Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Too Easy

Having been away so long, I find I'm out of practice at the art of paying attention. Now, cold rainy weather keeps me inside, challenging my ability to keep winter doldrums at bay. Watching the comings and goings and perchings at the new bird feeder is a suitable defense, though it feels like cheating. Somehow the regularity and ease with which I can now see such variety of bird species at close range robs the thrill of its cutting edge. Instead, I learn to discern unique styles and movements of the feeding pattern of each species---even of individuals within a species.

Yet the first thrill remains---at the length of the growing list of species that visit the feeder. All my bird ID books are going ragged. The list so far: Eastern blue birds, Carolina chickadees, Tufted titmice, Carolina wrens, orange house finches, greenish winter goldfinches, Northern cardinals, Purple finches, Yellow-rumped warblers (not sure of warbler IDs), White-breasted nuthatches, Brown-headed nuthatches, Red-bellied woodpeckers. And ground feeders on the deck floor beneath: Mourning doves, Rufous-sided towhees, and of course the ubiquitous squirrels.

Happily, the squirrels can't get to the feeder itself. They must be satisfied with cleaning up the fallout beneath it. Okay with me. Less sweeping.

I'm also hearing more whistle of hawk above since the introduction of this feeder to the backyard habitat. Here's hoping it does not make sitting ducks of the small perching birds. The increased activity has not escaped the hawks' notice. dkm


Anonymous said...

How wonderful to have all those species of birds visit you. I would love to have a bird feeder but I have a lot of cats so would worry about them. I would love to have squirrels too, we don't have them in NZ :o)

dkm said...

Nikki! Hooray! You were here all along. I thought I lost you, but had forgotten to check for comments. I just sent a message to another page somewhere, that invited you to be a friend b/c I would love to know more about you. We have more in common than bird watching---that is, writing for children.

I've gotten side-tracked from my blog due to cold weather, but hope to be more regular now.

We in southeastern U.S. can't imagine a world without squirrels. They are fun to watch, but they empty most bird feeders as fast as you can fill them.

I can only imagine what beautiful birds you see in New Zealand.