Each fall, some of our favorite birdfeeder birds start hanging out together. Black-capped Chickadees, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, and Downy Woodpeckers find strength in numbers by forming "winter flocks", mixed-species groups of birds that forage together during the winter months.
There are advantages to this behavior. There are more eyes looking for food and there are more eyes and ears to notice potential predators. This year my winter flock also seems to include another regular, two Brown Creepers.
If the size and activity of this year's winter flock is any indicator, it looks like we may be in for a busy winter at the birdfeeders!