On a Cold Winter’s Day

The last week has been very, very cold here, -29C (-20F) with a wind chill of below -40 some days.

Today is just cold, no wind, which is nice. Two days ago it was incredibly windy and bitter cold. The wind is hard on the animals, especially the cattle and horses. We have wind-breaks and bales set out to provide a bit of shelter from the wind for the animals, though the wind seems to blow from every direction. Our laying hens and rabbits are spoiled in comparison, living inside an insulated building that keeps them cozy and warm.

Our hens: the brown ones are Isa Browns and the others are White Leghorns,


We have 49 hens and they lay about 40 eggs a day,


My steer, Marco,


Our dog, Lady,


The redpolls and Black-capped Chickadees are quite puffed up, and the Downy Woodpecker who usually comes to the feeders has been absent for the last couple of days, probably due to the wind. When the wind was at its worst, only five Common Redpolls were at the nyjer feeders, but when the wind died down there were 32 Common Redpolls and 2 Hoary Redpolls at the feeders.

A Hoary Redpoll,


I’m cold too, though I’m not spending the night (or even all day) outdoors like the birds and mammals, so I don’t have too much to complain about, but once the cold snap is over (supposedly tomorrow) it will be easier on the animals and more fun to go birding.

Common Redpolls,


9 thoughts on “On a Cold Winter’s Day

  1. Seems like Canada is getting a dose of old fashioned winter chill this year Charlotte – I’ve always felt sorry for the horses and cattle that stay outside through it all, but this morning learned from a neighbour and friend that her three horses were completely annoyed the other morning when they were left inside for their breakfast instead of heading out into the wind and snow… who knew? So I guess it’s to each his own.

    Love your photos – the little redpolls here are hanging with the American goldfinches, and all seem to hide in the evergreen shrubs and trees, popping out to grab seeds then flying back. I’ve been surprised – but we’ve only reached about -28 with the wind chill, out of the wind it’s been about -18, cold to may way of thinking but I’ve learned to bundle up and wear a face mask so I can be out longer.

    Hope it breaks just a bit for all of us soon though. Keep up the great work of letting us know what it’s like in Alberta – just love it.

  2. This is just so unfair! Your winter is far too cold while ours is so warm it is barely recognizable. We have 13°C here in the south of Germany, when it should be around 0°C. Birds are singing, flowers are popping out of the ground everywhere,… Geez. To have one day of your winter…
    Very nice picture of a Hoary. And on your last picture, the second and third from the left might be Hoaries, too.

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