Saturday, June 2, 2012

..for the birds...

A couple of years ago, my husband took an interest in birds. It had something to do with the fact that some Mississippi Kites were breeding/nesting in the park across from his parents house. This is apparently a big deal for bird enthusiasts...but for myself (unenthused, at that point), I could not wrap my head around the fact that there existed a bird called a "Kite." Huh.

Time passed, and I took the opportunity to learn a little about these winged creatures, by listening to my husband try to identify different species, and by attempting to provide nourishment for them throughout the seasons. I think the moment the tides turned for me was when I was driving over a bridge in town and noticed bald eagles fishing in the rapids of the river below. Bald eagles. In late winter. Soaring right in front of my eyes. For the first time, I felt the magnificence of these birds.

When driving, or when on the phone, in the midst of a conversation, my husband will stop everything to announce whatever feathered friend he sees. BLUE HERON! TURKEY VULTURE! RED-TAILED HAWK! DOWNY WOODPECKER! He does have a pretty good eye. I do NOT have as good an eye, but I make every attempt to see what he's seeing. I'm just fairly certain that when he sees distinctive markings, I see blurs in the distance. But my resolve is strong and I remain interested.

 In our yard, we have added a few bird feeders and a bird bath over the last year. This has resulted in our backyard becoming akin to an aviary. Over the past few seasons we have seen hummingbirds, robins, black-capped chickadees, juncos, finches, cardinals, bluejays, and woodpeckers. Roaming the neighborhood you can find an occasional duck or goose, and then there is the gang of turkeys. Yes, turkeys.

Surprisingly enough, we do not currently live in a small, rural area.....yet. I live in what is considered a mid-size city, and I am astonished and in awe of all the small creatures a few nuts, seeds and fruit will attract. I have come to enjoy watching these animals. They swoop in, take a few nibbles, take off again, flit from branch to branch, tree to tree, and, more than I care to think of, sometimes smack into our picture windows. I've seen them playfully chase each other, jockey for prime position at the feeder, chirp and sing their itty-bitty lungs out, and build nests and raise young in our yard.

So, I guess I'm ok with these fowl. I'm enjoying all the life they bring to our little backyard.

Note: All pictures were taken in our backyard, both from the inside and out. I apologize for any unseemly glares.

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