It’s January, it’s very cold, and I don’t have much time to bird. Where do I go? Forest Park! Though the diversity of species in the deep freeze of winter is low it is always a pleasure to visit the feeder array at the waterhole which attracts most of the species that are present in the park, even some that are pretty unexpected.

Brown Creeper

Brown Creepers love visiting when some suet is smeared into the bark.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are more traditional consumers of suet.

American Robin

I’ve never seen American Robins eat suet. In fact, I haven’t seen robins at feeders of any kind. This one just stopped in to see what all the activity was about and then moved on. I think robins look down on feeder birds.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

This bird was my real surprise for the morning. I hadn’t heard of Ruby-crowned Kinglets eating suet but this individual was more than pleased to dig in with gusto whenever the woodpeckers gave it a chance.

What else did I see? Well, I had a total of sixteen species, none of them uncommon. But they were close, they were birds, and I got my birding fix. What more can you ask for?

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.