia, I spotted lots of vultures and crows, a few hawks and even a bald eagle near a lake in northern Connecticut. I hear it’s been a good year for snowy owls.

Now reading: Mind of the Raven.

Book review by David Quammen: Just how smart are ravens, anyway? The biologist Bernd Heinrich went to great pains to find out.

Norse legend tells that Odin, lord of the gods, was attended by two ravens, named Hugin (Thought) and Munin (Memory), who served him as reconnaissance agents, returning after each long, snoopy flight to perch on his shoulders and whisper into his ears. The story reflects a widespread belief, spanning cultures and centuries, that ravens possess uncanny intelligence. By actual measurement they are the brainiest of birds, and on subjective evidence they seem more sapient than most other living creatures.

Amazing photo! via Kaching