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Discussion Starter #1
Here are some birds hanging out in woody cover. A good place to go when the grass is no longer a good place to hide.


Here is what the switchgrass looks like even after 15 inches of snow.


This our best field with all the birds. Still looks good after the snow compared to the white desert around it.


This food plot is getting hit hard by the birds
 

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That first photo looks like it could've been taken from the hedgerow right along my road. That's exactly the cover the pheasants near me have been using regularly since the snow first began piling up.
 

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That switchgrass looks a lot better than the switchgrass in my area. Wonder if the amount of ice down here made a difference?

Nice pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We had very little ice. Ice will put it down more than snow for sure. Even wet snow that clings will put it down more but we had dry snow and it just drops down through it.
 

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When you see that pic of them huddling in cover, it make you want to snap your finger and have the snow all disappear.
 

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its a rough year for them.
40' is the key number,once the temps hit 40 they can keep warm without burning excess calories
they just need to hang in there a bit longer.
I do expect a hit to the population,but those that make it will pass some good genes on
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Very astute Golf, I had the same worry. I focused the camera for the distance and rolled down the window of the car. I drove up to the birds, stopped just long enough to take the picture then drove away. They moved a little to the back but didn't flush. One more second and they would be gone. I didn't want to bump them but I knew you guys would like the pic.
 

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I'm still amazed the 7 or 8 that have been hanging in & around my property were still around right before last wednesday's storm. They disappeared for a time several weeks ago and I thought they were finally done and then they reappeared. These were released PGC birds from the fall and these birds are learning and surviving. Maybe not really "learning" but their survival instincts are getting stronger each hour and day. I have a healthy avian & ground predator population (though I think my drahthaar has run the fox off somewhat) and they've done remarkably well to elude them. I've even seen them elude a Red-tail's attack. They aren't struggling to survive either. And I've watched how they get food in the snow and how they build a "nest" or bed on the ground and burrow into it up to their heads to roost and keep warm at night or out of strong wind (they also use the pines too.) They clear the snow with their wings and feet like turkeys do in winter. Its been cool to watch and so I can only imagine the wild birds are doing at least as well as these.
 

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Ideal would be woody cover right along side grassy cover and food plots.
Mutliflora rose and other native rose shrubs provide very good late winter cover and food. Rows or stands of short growing trees with low hanging branches are a also big plus for late winter bird cover and roosts. Mixing in some evergreen wind breaks is also a big benefit. Can't beat that corn and sorghum for preferred snow resistant winter food crops. Wish there was more of these across the landscape it would help all kinds of wildlife throughout the winter and the rest of the year too.
 

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Multiflora Rose gets a bad rap for being non-native. I myself, see the many more benefits it provides than negatives. Some folks, if something is not "native", are just completely up in arms, and will go to the end of the earth to spend large amounts of time AND money, to control it. Myself, I only control it in areas I want to remain open. It is welcome and encouraged in thick bedding type areas. It's a godsend for small game, especially in winter. Some of it remains so thick, that a large predator, such as a 30-40 lb. Yote, cannot penetrate it to get to the smaller animals that choose to seek shelter in it. and I'd like to see what any avian predator comes out looking like if it decides to dive into it. I know what I come out looking like trying to gingerly dance around it.
 
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