Monday, February 14, 2011

Tiny Birds

I was cleaning house and stepped into my bedroom in time to see a tiny gray-striped bird near the bird seed. It glanced up at me then flew away, but stayed long enough for me to know that I have never seen this type of bird before.

This is the fourth new bird I have spotted on our property in the past month. First, it was the Carolina Chickadees with the black patches on their heads. I see many of these now. They like to sit in the trees at the base of our driveway, possibly because these particular live oaks have a thick cover of leaves. The second was the mockingbird. I'm not sure if there are more than two, or if I just keep seeing the same two birds. The third is the flock of bluish-gray birds that are the size of the palm of my hand. They like to flutter up around me when I step into the backyard. And the fourth is the gray-striped bird I just found on the bedroom patio.

I suspect that the bluish-gray birds have been here for awhile and I just noticed the difference in them when I started photographing the animals around the house. Last year, I thought the baby birds that were born in the garage and live in the grapevines were following me around the house. It certainly seemed that way at times. Now, I think there are numerous flocks of birds.

I think the baby birds stay in the grapevines and fly into the forest trees to sleep at night. I think the little gray birds stay in the back yard and also fly into the forest trees at night or when they hear me walking around outside. The large birds, like the cardinals, prefer the bedroom patio and the front of the house. It's possible that the smaller birds avoid the front of the house because this is where the road runner likes to hunt. And now there is the Carolina Chickadees at the base of the driveway.

We still have four or five white-winged doves on the property, but the numbers thinned greatly as the hunting season wore on. We still hear gunshots every night, just before sunset. I don't think the birds were killed, I think they moved on to a safer place.

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