One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One month to the day after our last hummingbird sighting, John saw the first dark-eyed junco of the season. Often called “snowbirds,” this member of the sparrow family ranges throughout North America. But here in North Carolina, we only see them when Winter begins to make herself known.
I always feel like their cheery flocks come as a gift to ease our sorrow over the departure of our dear hummingbirds.
Throughout the coldest, darkest months, they hop through our garden, nibbling on the fallen seeds that finches and cardinals fling to the ground. They are sociable little birds, and are rarely seen without others nearby. They love millet and shelled sunflower seeds, as well finely ground corn.
And when, like the last frosts, the juncos begin to melt away, we know that Spring, and the return of our hummers, is almost here.