"The Harivansa says, "An abode without birds is like a meat without seasoning." Such was not my abode, for I found myself suddenly neighbor to the birds; not by having imprisoned one, but having caged myself near them. I was not only nearer to some of those which commonly frequent the garden and the orchard, but to those wilder and more thrilling songsters of the forest which never, or rarely serenade a villager, - the wood thrush, the veery, the scarlet tanager, the field sparrow, the whippoorwill, and many others." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Throughout the cold days of winter, I sometimes thought of the Summer Tanager who had so beautifully serenaded me on the warm days of the previous summer. Oh, how I hoped he would be back for another summer to sing at least just one more song. "Chick-tucky-tuck, chick-tucky-tuck..." much like a Robin's, but softer and sweeter. And, wonder of wonders, this week I have seen him several times, perching in all of his same old favorite spots. It is a good omen, I think. Or at least, I hope it is!
The precious little Hummingbirds are back. Some days there are more than on other days, so I suspect our backyard is a migratory pit stop for those on their way farther north. It's hard to imagine how these little birds, and in fact all birds, like the Tanager, find the exact same places year after year. I am humbled that, that same spot is my own back yard.
I don't feed the songbirds during summer, and sometimes question the practice of feeding them at all. But, by doing so I have become better acquainted with many of the little birds that I would have never known had I not. One of my favorite pairs that come to the feeders regularly are the House Finches. They are so friendly and unafraid of me, and love their sunflower seeds, which actually tempts me to leave up the feeders all year long. I know they are still here now for I recently saw them drinking at the bird waterer. Come to think of it maybe just a few seeds wouldn't do any harm!
My list of favorite birds is a long one. I have chased after the Great Blue Heron for many a long mile trying to photograph that elusive fellow. The mockingbirds, however, haven't been so hard to catch up with. One year, I took a good scolding from the Missus every time I got close to a certain honeysuckle vine and finally found out why.
The bluebirds are nesting in the boxes now, and most already have their first brood of babies. Those pretty birds must catch a million insects before summer's end, for they are almost constantly carrying some poor critter in their beaks to the boxes to feed their young.
The winds are still blowing here almost every day, but at least those winds seem to be getting warmer. I think someone forgot to change the calendar from March to April. Take care and enjoy the warm winds of May! ~ Mary