Fall is here, and while winter is still three months away, many animals are already preparing for what might be a long, hard winter. By the time you read this, all of our many hummingbird visitors will be headed south. Right now, they are doing what we call “tanking up.” They are constantly at our several feeders and drinking as much as they can hold. This goes on for about a week, and then, they are just gone. I wish I had some way of identifying different ones so I could count how many of these tiny creatures we actually feed.
The bright goldfinches are still happily eating thistle seed from our tube feeders. I have three of these placed in various locations in view of our windows. I especially like the two I have where the finches hang upside down to feed. Already, their bright yellow is fading and their darker winter plumage is beginning to dominate. The goldfinches and hummingbirds are the only two species we actively feed in the summer.