Saturday, April 30, 2022

Neighbor to the Birds...



 

"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



19 comments:

Granny Marigold said...

Nice new header. Baby birds are so funny looking but cute. The Summer Tanager is a beautiful bird and I'd love to see one, I'll have to check if they are ever found in B.C.
It's slow to warm up here too but gradually it finally appears to be feeling more like Spring. Luckily flowers bloom in spite of the chill but many didn't make it through the winter.

Rose said...

Oh, what a wonderful header photo. I have not seen in the nest of a mockingbird. You have such lovely visitors. I am afraid to put out food for the hummingbirds because of my cats. It would be the one time they caught something. Puss does not hung much any more, but she was the main worry.

I have never seen a bluebird here at our house, nor a mockingbird. But always had them at home, and see them out other places.

Re taming a squirrel...no, I have never tamed one enough to pet it. And it enjoy it. The first Mama Squirrel I could rub her chin, while she was taking food from my hand. And like one day I seen her running down the street, and I yelled her name and she stopped and came to me. We used to be out doing stuff in the yard, and turn around and there she would be.

She raised two sets of babies almost every year in our big maple. 3 babies to each litter except one. And one year, she did go across the street to raise one set. She was slower than this one to gentle down...I started out with an apple cause I could cut it and it have such a strong scent. But was not long till I graduated to nuts and corn, and sunflower seeds.

The current one acts so much like her. I think the previous time I saw her, I was unloading groceries/walmart stuff and of course Roger was talking to me and i have to speak up for him to hear. I go back to the car and out of the corner I cause her she was following me and in and out of my feet.

Yesterday, I went and sat on the porch on purpose, hoping to see her. I cleared my throat loudly and said something out loud...I think it was Little Squirrelie, where are you. And I did my imitation of a squirrel barking. Did not see her anywhere. So got my phone to play a game, and happened to glance up and there she came. When she had been eating a while, she was sitting there eating and also barkig real softly while never stopping to eat. If I had not been right beside her, I would never have heard her.

BUT, if you are interested, my daugter brough home a young one...you can find her story if you either put Squeakers in the search box on my blog, or go to June 7, 2009. https://picsandpiecing.blogspot.com/2009/06/once-upon-time.html#comment-form I hesitate to leave a link cause some people don't like so if you don't, just don't publish this comment.

TheCrankyCrow said...

Stunningly beautiful photographs of our feathered friends (your photo of Mockingbird's nest is incredible)....and the quote by Thoreau is a favorite of mine. I only wish I were better at identifying birds and their songs. My entire family consisted of bird enthusiasts. There was always a thick tome of bird photos/identification guide on my mother's kitchen counter, binoculars close by...and I believe my brother would go without food before running out of bird seed. But I only know the basics... No Scarlet Tanagers this far north, but I am awaiting the return of the finches and hummers. The Robins, jenny wrens and cardinals have been here for weeks already. And, yes, it is humbling to be chosen as a return destination for these sweet creatures. Another, cold, rainy, and exceptionally rainy day here in Nod. ~Robin~

kathyinozarks said...

Beautiful post my friend, we have always enjoyed the birds too very much. this year first time trying to feed them on the deck-a constant battle with the squirrels though. but so wonderful to see the birds close out that big wall of windows we have really enjoyed it all very much. I am decided too if I want to continue feeding during the summer-perhaps just a little bit.
we saw the first heron since last year this week-very graceful birds-they do eat allot of fish though.
You have the gift of writing, have you written poems or a short story? hugs we finally have a pretty day today-the storms cleared out early-so nice.

kathyinozarks said...

Oh and I wanted to mention, I really loved your header photo-awesome to see all those deer-good memories from our woods home. and did you make the wool piece in the beginning? loved it

Hill Top Post said...

Granny Marigold ~ Your flowers are always way ahead of ours here. That surprises me because of the latitudes, but there are other factors too.
Rose~ You surely have a way with animals. I loved your stories of the squirrels.
C.C. You were definitely brought up right. I would have loved your mother's kitchen decorated with binoculars and bird identification guides. I think I will put out a few sunflower seeds just to see which birds will come.
Kathy ~ We do share a love for the wild critters. I remember that you had lots of deer at the Woods Property. The Stitchery is one of my pieces. I need to get back to that kind of work. My dad was always concerned about how many fish the Herons (he called them cranes) took from the ponds. I tend to think it just allows those that are left to get larger.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I've never seen either a tanager or a bluebird but I keep hoping. The goldfinches are back and I heard a wren a few days ago. I think the wrens nested somewhere closeby last summer so I'm hopeful they will again. We don't feed the birds in that sense of the word but we do put out suet in the winter. If we put out seed it gets knocked to the ground and encourages too many squirrels who, in turn, think the wiring in our cars is a tasty snack. Bird feeders are not encouraged in our area because they can encourage bears in the summer months.

happyone said...

Lovely photos. I used to love to feed the birds when we lived down in town. Don't find them here in the woods because it attracts the bears.

Prims By The Water said...

Wish we had those Tanagers here. A pretty bird! Great photos. Janice

nookworm said...

I loved this post! I do not feed any birds except the hummers. I'm sure they have enough to eat in this area all year long. My most favorite bird is the oriole and I was able to capture her with the camera and remember her song so well. No hummers here yet but I do have the feeder hanging and freshly filled. By the way, I once had a mother cat raise some squirrels with her kittens. That was so sweet! I have pictures.

Mary, Windy Meadows Farm said...

Looks like I've found a kindred spirit when it comes to birds...I love hearing them again in the spring and watching to see which ones have returned. I really like the platform feeders...something new I'm using...they just seem to be easier for the birds to land on and enjoy some seed. Also my favorite free app for my phone is Cornell Lab's Merlin Bird ID...I can record songs and it will give me a name & photo, or I can take a photo and the app will help me identify it. If you're a bird-lover, it's really a wonderful app. Thanks for sharing such lovely photos. Mary

acorn hollow said...

I love seeing all the birds come back too. We have blue birds for the first time ever! So excited they have built a nest near by.
Cathy

Henny Penny said...

Your pictures are amazing! We haven't seen a Tanager yet this year. Seems they show up closer to summer and stay mostly up in the tall oak trees. This is our first year having Mocking birds. I love their singing and hope they will nest close by. Dan keeps saying we need to stop buying bird seed so the mama birds can teach the babies to hunt for food. I suppose he is right. Enjoyed your post!

Debra said...

I loved reading this post...

nookworm said...

Hummers just came in this morning, teeny-tiny black ones - took looong drinks!

kat said...

Having birds in one's space is such a treasure isn't it? It is so lovely to see yours, so different from the birds here in the UK. We do feed ours all year long, but being urban I think they tend to depend on our constancy more, not having the wide spaces you have to forage in. We also get a huge variety and fortunately our two cats are now a bit too old and arthritic to bother catching them any more (though one does a fine line in mousing!!). Each January here the RSPB ask folk to do a bird count in their gardens for an hour over a specific weekend. I'm not sure we've ever done so, but every year we do say "hmmm, think we ought to do this!". Better put it on the calendar for next year!

Betty said...

Ive never seen a scarlet tanager before, it's absolutely beautiful, I wonder how it manages to avoid preditors with such a fabulous colour on display.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

What beautiful photos of the birds. So glad the hummingbirds have retured.

Aritha said...

All the birds. I love the red ones. They are so nice. Are the humming birds really so little? We haven't them here in The Netherlands.

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