Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beautiful Little Birds

My garden is filled with birds--sparrows, finches, thrashes, white winged doves, dark-eyed juncos, crows and robins. Sometimes I see boat-tailed grackles in the trees. A few days ago, a Swainson's Hawk flew overhead, circling and watching.

The robins appear late in the afternoon. They start on the garden wall. They don't visit the seed dishes, they sit on the wall and watch me as I photograph the mountains, then they hop down into the arroyo and dig in the sand for worms and bugs. I would think it would be a bit early for bugs, but I photographed one yesterday, so I know they are available!

There are three dark-eyed juncos, mysteriously dark gray birds that quietly appear on the wall by my side when I'm looking in another direction. When I realize they are nearby, I slowly turn to face them, but they do not leave. They hold very still, staring off toward the mountains as if they do not see me. Sometimes in the afternoon I see them hopping beneath the patio table, picking up seeds that the doves have knocked to the ground.

The doves are rather bold. They will flock to the table and watch me through the window as I work in the kitchen. Sometimes they fly onto the wall when I open the door, and sometimes they fly to the roof of my grandchildren's playhouse or to the roof of the garden shed. They are noisy birds, chittering as they fly away as if chastising me for disturbing their meal.

I rarely see the crows. I hear them as they fly over the houses as I hear the Canadian geese, but I rarely see them. They land in the tall evergreens in my neighbor's yard and talk to me, sounding off to let me know they are there.

Mr. and Mrs. Thrasher, of course, are always in the shrub. I think it is Mrs. Thrasher who sits on the wall in the corner, watching me fill the seed dishes. Mr. Thrasher leaves sometimes, but later in the evening, he poses majestically at the top of the shrub, listening, watching.

The little birds, the finches and sparrows, are the ones that bring me the most joy. They are so tiny, delicate, and sweet, and they never stop singing. From the minute they wake up until they flock to the nearby trees for cover at sunset I can hear them singing in my yard. They are also kind and cooperative when it comes to my photography, primping and posing, waiting for me to focus. They are patient little birds, sitting in the shrub like Christmas tree bulbs, fluffing their feathers on cold days to create pockets of warm air that warm their bodies, fluttering to the seed dishes to stock up on seed. I am so blessed by my precious little friends.

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