For the Birds

I love all four seasons, but this time of year has to be my favorite. I have all the windows open overnight so that I wake in the morning to the sound of the birds singing. Our current house is technically in the suburbs but it’s nestled in the woods on a narrow, lonely road. I’ve always said it’s the best of both worlds —five minutes from civilization but it feels like you’re in the country. The birdsong is deafening at sunrise. For me —not generally a morning person— it’s the only kind of wake up call I can tolerate.

I’ve drawn the birds to our yard with feeders —hummingbird feeders in the summer, thistle and black oil sunflower seed in the colder months. I have wild raspberry bushes growing along the perimeter of the woods which I’ve left uncultivated so the birds and deer can have the berries. I’ve enjoyed watching them discreetly from the windows and snapping photos with the zoom lens. Bright red cardinals against the blinding white of snow, goldfinches and purple finches competing for seeds, three kinds of woodpeckers mistaking the house siding for wood [and sounding like a machine gun at 5 AM!] bluebirds, and once an indigo bunting. It was a rare and unexpected treat to have a mass of starlings gather on the front lawn before rising as one in murmuration.

That’s just a sample of the varieties that populate my little patch of earth. With the melting of snow come the robins —those early harbingers of spring. But I always know the season is in full swing when the Baltimore Orioles arrive. Their distinct song is a two-toned warble and one of the most beautiful natural sounds on earth. Yesterday, I heard my oriole in the morning —summer is just around the corner.

I’m leaving behind my Audubon Society Guide to North American Birds. But I promise that the first book I buy in my new home will be a Guide to the Birds of Ireland. And a new feeder will go up in the garden at my little house in Headford.

Header image thanks to Hinterland

24 thoughts on “For the Birds

  1. That’s awesome, Doc. The birds are out en force this spring. And loud as all get out. That’s cool that y’all get orioles. I’ve only seen a couple here over the years, during migration I assume, as they aren’t truly indigenous here. Bluebirds and hummingbirds are my faves to watch, but I love the songs of all. We’ve had an owl taking up residence in our front field too. That’s awesome at night. And the farm across the ridge from us has two peacocks and they go off in the night too. He uses them as watchdogs for his goats. 😃

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      1. Really? I’ll have to listen for them. They’re in the Audubon bird book as being here at times, but I’ve not ever seen one. I love the owl. It’s awesome at night, but it’s mostly drowned out by tree and bull frogs now. We’ve got a woodpecker roosted in the side field, and close enough that he’s an alarm clock for us too. 😏

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      2. Maybe in earlier spring as they pass through. It’s a unique song – almost a harmony of two notes! Oh the woodpeckers yep they’re noisy neighbors!

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    1. Yes, I’m sure! There are probably a lot of birds in common – similar climate, etc. but I’m also hoping to see some new ones too. Thanks, Darnell!

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  2. I agree that open windows and birdsongs are the best way to make the most of a spring morning. We have the hummingbird feeders out and also suet – which is getting hammered right now. Tanagers, grosbeaks, and the magpies can’t get enough of the stuff.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I’m looking forward to seeing ‘old’ friends and ‘new’ after the move. I think the house is in a good spot for bird watching!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wish i wake up like that 🙂 that was an amazing writing. By the way, which part you stay. It really seems that you are having a great time with these beautiful creatures !! I hope you give them some water too 😛

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