I was sitting at my computer yesterday, editing photos.
My cat Grayced was lying just inside the picture window.
Suddenly Grayced levitated off his cushion and I stopped breathing when this red-tailed hawk appeared within 2 feet of the window.
This is actually the second pass of the hawk as he tried for a songbird at my feeder – I didn’t have camera in hand for the first pass.
The red-tailed hawk missed the songbird.  About stopped my heart.  Scared my cat silly.

WATER is THE Critical Nutrient, especially in this FRIGID weather.
Dehydration, the lack of water, kills quicker than starvation.
Help your visitors to your yard and farms.
Make sure there is free-flowing water available.
Here is my front yard, just before I added water to the containers this morning, maybe it will give you some ideas:
My bowls are on the ground, on dark mats (to help absorb what sun gets to them).
I only half fill the bowls twice a day – makes it easier for me to flip out the ice chunks.
Those ice chunks on the grass are from late yesterday afternoon.
I use cold tap water: hot water actually freezes faster than cold water!
The “bowls” are metal pans, clay bowls and ceramic ones – different birds like different styles.
Once the water is drinkable, twice a day, then also check your feeders to make sure the seeds are flowing and the suet is accessible.
BTW the above advice about water goes for dogs, cats, horses and, of course humans.  Let’s help all we can.

My friend who is providing the winter garden home for the rufous hummingbird
here in Wake County has sent me an update with 2 photos.
You can see the light bulb behind the little female
that my friend put up to provide some warmth under the house eave.
You can read more about the hummer in the winter weather at http://artfuldogger.blogspot.com


The yellowish tint here is due to the yellow of the heat lamp.  Spa time for the little bird.
I really appreciate that my friend is sharing her photos with us
and her garden with the winter visitor.
you can see my posting of banding this bird in my Winter Surprise!!! entry 

Yes, that is a hummingbird and oh, my, I took the photos today in Garner, NC. No, it is not a ruby-throated hummingbird nor is it where it shouldn’t be this time of the year.
Come to find out, the RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD sometimes over winters here in NC. Even most astonishing: this bird may have migrated here from Alaska and will go back to Alaska in the spring.  Oh, wow!
The little female hummer was safely caught today, measured, weighed in at 3.3 grams, checked for its fitness and banded. Then off it went to go back to feeding.
Keep an eye out for these migrants: if you have a stream or lake or pond nearby and have red or pink flowers blooming close by they may be attracted to your yard for a visit and feeding.
If you see one, please, put your hummingbird feeder back out: use a mix of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar and NOTHING else. Bring the feeder in at night to keep it from freezing and put it back out at first light. If you will let me know of any of these visiting your yard I will pass the information along to the bird bander so she can gather more data. More photos can be seen at my friend’s blog http://artfuldogger.blogspot.com and see the winter home where this hummer was seen and banded
her band is on her right leg – tiny, tiny id bracelet; see 4th photo!
img_7307 img_7306 img_4171
img_4179 img_4165 img_4160 img_4157 img_4155