So here it is mid-May 2012 and already there's bird activity, indeed a pair of cardinals had a nest in the serviceberry bush, the babies having now fledged and the cardinals at it again. For like the good Catholic birds they are, they were sent forth to multiply and multiply they will.
It begins around our place in early February as our cardinals do not migrate, they winter right here with us in mildly wintered Delaware. The red guy gets to the top of every then leafless tree and he sings to the world all about that here he is, a fine red fellow with tall trees upon which to sing all over a territory that includes berry bushes and human-provided backyard feeders. Yes he says all that while up there singing as in cold February, when spring seems so far off, the red guy's up there singing and stretching the truth about his value like all males of every species before him.
Passing female cardinals should hear his song and his braggadocio and they should be transfixed to come down and check it out.
As I sit in my lawn chair, between circuits around my workout track, no more than six feet above me, a buff colored reddish tinged bird sat on a branch and answered the red guy then up in the trees still singing his charms. I wanted to grab a camera, I wanted to shout for the world to come see. For of all the places around the property that red guy was claiming to be his, a female finally seduced by the song flies in. And she lands on a limb six feet over my head? And as I hold breath to desperately not scare her off, she begins to sing a song to him, not his powerful songs that he belts out to fill the early spring blue skies. She sings a softer rendition of his song and with my jaw still hanging, I ponder that God so loved me he allowed me to have a front row seat to a sweet spring story.
I must suppose that she introduced herself to the red guy, or maybe visa versa, as there was a period of frantic activity, by now we're into mid-March, still a chilly time. One day I note the two cardinals busy flying in and out of that serviceberry bush and dawn breaks over my marble head. Sure enough they built a fine nest, deep in the briar of this bush's many tangled limbs.
The baby cardinals have since fledged and I see the red guy flying around from time to time. I have heard the baby cardinals, which sound like change jiggling in the pocket. I have not seen the young ones but from what I hear they seem to be fine.
Another morning I sit at my dining table on the cusp of the twilight. As I scan my magazine and eat my dinner I look up and sitting on my feeder, munching oh so casually on a seed, is a beautiful all blue bird, the color of ink and in fact, it is an Indigo Bunting! Once again my jaw drops as I frantically summon husband to come see.
We had an Indigo Bunting come visit our feeders last year, not necessarily the same one as how can one know such a thing?
At that time husband called me in to come see this beautiful blue bird. Indeed I did catch a glimpse of the Indigo bunting but only as he was flying away. THIS time the Indigo Bunting enjoying my sunflower seed was quite leisurely, enjoying his chew, and he sat on the feeder perch five minutes as I watched him in awe.
|See cardinal outline in box|
The other morning I am exercising in my back yard and suddenly, in front of me, is a pretty Blue Bird! The bluebird landed on the ground and was furiously pecking the ground for bug objects so the best was yet to come.
First, bluebirds are rare around my area in that I live in a place with many trees. Bluebirds prefer open meadows as their main bug food stuff are bugs that fly. So as soon as I saw him packing around in my backyard, only about eight feet from where I stood, silent and quiet and marveling again that God seems to send these birds to me that I see them so clearly. Sometimes I think God's so proud of His beautiful bird creations and He knows how much I too love them, well I'm thinking maybe it's a little bit of bragging on God's part, insert smile here.
The bluebird gathers a beak full of bugs and I know that no matter what the species of bird, all of the bird children are fed bugs in the early days in the nest and the first few weeks after they fledge. I pondered where the bluebird fledglings were that led their father to this semi-wooded area in search of bugs.
I followed the bluebird as he flew up upon a branch and soon I heard the hungry cries of what could only be a mess of baby bluebirds all waiting their bug food from the parent.
For the next twenty minutes I watched both Mom and Dad bluebird as they descended onto my lawn, committing larceny by stealing my bugs, and saw the little bluebirds, who could fly and were busy flitting about between Mom and Dad as they carried bugs up to hungry eager baby bluebird beaks.
Then there was the catbird.
Every year we have a catbird nest somewhere around here. The catbird is a first cousin of a mockingbird and the catbird sings as loudly and imitates as well as his mocker cousins. In fact husband began to grouse about the loudness of the catbird.
And indeed the catbird did sing, all day and some of the night. Indeed he was quite loud and not nearly as secretive as he normally is. A few times he even landed on various of my garden ornaments. Always he sang, the song of the robin, the scream of the Blue Jay, the warble of the goldfinch. His songs amused me but curmudgeon husband was a big put out.
I must suppose the catbird has found a mate as it's been quiet of late. I suspect that soon we will hear the plaintive "meow" call of the parents as they summon their catbird youngsters to stay close.
Finally, just the morning of this writing, once again as I am running my exercise track, I see two thrashers all busy rummaging through leaves and sticks and obviously choosing nesting materials. God once again sends me two of His creations and the thrasher too mimics the songs of his bird competitors.
The thrashers have been guests on our property several years, preferring to set up housekeeping in our hedge roses. They did not nest in the hedge roses last year and I missed them.
Thus I was quite happy that they came as a pair and goodness, they were going through the debris of the trees with a passion. Since I was in the back yard, I wasn't at all sure where they were setting up a nest.
About an hour later, all exercised and resting on my porch swing, sure enough I note Mr. and Mrs. Thrasher all busy flying in and out of the hedge rose. My what a pretty pair they were. Of course I called out curmudgeon husband to see and with good timing he came onto the porch and was treated to the site of both of the thrashers as they picked up leaf bits to shake about, either keeping to fly into the hedge rose to use for nest assembly, or to cast aside with disdain as building material unsuitable for a nest.
I suspect that within a few weeks we will have young thrashers and maybe even some fledgling catbirds as well.
I must thank God for sending these glorious creatures my way.